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Magnesium, Mystery Appetizers, and UMass Deans

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Greg Brown, the Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering

Magnesium, mystery appetizers, and UMass deans: three things I never thought I’d say in the same sentence.

As part of their program, CEA, puts on amazing culture workshops. So far, we have been introduced to French wine and cheese and made smoothies from fruits and vegetables fresh from the local market.

In our most recent workshop, we were joined by Greg Brown, the Assistant Dean of our College of Engineering, who was visiting the French Riviera and checking out the program. Right off the bat, (Greg? or Assistant Dean Brown?) insisted on “keeping it casual,” and that’s exactly what we did.

As a group, we tasted various French water brands. Each one had a distinct flavor, and some were definitely better than others. One of them tasted so bad, Greg? Assistant Dean Brown? threw it over his shoulder, through the open door. Amused and inspired, we all followed suit.

Growing up, my Dad would always give me a hard time about my love for Fiji water. He insisted that it all tasted the same. Well, after this workshop, lemme tell ya, it does not. Water with magnesium in it tastes like a metal pole.

After tasting over 12 brands of water, and fighting over the one bathroom in the CEA office, we switched gears and began to make dough for our Pissaladière onion pies. These pies are a specialty that originated in Nice, France, which is about 30 minutes from Antibes. They consist simply of dough and sautéed onion, and are absolutely delicious.

While the pies were cooking, we were treated* to a mystery appetizer.

*It’s a treat, if you're feeling sluggish and need a pick-me-up if you catch my drift.

You guessed it! The mystery appetizers were escargot! Initially, Greg? Assistant Dean Brown? was a little apprehensive about trying, but with a little coaxing from yours truly, he agreed.  #DoItForTheStudentBlog

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