The University of Massachusetts Amherst is well known for its number one campus dining. With a mission to contribute to the campus life experience by providing a variety of healthy and flavorful meals featuring local, regional, and world cuisine in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner, UMass Dining is an integral part of the UMass experience. Ranging across four dining commons, 14 retail locations, 16 cafes, two food trucks, fine dining at the University Club & Restaurant, concessions at the Mullins Center and McGuirk Stadium, and catering, UMass Dining provides amazing food all over campus.
In the celebration of great food, and a little friendly competition, UMass Dining recently hosted a Best Campus Food Celebration. Located in Hampshire dining commons in Southwest, UMass Dining had its Best Campus Food Celebration featuring guest chefs from top schools rated "Best Campus Food" by Princeton Review. This was a wonderful opportunity for UMass students to try the food offered at other universities. Knowing how integral our dining experience is to us UMass students, I loved exploring new and exciting food options that other schools offered. I left the event full and grateful for the food that we UMass students are provided daily.
What Schools Were in Attendance
Cornell University, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Tech, Washington University in St. Louis, and of course, UMass Amherst, were all in attendance cooking some of their well-known menu items. Each school provided a wide range of food. From vegan and vegetarian options, smoothies, various entrees, and delicious desserts, each school brought a wide variety of tasty food. Needless to say, my stomach was eager to try everything out.
What I Ate
The real question is what did I not eat. At an event like this — and UMass Dining hosts numerous events throughout the semester — I like to try a bit of everything. I tried a matcha almond muffin by Washington University in St. Louis, which was wonderful. I never had anything like this before so I was eager to try it out. From Virginia Tech, I had their grilled black bean and hummus sandwich. As a huge fan of both black bean burgers and hummus, this sandwich did not disappoint. From UMass, I had red Mexican rice and a black bean spread, both of which were super yummy. Truthfully, if my stomach allowed me, I would have had even more!
I would also like to commemorate the amount of vegan and vegetarian options all the schools provided. As someone always craving healthier alternatives, I was delighted that I could not only eat amazing food but be more mindful and sustainable. They even had vegan desserts!
Why I love UMass Dining
UMass Dining is more than just great food. They not only provide students with healthy, sustainable, and fulfilling meals, but a place of comfort and relaxation as well. These dining halls will become your home away from home, mimicking the warmth and happiness of your home cooking experience. Food provides more than just nourishment; it offers a realm to connect with others and experience the wonders of life. Some of my greatest memories are with friends at our dining halls, enjoying their presence over a tasty meal. This is what makes UMass Dining so special — its ability to bring students together from all walks of life. Although I often miss the familiarity and comfort of my hometown cooking, UMass Dining always succeeds in filling the void left after leaving home. Do not take for granted your UMass Dining experience. Trust me, you will come to miss it after graduation.