AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst nailed a world record on Labor Day when more than 300 volunteers gathered on the Haigis Mall to assemble a monstrous California sushi roll which, at 422 feet, was more than 90 feet longer than one created at the University of California, Berkeley last fall.
Thousands of new and returning students gathered for the event as Chancellor Robert Holub and Food Network chef Jet Tila presided over the massive assembly line, along with auxiliary enterprises executive director Ken Toong who has become well-known for large community food celebrations emphasizing nutrition and sustainability.
The recipe included 650 sheets of nori (seaweed), 200 pounds of rice, 200 pounds of surimi, 100 pounds of avocado, 100 pounds of cucumber, two pounds of sesame seeds, five gallons of soy sauce and six pounds of wasabi.
"Seafood and local vegetables -- that’s the key, and this is a perfect example of what can happen when you tap into a nutritious, sustainable local food supply," said Toong, who believes that UMass Amherst has been the rightful heir to the sushi record all along.
"Each day, more than 2,000 sushi rolls are served here," says Toong. "I would not be surprised if UMass students eat more sushi than any other school in the nation."
He was also especially happy to be able to make the event part of the school’s Green Welcome Barbecue and therefore to engage so many new students and other new members of the community.