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Campus Food Some of the Best in the Nation

CANTON — Who knew that the food at St. Lawrence University could be so good? Well, the students, of course. But they’re not the only ones who have noticed.

The Daily Meal — a New York City-based food magazine that covers restaurants, food trends, healthy dining and cooking — has once again ranked St. Lawrence as one of the Best Colleges for Food in America.

Last year, the magazine looked at more than 2,000 four-year colleges nationwide, and St. Lawrence made the list of 52 Best Colleges for Food in America. For this year’s ranking, The Daily Meal revisited those same institutions that made the 2012 list and made sure that they were maintaining their culinary perfection. They also looked for improvements at those colleges that didn’t make last-year’s list.

The magazine found that St. Lawrence offers a unique take on collegiate dining. While the dining staff emphasizes sustainable preparation and local ingredients, they’re also focused on what students want to eat as well.

Dining Services goes out of its way to include locally produced food on its menu, said Cynthia Y. Atkins, director of Dining and Conference Services. They’re now serving River Rat Cheese from the Thousand Islands, bakery and gluten-free products from the Food Co-Op in Potsdam, and vegan cookies from Vermont.

“We do work hard to increase local sustainable food options at Dana Dining Center and the Northstar Café,” Atkins said. “Now is a great time, with the fall harvest making so much fresh food available. We’re serving apples from local orchards and cider from Massena. We definitely try to take advantage of everything we can here.”

One of St. Lawrence’s dining highlights is “Recipes from Home,” which was first introduced in 1987. The program invites parents to send in their personal recipes, which Dining Services will then serve to its roughly 2,000 daily customers.

 “We take the family recipe, put it out there for the students to try and hope we’ve done it correctly,” Atkins said. “About 10 percent of what we serve are either new or past recipes from home, and we’ll keep them on the menu if students like it.”

In addition to what The Daily Meal recognized, Atkins said it’s often small things that make dining a more pleasant experience for St. Lawrence students.

“For example, we work hard to make sure we’re aware of food allergies and food intolerances students may have,” she said. “We want to make their time here as comfortable as possible.”

According to The Daily Meal, students on the whole are already passionate and knowledgeable about food when they arrive at campus, and are interested in trying new foods and want to know where it's coming from. 

To read the full story, visit www.thedailymeal.com/60-best-colleges-food-america-2013.

To view the slideshow, visit www.thedailymeal.com/60-best-colleges-food-america-2013-slideshow.