RINDGE — A culinary challenge in the Franklin Pierce University dining hall had undergraduates sampling locally produced fare with an international twist Wednesday afternoon.
The Glocalvore culinary showcase challenged professional and up-and-coming chefs from the international food service company Sodexo to create authentic global recipes utilizing as many fresh local New England ingredients as possible.
Colby-Sawyer College of New London tackled North African cuisine serving up a Tunisian recipe for lamb kabobs. The lamb was raised on a farm in Southern Vermont. The vegetables used in the dish were grown at Colby-Sawyer.
Daniel Webster College of Nashua served Mexico cuisine, Franklin Pierce University served Spanish fare. Keene State College served Italian, Plymouth State University served Southern French cuisine, Rivier University in Nashua served Greek fare and Southern New Hampshire University of Manchester served dishes from Thailand.
Sodexo supports locally grown food for numerous reasons, said Sodexo District Executive Chef Rob Macfarland.
“I’m trying to lessen our carbon footprint,” he said, adding, “from a culinary standpoint, local food just tastes good.”
But serving entirely locally grown and raised food year round is challenging and expensive. The fall though, with the harvest, is the perfect time to challenge the Sodexo chefs to create entirely locally sourced meals. The added challenge this fall was that the food had to be based on international cuisines, he said.
The food service company has been holding the challenges for the past two years, in the spring and fall, with varying themes.
The challenges push the chefs to be creative and get away from typical cafeteria fare like macaroni and cheese and meatloaf.
Franklin Pierce University junior Cara Riccio said she wished the dining hall was less crowded, but was enjoying the food.
Freshmen Crystal Colon and Tori Averill loved it, taking small helpings of several dishes.
It’s a nice change from cheeseburgers and pizza, and it’s fun, they said.