The Soul Food Experience

The Soul Food Experience

After the first few weeks of starting school, I, like many others, became very used to the food the UNH dining halls offered. I enjoy eating halved grape fruits and a kiwi during breakfast, I’ll eat something for lunch like steamed carrots and a sandwich, and for dinner I’ll start with salad station and finish with a quesadilla or maybe a chicken sandwich. Don’t get me wrong, the dining halls have an incredible amount of food and they always have a very wide variety. However, UNH knows they can’t fulfill everyone’s food request for every meal of the day. Therefore, UNH has special dining events where the whole meal, typically dinner, is themed.

Thanksgiving, for example, had every type of food available in the dining hall on Thanksgiving day; it’s almost as if you were at home! There’s also celebrations such as a Chinese New Year dinner where the food is geared towards typical food served for the cultural celebration. Though the dining halls will have special nights during the week where they have a section that’s themed, such as ‘sushi night’ or ‘Mediterranean night,’ it’s nice to know UNH will go out of their way to make sure everyone has a chance to enjoy some of their favorite food and food celebrations.

The Soul Food ExperienceJust this past week, Holloway Commons hosted a ‘Light Soul Food’ dinner; offering dishes that all had a southern twist. The dining hall was bustling as people flooded in to scoop up ‘Cajun Pecan Crusted Catfish’, ‘Tomato Corn Pie,’ and ‘Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya.’ The dining hall was decorated with famous African- American figures such as Pearl Bailey; each person was on their own board with quotes and a small biography of their lives and impact on society. There were colorful balloons and special name tags for each type of food specially made for the occasion.

For me, being that I was born and raised in New England, as were my parents, I’ve never been big on soul-food. This type of food just wasn’t common for me growing up in the backwoods of southern New Hampshire. Okra, shrimp and grits, or even sweet potato pie were never available. So for those who have enjoyed this food all their life, or those who enjoy it on occasion, this is the event to go to because the food was incredible! That being said, I encourage everyone who has yet try soul food, take the opportunity while you can and expand your horizons a little bit. You’ve got nothing to lose and the food is simply delicious.