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Decoding the CC Senior Dinner’s Menu

Last year

In an email yesterday, Student Affairs sent out an email announcing the Senior Dinner, which is slated for April 30th at 8 pm, and the menu, which is strange. Wondering what a “cranberry gastrique” is, Bwog turned to resident foodie Matt Powell.

The Fish Option:

The fish option may be both the most substantial of the choices offered to the class of 2012 as well as the most well-planned. We begin with a “250 Mile Salad” which makes a return on the vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free option. What is this mysterious salad? Quite honestly, I don’t know. It could be a reference to the 100-mile Diet, a locavore movement where one tries to eat only things sourced from within 100 miles of one’s home. Or 250 miles, if you live in New York. At any rate, it comes with butter lettuce, which will probably be most familiar as a vehicle for Thai Lettuce Wraps. Accompanying the lettuce are locally farmed vegetables (unspecified) and of course, dressing.

Then, we enter the entrée. Salmon and parsnips are familiar enough, but what of this fregola? And what’s a gastrique? Firstly, fregola is nothing to be afraid of. It’s a pasta, typically semolina, hailing from Sardina and resembling couscous. Fingers crossed that it’ll be served warm—cold, fregola tends toward chewy and bland. Gastrique refers to a cooking process in which caramelized sugar is deglazed with vinegar. In this case, cranberries will most likely be combined with sugar and vinegar, then simmered until tender. Think a tangier version of your Thanksgiving favorite, served with a salmon, not turkey. So not Thanksgiving at all.

Finally, we hit an ever-so-inventive dessert. The major surprise for the palette will be the introduction of crème fraiche, a French soured cream that works quite well in desserts, especially to cut a rich, dense chocolate cake.

The Kosher Option:
Apparently Columbia Catering couldn’t come up with any Kosher options in time for the Dinner Menu preview. Note that the entrée and dessert will be “complimentary” (do they mean comparable?) to the fish option courses. However, the first course will be a vegetable/salad and it will not be “complimentary” to the previous first course. At this point, we can only speculate.

Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free Option:
What’s the point of eating for this group? Apparently vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free people are all the same. Or at least they’ll be subjected to the same menu choice. To start, they’ll be able to enjoy that mysterious 250-Mile Salad, experiencing some of the exhilaration of their carnivorous counterparts.

Next, enter the quinoa pasta with wild mushroom ratatouille. At last, an entrée option that I’m truly interested in. No, really. Quinoa is a surprisingly versatile grain, and I’m hopeful for a successful conversion to pasta form.

At last, our herbivorous friends will enjoy a “seasonal fruit display.” Also ambiguous, this can be as bad as a John-Jay-esque fruit buffet or as good as a chocolate fountain. Do vegetarians get a plated dessert? Or are carnivores the only ones worthy of plates? Only time will tell.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Will you be able to bring a non-senior plus one?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous And the water they serve has that “comes from a garden hose” taste, because it did come from a garden hose.

  • ... says:

    @... and for those of you that missed it, there will be bologna sandwiches and kraft singles on hand in the gs lounge this friday for senior lunch. (cash only, no credit cards please) representatives from sallie mae, wells fargo and citibank will also be on hand with a special presentation followed by a q&a session to discuss next steps.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous The Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free Option is the unlimited supply of water from the toilet bowl.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Hey, what do you expect? It’s not like we take the same classes or pay the same amount(!) that CC students-


  • CC'12 vegetarian says:

    @CC'12 vegetarian I’m extremely confused about the grouping of vegans/vegetarians/gluten-free. I’m a vegetarian who loves chocolate – so I better have the option of getting an actual chocolate dessert! (I love fruit too, but it’s not as good as chocolate!) Just because I don’t want meat in my entree doesn’t mean I want a different type of salad or dessert. It’s absolute nonsense that the entire menu is different if you choose the vegetarian option. You should just be able to choose which type of starter/entree/dessert you want separately. Oh, Columbia.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Words alone can’t describe how obnoxious that was.

  • this is says:

    @this is AMAZING

  • alumnus says:

    @alumnus I’m a little skeptical of the caption on that picture. If my recognition of faces is not mistaken, am I to conclude that both Dean Quigley and Dean Colombo– both of whom resigned before last year– were present at last year’s senior dinner?

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous EXIF on the JPG says:
      Date taken: 5/1/2006, 9:09 PM.

  • cc 2011 says:

    @cc 2011 don’t worry, y’all, the food is good. i was super skeptical before the dinner, but impressed.

  • Marty says:

    @Marty this was too well-written to have been actually written by Matt Powell. Seriously, has anyone ever read the culinary society blog???

    1. Matt says:

      @Matt Well, goodness. If you’re going to insult the Culinary Society Blog, at least leave a link:

    2. graduating senior says:

      @graduating senior i didn’t think it was well-written at all…. and sounds like the kind of gushy voice matt speaks (and writes) with all the time. totally him!

  • cc12 says:

    @cc12 why didnt i get the e-mail?

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