For the past couple of years, McGill University has been trying their hand at breaking various food-related Guinness World Records. During Frosh week, McGill Food and Dining Services pulls out all the stops and tries to impress students by creating literal record-breaking dishes right in front of their eyes.
In 2012, the goal was to create the world’s largest fruit salad. Last year, the school made the world’s largest Fair Trade brownie. Their plan for this year is right on trend with the food-world’s health kick: the world’s largest smoothie. McGill’s dining services are already quite remarkable, offering local and fair trade food year-round to students, but these over-sized dishes will leave new students with a fresh point of view about McGill’s on-campus food services.
In August 2012, McGill broke the world record for the world’s largest fruit salad. Weighing 11,197 pounds (or 5078.88 kg), the fruit salad was quite a feat. The salad contained thousands of pounds of watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, orange, grapefruit, grapes and Quebec apples, berries and strawberries (90% of which were grown at McGill’s MacDonald campus).
During the event, approximately 2,000 students were served, with the leftover salad being distributed to local missions. The fruits used generated 7,000 pounds of waste, all of which was composted by the city of Montreal. The fruit salad not only made it to the Guinness Book of World records, but demonstrated McGill’s dedication to using local produce and not letting the food and compost go to waste.
A year later, McGill hosted their Tomato Fiesta, a five-course meal that incorporated tomatoes in each dish. 500 liters of salsa, 500 pounds of gazpacho, 2,500 pounds of Greek salad, and pasta and pizza with tomato sauce were served at the event. The tomatoes used for the meal were grown at the MacDonald campus, once again proving McGill’s commitment to using locally grown foods.
Last year, in August 2014, the university once again took to the record books by baking and assembling the world’s largest Fair Trade brownie. Luckily for me, I was able to experience what was a gigantic (we’re talking 4,400 pounds) chocolate brownie that spanned tables.
The humongous brownie was made with 420 pounds of dark chocolate, 360 pounds of cocoa powder, and 1,440 pounds of sugar, all of which were Fair Trade. The brownie also incorporated local ingredients like Quebec-milled flour and eggs from the MacDonald campus. You might think that a brownie this large may compromise on taste, but it was actually rich and chocolatey, just as you would expect, except a couple thousand times larger.
This year, on September 1st, the university is going to try to break the record for the world’s largest smoothie. The current record is 2,300 liters, but McGill is prepared to make that record history. They plan on using local Quebec strawberries and blueberries, and Fair Trade bananas, and more ingredients to make the tasty and rather large smoothie.
McGill students wishing to take part in the smoothie viewing and tasting can check it out at the Parents Tent during Discover McGill Day at 4pm. For more on the event, you can check out McGill Food and Dining services page here (there may or may not be plenty of free samples involved). If you do go to check out the smoothie, post your pictures to instagram with the #spoonsmoothie. The coolest pics will be featured on our page (@spoonuniversity_mcgill).