On a frigid, rainy winter day, Jeff and I took the train to New Brunswick with a simple goal in mind: fat sandwiches. We trekked through the snow (a great accomplishment for us Californians) in search of the Rutgers grease trucks. Our first stop, a boba milk tea shop, left us holding cold beverages that chilled our hands to the point of frostbite. Nevertheless, we pushed on, motivated by visions of fried chicken, cheese, and steak melting together in the greasy monstrosity that is the fat sandwich.

In the end, Jeff and I spent 3 hours on our trip eating and waiting for the train. Recognizing how much we sacrificed for a couple of sandwiches, we decided that it was time to discover others’ experiences with the culinary world. While Princeton may not have the big city or the abundant student kitchens of other schools, a passion for good food and drink still pervades our campus. Food is central to Princeton’s culture. Platters posted on the free food listserv disappear within minutes, eating clubs dominate student social life, and students form long lines for ice cream and pizza giveaways.

In addition to savoring meals, many students go one step further and participate in culinary and environmental organizations. The Institute for Chocolate Studies transforms beans into bars, the Bee Team tends bountiful hives, the Garden Project treks to Alexander Street in order to grow organic produce, and greening groups reduce waste and promote local sourcing of ingredients. Furthermore, Dining Services works closely with students to plan events and carefully listens to any suggestions. Chefs and meal-swipers become campus celebrities due to their kindness and colorful personalities.

Considering the incredible diversity and talent of the Princeton community, we founded the Princeton chapter of Spoon University in the hopes of unearthing a wealth of stories, tips, and recipes that support exploring the world through food. We hope that Spoon broadens students’ perspectives and encourages them to think creatively about the food on their plates.