Foco Superfoods

By Lucy Tantum | 2/9/16 8:00am

Foco has and always will be a Dartmouth dining enigma. Every time I walk out of Foco, I somehow leave more confused than I was walking in: Why is the froyo machine still broken? What exactly is in the vegan pizza? But the strangest of Foco offerings—the Foco “superfoods”—go largely unnoticed by most meal-swiping students (Hey, 19s!). Most believe that these superfoods, located right above the salad dressings, have amazing nutritional benefits. But how do they taste? This week, Dartbeat took to the test to find out:

Nutritional Yeast


This yellowish powder, which is different from the yeast used to leaven bread, has a pungent smell and flavor, and can be used as a substitute for cheese. I was not a fan, but it may well be an acquired taste. This yeast is said to be rich in many necessary nutrients, especially B vitamins and amino acids. B vitamins are essential for brain function and healthy hair—you can decide which of the two is more important!

Dulse Flakes


dulse_flakes

Dulse is a type of seaweed, and it has a strong briny taste. It is a good source of vitamins, minerals and protein, and some people even call it the “kale of the sea.” I think it would do best as a soup or salad garnish. And interestingly enough, researchers have found a way to make dulse taste like bacon. Vegans, rejoice!

Liquid Aminos


This superfood confused me a bit, mainly because it looked and tasted almost exactly like soy sauce. Liquid aminos, said to be the building blocks of protein, seemed to me like a bit of a marketing ploy (and further online research revealed that the health benefits of liquid aminos are somewhat exaggerated). But if you’re looking for a trendy, ~new wave~ alternative to soy sauce, I suggest you give liquid aminos a try.

Hemp Seeds
hemp seeds


No, hemp seeds will not get you high. But apparently they’ll give you a happy dose of healthy fatty acids and protein. One website described hemp seeds as “a gift of nature” and “the most nutritious seed in the world.” Hemp seeds have a very earthy flavor, and I think they would make a good complement to any salad.

Chia Seeds


chia seeds

My favorite of the superfoods, chia seeds are a good source of vitamins and fiber. They are also so fun to eat! When the seeds come into contact with the moisture in your mouth, a gel-like coating forms around them and creates a fairly interesting texture. They are a good addition to yogurt, and can elevate any subpar dining hall food to an exotic-sounding spa meal.


Lucy Tantum