FoCo’s Fall Food Festival

By Caroline Berens | 10/27/14 4:00am

As the napkin dispensers in all of campus’s dining establishments have informed us, this week (Oct. 20 to 25) is Food Week here at Dartmouth. Last Thursday was the culminating event: an “Apple Harvest Dinner” at FoCo.

I have never seen FoCo so crowded or students so happy. After swiping my card I turned the corner and was greeted by throngs of students desperately attempting to try all the free samples at the various stands. Here’s one sample stand:

The stands boasted a wide variety of food, from Greek yogurt to gorgonzola cheese to slices of pepperoni. All products were natural and locally grown, and the people working each stand were closely connected to the food they were distributing. The stand owner with fresh baby tomatoes (pictured below) grew all the tomatoes himself at his farm, and the stand with yogurt packs and cups was managed by the founder of the Yo Yummy yogurt company.

Dartmouth students (well-known for loving free food) gave the free samples rave reviews. They stuffed their mouths and bags, commented on the unusual but delicious flavor of cotton candy yogurt and the differing sharpness of cheeses like food connoisseurs and asked stand owners where they sold their products. My personal favorite free sample was from the Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, pictured below:

Then, of course, there was the actual meal. In my lengthy six weeks at Dartmouth, I have never seen the FoCo lines so long. People stood waiting for nearly five minutes to get dishes such as fried chicken, stuffing and butternut squash, all of which were made with locally grown food. Several freshmen were especially pleased with the selection. Annette Denekas ’18 described the food as “delicious” and Caroline Boreri ’18 said she had never been “so satisfied after a meal at FoCo.” My personal favorites were the apple crisp and apple cider (pictured below); the former went very nicely with some vanilla fro-yo. And the carrot cake was outstanding as well. (It was a multiple-desserts kind of night.)

Overall, the Apple Harvest Dinner was a roaring success. Students, faculty and local families alike all enjoyed the fall-inspired food and everyone seemed to have left feeling (the good kind of) full. The feast was “a great way to find out about local farms and sample their products,” Fiona Bowen ’18 said. She hopes FoCo hosts more events like this in the future. Keep up the good work, FoCo. (Next time just don’t run out of apple crisp.)

Caroline Berens