We all knew US Universities’ Chinese offerings were dreadful, but the selection at Boston University is apparently so lacking it’s driving Chinese students off campus. To combat this, the university has tried catering its residential dining menus more to Chinese tastes. BU Today reports:
While 75 percent of American and non-Chinese international students return to campus housing their sophomore year, fewer than half of Chinese students do, according to Marc Robillard, executive director of housing and dining.
A survey of roughly 100 Chinese students, most of them undergraduates, uncovered one clue: “We saw that dining is an extremely important item,” Robillard says. “It’s a menu issue, certainly, but it’s also a preparation issue. We can think something is authentic, but it can be way off. It has to be prepared the right way.”
“Western Asian food focuses on meat, with vegetables and/or rice as side dishes,” explains Bee. “Authentic Asian preparation focuses on vegetables, rice, and noodles, with meats and seafood as a protein source and flavoring,” layered in a dish together rather than on the side. Also, while American Asian food is mainly fried, “traditional methods, such as stewing, braising, baking, steaming, and boiling are our current direction at BU,” says Bee.
A valid point (aside from them lumping all Asian cuisines together) however, the 15 new Asian dishes on their menu seem just as bastardized as the aforementioned American-Asian food with offerings like “Chicken and Shrimp with Pak Choy Lo Mein.” Though we assume it’s a step up from what they offered before. (At my university, “Asian” entailed slathering the previous night’s Sloppy Joes with Teriyaki Sauce.)
And BU does get points for reportedly installing warm water dispensers (on top of those already available for tea), because as Robillard correctly observes: “Chinese students don’t drink cold water. They drink warm water. They believe warm water is healthy.” Atta boy.
Now if they could only throw in some century eggs, stinky tofu, and chicken feet.