The KOVE: Certifiably delicious (Kosher-Vegan Food)
With entrees such as falafel chicken, citrus London broil, soy burgers and lentil and brown rice casserole, Dickinson's new kosher-vegan food station offers mouth-watering mealtime alternatives that extend far beyond stereotypical kosher fare.
“When you walk down Giant’s kosher aisle, what do you see? A couple of jars of gefilte fish, matzo soup and egg noodles. But there’s so much more to the kosher diet,” observed kosher-food expert Louise Powers. “Anyone can eat kosher food, and we want to be sure it is tasty enough so anyone may want to. Food can be kosher and delicious.”
Powers and colleague Ricki Gold are kosher-food inspectors, or mashgiachs, from Star K, a nationally recognized kosher-certifying agency based in Baltimore. They direct the new kosher kitchen at Dickinson, ensuring that all kosher and vegan food served at the new food bar meets their rigorous standards.
Dubbed the KOVE—a clever blend of “kosher” and “vegan”—the food bar offers one vegan entree and one kosher dairy, meat or fish entree at lunch and dinner. Thursday nights feature international kosher and vegan cuisine, and students enjoy comfort-food offerings on Sundays. Kosher entrees will also be available at college events, such as the upcoming barbecue. “The food also meets halal requirements, because we follow such strict guidelines,” said Gold.
All of the food is prepared under Powers' and Gold's watchful eyes. The two inspectors begin with certified-kosher ingredients, including meat, chicken and other ingredients from a Baltimore-based company, as well as from Harrisburg’s Feesers Foodservice Distributor. When possible, they use produce from the Dickinson College Farm and other local outlets.
“We have to check all leafy vegetables—lettuce, spinach, broccoli—for insects, using a light box and magnifying glass. We also check eggs for blood spots. These are things that most people are not aware of, but we need to be very careful,” said Gold.
To ensure that all meat and dairy food is kept separate, the mashgiachs also supervise the chef in Dickinson's new kosher kitchen.
That kitchen appears to have been decorated by a harlequin jester: One half of the room, where meat is prepared, is painted red; the other, where dairy dishes are created, is blue. Each side features a complete set of major and minor appliances, dishes, utensils, cookware and bakeware—all color-coded, to avoid confusion when it's time to put the dishes and utensils away.
Powers notes that their hard work is more than worth it—and not just to those who keep kosher for religious reasons. “Many students who don’t keep kosher often enjoy the food, either because they perceive it to be more healthy, or because they just like the taste,” said Powers, explaining that the KOVE will feature college standbys, such as kosher hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza, as well as healthier options, such as salads and salmon brushed with a Jack Daniels sauce. “We’re hoping everyone will give it a try.”
To read the entire article on the new food stations and seating arrangements at the dining hall, please follow the link below:
Read the article “Radical Dining”