Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to get our grub on, we listen up.
Who doesn’t want to attend a school that’s best in the country at something? Devotees of the U.S. News report can brag about their classes at Harvard or Princeton. Anyone big into BCS college football rankings will want LSU and Alabama as their alma mater. Not me. I’d want to be at a school that’s got bragging rights in the food world. While I work toward my dream of ranking the country’s best food schools (anyone who wants to help, let me know), I’ll call out a few with highlights ranging from sausage making to chocolate fountains.
Master Meat Crafting: University of Wisconsin at Madison
Last year, UW launched a meat science program. When you’re done with the two-year program, you earn the title Master Meat Crafter. It’s a funny name (it suggests that you become the beef equivalent of an ice sculptor) but a cool program: Students learn all about sausage making and bacon curing, both in the classroom and with hands-on meat processing work. Among the benefits: after a two-day meat curing lesson, you sit down to eat what you learned.
Vegan Heaven: UCLA
I didn’t arbitrarily assign this award. Last year, UCLA won PETA2's Most Vegan-Friendly College Contest, PETA2 being the student branch of PETA. At UCLA, food-service workers regularly met with the student-run Bruins for Animals. The school offers dozens of vegan options, including veggie chicken fingers and vegan chili cheese dogs; for dessert, there are vegan cappuccino cookies. If you hate that UCLA has this honor and another school doesn’t, the bracket for Most Vegan-Friendly College for 2011 is live right now; as of this writing, UConn and University of Colorado at Boulder both made it to the second round.
Sustainable Superstars: Pomona College, Claremont California
If you didn’t know I was talking about a school dining program, you might think I was describing a high-end New York restaurant. Since the fall semester began, the school has sourced about 65 percent of its seafood from fisheries that don’t practice overfishing. All the coffee and tea is fair trade organic, all eggs are sourced from cage-free chickens and most of the meat served is humanely raised. I wonder if they have a good wine list to go with that.
Best Tailgaters: University of Mississippi at Oxford
This school has a motto that I admire: "Ole Miss may not win the game, but we will always win the party." By all accounts, the Grove - the 10 acres of Ole Miss where fans set up magnificent tents, with well set tables and multiple direct TV screens inside - is tailgating master class, as long as you’re not looking for a whole hog roasting on a spit next to a keg. There are no RV’s, no grills and technically, no beer; much of the food is catered, and most of the drinking is hard alcohol, which is absolutely fine with the local authorities.
Chocolate Champions: Boston College
If I’d been aware of this program as a senior in high school, I know where I would have applied early decision. BC operates The Chocolate Bar, which serves just about every chocolate pastry imaginable: chocolate cinnamon rolls, chocolate croissants, chocolate chip muffins, chocolate sundaes and multiple kinds of chocolate cake. What takes them beyond is the make-your-own-fondue chocolate fountain, which I thought was basically illegal after your super sweet 16.
More from Food & Wine:
America’s Haunted Restaurants and Hotels
Ultimate Chocolate Desserts
Best Pizza Places in the U.S.
Best Burgers in the U.S.
© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
Best tailgating *is* at LSU ... any foodie knows that! Although the chocolate bar sounds divine, LSU also has a fantastic dairyscience program that offers super-delicious ice cream to tailgaters suffering from the heat.
...yeah, if you like the smell of corndogs. Hotty Toddy
My sister goes to one of the Claremont colleges. She said:
"Thats awkward because Pitzer students lead a workers rights movement against Pomona for treating their workers unfairly and because they are sourced by Sysco, one of the least environmentally conscious food distributors...
Bon Appetit sources the Pitzer dining hall, waaayyy better quality and organic."
As a proud Bruin, I was just wondering – could we trade with the University of Wisconsin?
Meh, Everybody knows University of Texas IS the Tailgating Capitol.
Ole Miss? Really? I guess you didn't make s stop into Baton Rouge because LSU tailgates are like no other.
The corndog smell fouls the air....Hotty Toddy
Huge snuff for Tulane in New Orleans. Doens't get much better than that
Love the vegan-friendly colleges! Vegan food is on the rise!
Pretty cool. Not everyone is into horse shoes, hand grenades and football.
If they are Ole Miss, they definitely do not win the game. The best tailgating is at LSU!
smell something? oh yeah, it's a corndog. Hotty Toddy
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