The new sticky rice introduced to the dining units at the University of Connecticut in October has proven to be a popular choice for students.
Since Oct. 20, dining services has gone through 5,060 pounds of raw rice which equates to 60,000 cooked portions, according to statistics provided by Dining Services.
“It’s been a great addition to our dining facilities,” Dining Services Culinary Manager Robert Landolphi said.
Students can now find sticky rice in specified rice cookers in every dining hall. The change came after several Asian students reported to Dining Services that the rice in the dining halls was ill-prepared and low-quality.
“Rice is a staple food for Asians, a vast majority of the meal is rice. I was looking forward to eating rice, but it was terrible,” Ruichen Zhao, an exchange student from Japan in the UConn American English Language Institute majoring in economics, said.
Zhao spearheaded the effort to improve the rice in the dining halls for his Program Based Learning class.
After holding a tasting with Zhao and several other students, Dining Services incorporated several kinds of more authentic rice into the daily menus for every meal in all of the dining halls on campus.
“They picked what they liked, we put the recipes,” Landolphi said. “We changed them in all our menus and we’re off, it was that simple.”
Students have expressed their gratitude for the change to Dining Services.
“Thank you for asking our input, and responding to our request,” Landolphi reported one student saying, “We appreciate your gift of the dishes of rice.”