University Food Culture


Last week I ordered Italian at the new and growing campus lunch food market. What started with some Chinese dishes from a scooter has evolved into a small food market with multiple Chinese and also an Italian warm meal provider and long queue’s at the clock of twelve. The new market is popular, especially among Chinese students but more generally among foreign students. Apparently, a latent market is being tapped into, or how would the business economics department analyse this case.

But I guess it is also a matter of both institutional choices and food culture. The dominance of the Dutch lunch culture revolving around (home brought) sandwiches and milk lacks a true appreciation for the full warm lunch meal. Although university catering is trying to provide a ‘warm option’ to the large amount of foreign students and employees, somehow it stays an additional service rather than a serious business. The rather expensive warm dishes often with ‘exotic’ recipes somehow lack a cultural code which is present in the simplicity of the affordable lunch meals in the new food market.

3 thoughts on “University Food Culture

  1. Interesting to hear about the emergence of an (unregulated?) market in the forum. I can imagine rows of bakfietsen lining up outside the forum building providing much missed hearty lunches to foreign students. The Dutch do a lot of things well – but lunch isn’t among them.

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