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Food that Warms Your Hands
Wee Hwang Jaeyeon  |  smt_wjy@sm.ac.kr
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승인 2016.12.11  00:03:15
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The TV program <Delicious Guys> introduces viewers to delicious food as cast members visit Sejong University and Kyunghee University to eat cafeteria food. They order bibimbap, sausage stew, and so on made from special recipes.  They are quite surprised that people could eat so healthily so cheaply.  SMT reporter decided to try various food offered at those several universities and compare them with the same meals offered at Sookmyung Women’s University, so she went to Kyunghee University, the University of Seoul, and Dongguk University.

 

Popularity of School Meals

Nowadays, each university has its own representative food like jjagyechi at Kyunghee University, chicken noodle soup at Sookmyung Women’s University, and salt glazed rice at Sejong University.  Many of these university meals have become popular for their taste, serving amount, and reasonable pricings.  It’s a trend now to search for those popular meals on different university campuses online and head there to try them.  There are a number of blogs and cafés that review university meals and discuss the special recipes used by the cooks at those schools.  Consequently, even people who are not students of the university head to the campus to order the meal reviewed online.  However, some people have discovered, after their journey there, that while most universities allow outsiders to eat from the canteen, some school bar non-students from ordering meals. For example, at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, only students who can present student ID cards are permitted to order a school meal.  Before heading to university canteen, be sure to research whether you can eat on the campus or whether you need to present a student ID card that proves you are a student at that school.  
SMT reporter decided to visit Kyunghee University, the University of Seoul, and Dongguk University because they are well-known for serving delicious school meals and they are all in the vicinity of the reporter’s home.  The reporter went to Kyunghee University on November 3th, the University of Seoul on the 4th, and Dongguk University on the 4th as well.  

 

   
 

 

Unique Meals

All three visited universities had the typical cafeteria items: Ramen, Gimbap, and Tteokbokki.  The cafeteria at Kyunghee is located in the basement on level 2 of the Cheongwoon Building.  However, at Kyunghee University, the reporter ordered a meal she’d never seen offered at Sookmyung Women’s University, Gochujang Stew with Zucchini.  The meal was served with side dish items of stirfried anchovies, braised tofu, and kimchi.  Typically, the school’s cafeteria opens three distinct food court stands, but this day there was little to choose from due to the time of the reporter’s arrival.  She had missed the lunch hours, so the meal was served a bit cold.  Still, the price was only 2800 won, and the room was so wide that there was plenty of room to sit and enjoy the meal comfortably.  It would have been easy to set up a group meeting there to do assignments with classmates.  
Second, the reporter ordered rice topped with stir-fried spicy chicken, dakgalbi deopbap in Korean, at the University of Seoul.  At this university, the cafeteria is located on the ground-floor of the Student Hall.  Again, the price for the meal was only 2,800 won. Despite not being a fan of deopbap due to its oily nature, the meal she ordered was surprisingly tasty, a bit spicy and not too oily.  She found that at the University of Seoul, the school has a canteen that caters only to western dishes.  It’s called Annekan.  Upon her next visit, the reporter plans to order a meal from Annekan.  
Third, the reporter opted for Bulgogi hot pot or bulgogi jeongol in Korean at Dongguk University.  The cafeteria at this school is located in the school’s Sanglokwon building. The price for the meal here was a bit more pricy that at the other two schools, 3,300 won.  However, DongA news ranked Dongguk University meals at the top among Korean private universities, so despite the higher cost of the meal, the reporter expected the meals to be very delicious.  Not to be disappointed, the meal was well seasoned and the serving portion was plentiful.  Especially, the reporter noticed that there were a lot of non-Dongguk university students eating at Dongguk University’s canteen.  
Each of the three universities offered meals as cheap and bountiful as those offered at Sookmyung Women’s University.  For university students, cafeteria meals are substitutes for home cooked food.  Especially, cafeteria workers at those schools are exceptionally kind, so students easily feel their warm hearts as they eat their meal.  University meals have risen in popularity due to their inexpensive cost.  

 

   
 

 

Warming the Souls of Students 

Before traveling to these three universities, the reporter thought Sookmyung Women’s University offered reasonably priced and delicious meals, so she always ordered from the school cafeteria and rarely went off campus to eat.  Also, ‘Everytime’, an online community at Sookmyung Women’s University that discusses school meals claims students are satisfied with the meals on campus.  However, this reporter found cafeteria meals at other campuses to be not only cheaper than but as delicious as those at Sookmyung Women’s University.  The eating at campus canteens is growing in popularity as people start to learn about them and what makes them special.  The reporter realized that a warm meal can warm a student’s heart.  In other words, students who cannot eat home cooked meals can receive that same love from being served a delicious, reasonably priced meal from a kind server in the cafeteria, which can be enjoyed with friends as they talk about university life.  

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