Why I Love Caltech's Cafeteria

Why I Love Caltech's Cafeteria

Freshman year of Caltech is over, and—besides friends, clubs, and maybe classes— there’s one thing I’ll really miss this summer.

Every weekday morning this school year, I awoke to the promise of the cool, tangy juice of plump red raspberries bursting in my mouth. Their sweet morning greeting motivated me to slide off my bunkbed, slip on sandals, descend a flight of stairs, and cross the courtyard into the cafeteria within minutes of my 7 AM alarm. Raspberries were my favorite fruit when I arrived at Caltech in the fall. Now, a hundred and fifty raspberry-replete breakfasts later, that hasn’t changed.

Raspberries are good in yogurt, on toast, and on their own, but most often, I ate them in oatmeal, where their sweetness, sourness, and subtle flavor beam from the mellow bowl.

Fruit is one thing CDS (Caltech Dining Services) really does right. Every day, the kitchen is stocked with a colorful assortment. Trays brim with raspberries, strawberries, and sometimes even blueberries. Apples—usually the sweet and tangy Fuji, but occasionally the crisp, lightly floral-flavored Pink Lady—are piled in a wire basket. Citrus is next, including navel oranges and clementines or tangelos, depending on the season. Bunches of bananas and bowls of dried apricots, cranberries, and raisins round off the ensemble.

Why does the cafeteria provide such an extraordinary array of fruit? Is this just a California thing? I don’t know, but I love it.