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Olivia Lutwak / Sun Dining Editor

August 30, 2017

The Demise of the Trillium Salad

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Earlier this week, The Sun published an opinion piece in which a columnist proclaimed he was leaving the Republican Party. Though not of an equal political magnitude, the article I present before you is likewise grounded in moral and conscientious objection.

I am leaving the Trillium Salad Party.

For those of you who know me, this may come as a huge shock, and I apologize if I’ve let anyone down. I’ve stood staunchly behind Trillium salads through thick and thin, serving as an outspoken supporter of their superiority over the lackluster salads produced at Terrace, Mac’s and other subprime campus locations.

My loyalty wavered, and quickly came crashing down, upon returning to campus this semester. Gone were the Trillium salads I was familiar with: no longer were there large plastic bowls, friendly servers behind the counter piling your salad to the brim with all the toppings you desired and the mixing bowl at the end designed to disperse the flavors evenly. Instead, I was faced with cardboard boxes, fewer toppings that you had to put into the box yourself, pricing done by weight and a sign reading, “We heard you Cornell! You asked, and we’ve made our top-rated on-campus salad station self-serve!” Who asked for this?? Certainly not me.

Olivia Lutwak / Sun Dining Editor

Olivia Lutwak / Sun Dining Editor

I stayed away from the salads for the first week of classes, requiring time to process the immense life change I was facing. Finally, my taste buds and waistline tired of the Trillium burritos I had turned to instead, I faced my fears and ventured into the world of self-serve salads.

I am not an expert in making salads; I have not been specially trained in the proper topping ratio. Putting the correct amount of spinach in the cardboard box was a daunting task, and one I failed at miserably. My spinach:topping ratio ended up being about 1:1, which, evidently, is not correct.

There are now fewer topping options at the salad station. Rather than having two rows of topping bowls in the first half of the station, there’s only one, cutting the vegetable and fruit choices in half. I’m sure this was to reduce potential contamination of a careless student trying to maneuver the tongs from one bowl over another, but this is an issue that would never arise had Trillium not switched to self-serve in the first place.

Terrified by the lack of a fixed price, I was careful not to take too much. I didn’t want to end up paying 15 dollars by accidentally piling my salad too high, and I have no sense of how much a pound of salad is. Instead of the normally packed salad bowl that would last me for lunch and dinner, I was left with the saddest of portions, which ended up being less than half a pound and which barely classified as a meal.

Luckily, the vast amount of empty space in my cardboard box allowed me room to shake it up in an attempt to replicate the effect a mixing bowl and tongs had previously. Even with this empty space, which would not exist anyway in a properly made salad, I was left with all my carrots clumped to one side and all my tofu clumped to another.

The result of this dramatic change in service was a salad the likes of which I had never had the misfortune of consuming. It forced me to look back and analyze what truly made Trillium salads special: the abundance of options, the care of topping portioning and the brilliant mixing at the end. It’s an effect that cannot be replicated by those of us not familiar with the details of a great salad, and it is especially improbable to reproduce when we are not given the proper tools with which to do so.

Trillium, this is a plea. This is a cry for help. I cannot go back to your self-service line knowing that all that awaits me in the end is a depressing clump of salad components, but no real salad. My heart is heavy with the thought that the class of 2021 may never know the beauty that is a real Trillium salad.

Until the day that Trillium returns to its origins and embraces the ingenious salads it has the capacity to make despite the slightly longer lines the care of salad production requires, I must recuse myself from being a Trillium salad supporter.