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Easy ways to increase flavor in your food

Whether you’re a freshman on an unlimited meal plan or an off-campus upperclassman, you’ve’ve probably had your fair share of bland or unsatisfying meals. Here are four tips that will quickly ramp up the flavor of your meals, without requiring too much extra time or money on your part.

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Quick gluten-free, vegan granola bars

Always late to class and wanting a breakfast you can shove in your bag on your way out? Suspicious of “soy protein isolate” and other difficult-to-identify ingredients in packaged granola bars? I like Luna, KIND, and Chewy bars as much as the next person, but homemade granola bars require little work and are about as affordable as store-bought bars.

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Pepe Bocca: a warm taste of Italy in Davis Square

I haven’t been to either of Tufts’s dining halls since the semester began, and with Pepe Bocca in Davis Square, there’s even more reason not to. A different owner has taken over what used to be Sessa’s Cold Cuts after its 35 years run and turned it into Pepe Bocca, a self-proclaimed ‘Purveyor of Fine Italian Foods’. What that name doesn’t let on is the warm feeling of la famiglia hugging you once you’re within the walls of 414 Highland Avenue. Pepe Bocca is more than a deli and more than an Italian gourmet store. It is a living room where Giovanni and his friends welcome you with fragrant smells of home-cooked food and home-baked breads. It is a community space where erstwhile strangers can enjoy samples of zucchini squash basil ricotta focaccia, or flip through Italian cookbooks lying in wait on a homey wooden table.

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Bagelsaurus has enjoyed a cult following long before it came to Porter Square this past October. Native New-Yorkers and foodies in need of a good, authentic bagel have relied on Mary Ting Hyatt’s bagels since 2013 when she started to sell them on a weekly basis at Cutty’s sandwich shop in Brookline.

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The (not so common anymore) Commons

One of the biggest gripes that Tufts students had during this year’s fall semester was the closure of the widely used and very well respected Commons, located on the lowest level of the Campus Center in the very heart of campus. The unique features of this place were the central location and the fairly well-priced food for the quality offered to the students. Of course, that gripe was quickly gone by the time the new, revamped café was opened this past January just in time for the new semester’s start. I took a venture through what the new Commons offers and created a short review on what one can find on a day-to-day basis in the new (and definitely improved) kitchen. Read more

A tasty, satisfying oasis in Medford

I gained so much after living in Brazil for a year: new friends, fresh perspectives, and about five unwelcome pounds. While adding on five pounds wasn’t exactly planned, it was sure fun doing it over the traditional, hearty lunch of meat, rice, and French fries washed down with the national soda, Guarana. Luckily (or maybe unluckily) for me, Boston is home to the largest Brazilian community in the United States and consequently boasts a wonderful variety of padarias and churrascos. Located on Main Street in Medford, Oasis Brazilian Steakhouse is approved by both Brazilians and Bostonians alike and also happens to be a Tufts favorite. Go when you’re hungry – like, really hungry.

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The Navajo Taco: A New Mexican Staple

After the first week at Tufts, I was fairly impressed by the diverse foods offered in the dining halls as well as the Boston area. From sushi at Hodgdon to the brand-new kosher deli at the campus center, it seemed as if almost everything was available for consumption. Whether or not the food represents various cultures authentically is different matter, but some justification can be made for effort. As with diversity in general, not every group has the opportunity to bring their food to the table. Although I can’t speak for all the groups whose food is not represented at Tufts or in the Boston area, I would like to make an attempt to introduce the Tufts community to one dish from a culture that is virtuality nonexistent in this region of the country: the Navajo taco. “Taco” may ring a bell, but I can assure you it’s far from what you’re thinking.
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