GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, today announced that students at two Nashville universities recently got the chance to try a new twist on a southern favorite during special pop-up sampling events held on campus. On April 20, Lipscomb University and Belmont University hosted "You Don't Know Jack" events, which featured classic barbeque dishes infused with a surprising ingredient – jackfruit.
Jackfruit, an exotic fruit native to parts of southern and southeast Asia, is part of the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family. This nutrition-packed superfood is an excellent source of vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamin C. It is one of the largest tree fruits in the world, weighing up to 80 pounds. At the "You Don't Know Jack" events, which were playfully named to call students' attention to a fruit most are unfamiliar with, jackfruit was creatively incorporated into traditional pulled pork barbeque sandwiches to enhance their flavor and nutritional value.
Lisa Feldman, director of culinary services for Sodexo, the campus dining partner for both universities, hand-crafted a tasting menu to test the popularity of the little-known superfood that packs a big nutrient punch.
"We're constantly developing dishes that walk the line between on-trend flavors and nostalgia," explained Feldman. "Plant-forward and blended protein approaches are huge market trends, so we wanted to take a non-familiar product like jackfruit and marry it with a nostalgic product like pulled pork barbecue to honor the best of both worlds. What better way to figure it all out than staging a limited-time pop-up in the heart of the south?"
The pop-up dining events were held during lunch at Belmont University and during dinner at Lipscomb University. At the free events, which were open to all members of the campus community, guests were invited to sample char siu pork and jackfruit barbeque sandwiches with Thai red curry coconut sauce. The sandwiches were accompanied by sweet potato fries with blackberry sriracha ketchup.
The "You Don't Know Jack" events represented a collaborative effort between Sodexo and a variety of suppliers. Sodexo chefs Andreas Ortner at Belmont University and Darry Huntsman at Lipscomb University led the on-site culinary teams.
One major goal of the events was to engage students with a fun experience that showcased culinary innovation and leveraged recent dining trends. Pop-up dining continues to gain popularity for its unique, quirky nature, and it was the perfect way to get students excited to try something new.
As a global leader in providing onsite foodservice and facilities management, Sodexo continuously strives to find new ways to introduce innovative concepts and connect with consumers by leveraging the latest trends in dining and technology. At both events, guests were encouraged to provide immediate, real-time feedback via myDtxt, the company's text-based communication platform. Students' feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with three out of four respondents raving about the flavor and nutritional benefits of the dish.
"I really enjoyed my jackfruit barbeque sandwich," reported one student. "I'd never had the fruit itself before, so that was really tasty to experience for the first time."
"I think jackfruit is a great low-cost way to add fruit and flavor to dishes," remarked another student. "The sandwich is delicious, too!"
Due to the success of the two sampling events, Sodexo is working to introduce the recipe at other partner campuses in the near future.
Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations. Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.
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