Carbs, meat, Granny Smith apples, and ice cream: a perfectly balanced Yale diet. What’s that? I won’t get my requisite vitamins and will die by age 50? I suppose it’s time to pick up the oft-neglected ladle in my dining hall’s pot of stewed greens. But how to do this without some aptly-timed Herald article ranking Yale’s vegetables? Well… I have a coincidence for you!
9. “Seasoned” Bok Choy: 1/10
A spinach-like vegetable has an abysmal potential index, so we must grade accordingly. On the other hand, bok choy has god-like possibilities. When cooked and seasoned correctly, it’s absolutely scrumptious. Yale bok choy is not. Imagine washing clothes with garlic detergent, and then leaving them in the washing machine for a week. Now eat it.
8. Sautéed Spinach: 2/10
Even with the curve I’m offering spinach because of its severe lack of potential, Yale Dining’s interpretation of it was like in the hole from the start. This spinach was cooked well, which bumped it up from a -2, but extremely underseasoned.
7. Broccoli: 3/10
A sad day for broccoli—the indisputable king of vegetables has been disputed. This broccoli appeared nicely toasted, but don’t be fooled! Under the crispy facade awaits a mushy mess of green tendons, a disappointment intensified by its icy temperature. Don’t try it unless your taste buds have been singed off in a tragic childhood accident.
6. Brussels Sprouts: 5/10
In my experience, there are two kinds of Brussels sprouts: the yummy, oven-baked, crispy Thanksgiving side dish, and the ones that taste like bitter battery acid. Yale Brussels sprouts are neither—they’re undercooked, and retain that classic remnant of battery acid, but become redeemable with a flick of salt and pepper. These sprouts are something you’ll put on your plate and eat, but they’re not something Belgium will be parading proudly.
5. Green Beans: 6/10
Green beans are all about optics. They’re the vegetable you go for when you want to convince people you don’t only eat beige foods—the perfect garnish. They taste fine, and the juiciness can be your daily two ounces of hydration. A win for the pancreatic system!
4. Roasted Carrots: 7/10
Here enters the carrot, stage left, eliciting moderate applause. We’ve all had these carrots—the ones Mom would make you choke down before you could have a piece of Halloween candy. They’re roasted, occasionally glazed, nicely textured, and always consistent.
3. Potatoes: 9/10
A crowd favorite! A staple! Yale Dining takes inspiration from Ireland pre-Great Famine by serving potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sub-ranking in ascending deliciousness: breakfast, baked, wedges, fried, taters, mashed.
2. Corn: 9/10
Let me specify that this high ranking only includes the cob and Elote varieties. Yale Dining’s Mexican street corn with simple salt and butter shines despite its humble background. What else is there to say about corn? You’ve seen the TikTok….
1. Broccoli Pizza: 10/10
What? This isn’t a vegetable? I disagree. Pizza is so ubiquitous at Yale (this is New Haven) that you can garnish it with anything and it automatically morphs into that ingredient category. This wood-fired vegetable slice is phenomenal but elusive. Catch it if you can.