The first Shanghai college students" food festival is held in Fudan University on Nov 11, 2017. [Photos by Lu Jiahui for chinadaily.com.cn]
The inaugural Shanghai college students" food festival was held on Nov 11 at the Jiangwan campus of Fudan University, and it featured 45 canteen delicacies from 15 colleges and universities.
Sponsored by Shanghai"s education authorities, the event aims to promote campus food culture and encourage students to dine more in their college canteens. About 800 college students and 200 graduates attended the event.
Shanghai has about 400 college canteens that provide meals for nearly 1 million students. Such is the scale of this industry that college canteen food used to be called the "ninth-largest cuisine" in the nation along other widely known cuisines such as Sichuan Cuisine, Guangdong Cuisine and Zhejiang Cuisine.
However, college canteens have been losing their allure due to a lack of creativity in coming up with new offerings. In addition, the popularity and convenience of food delivery today has worked against the industry.
Xu Yifan, who works for the Tongji Architectural Design Group at Tongji University, said that the biggest advantage of canteen food these days is the price. He spends an average of just 10 yuan ($1.5) per meal at the canteen.
Because of the low cost, even residents living near the university would dine at the canteen.
"However, because people have no fixed dining hours, it is hard to ensure that the dishes are always hot. And apart from special daily dishes, the canteen offers little variety. Because of this, I would sometimes rather order food online," he added.