I’m writing this letter from Stanford’s study abroad program in Florence, which is to say: for the past several weeks, I have had gelato nearly every day. Food, I suppose, has been top of mind for reasons beyond the theme of this magazine.
After all, meals are sacred in Italy. You won’t find open laptops at the dinner table, or hear “Let’s grab lunch soon!” tossed around as an empty send-off. I have yet to see an Italian eating on public transport; the person who simultaneously walks and gnaws away at a panino, I’ve realized, is probably a tourist. Here, mealtime is not an occasion suited to multitasking — it’s something to be cherished and experienced in its own right.
But perhaps I’m romanticizing, exaggerating these cultural differences a bit. For there is a culture of gratitude and appreciation at Stanford vis-à-vis food, as evidenced by the stories in this issue. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, as Serena Lee ’25 reports, you can visit the lively farmers’ market at White Plaza. On Saturday mornings, you can follow in the footsteps of Ananya Navale ’25 and work in the Lane B community garden with Conrad Schmidt, Stanford’s resident “plant connoisseur.” On weekdays, you can stop by Olives and hopefully, like Aditeya Shukla ’23, make lifelong memories over sandwiches brimming with fillings. And whenever you’re feeling up to cook in your dorm’s kitchenette, you can test out some tried-and-true recipes courtesy of our very own Daily staffers.
If you’re looking for something to watch: Amelia Butala ’24 offers her movie recommendations “for the jaded eater,” Lauren Koong ’26 tells us about a popular new student-run food vlog and D’Andre Jorge ’24 and Natalie Shtangrud ’26, of The Daily’s Video team, ask Stanford undergrads about their favorite on-campus dining options.
I’d say, too, that you could solve Lana Tleimat ’23’s crossword over breakfast, but that wouldn’t be very Italian of me.
Thank you for reading and buon appetito,
Jared Klegar ’24