Halal simply means “allowed” or “permissible” to millions of religiously observant people around the globe. In American foodservice, halal often means Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Lately, halal is changing and expanding in forms of fusion that introduce elements of modern American fast-casual.
College dining is a good place to begin keeping tabs on halal’s latest moves. R&DE Stanford Dining is “intentional about offering a variety of culturally diverse food options to reflect and celebrate the diversity of our campus,” says Jackie Bertoldo, MPH, RDN, associate director of Stanford’s Nutrition & Food Choice Architecture. Halal options are part of that intention.
“We offer a globally inspired menu including a wide variety of halal options to accommodate the dietary needs of Stanford’s Muslim community,” Bertoldo says. Halal choices include Mediterranean meze bowls with quinoa tabbouleh, ghormeh sabzi (Persian herb stew) over rice and halal roasted chicken platters with seasonal veggies. And the inclusion doesn’t stop with special menu items. “We work across campus with partners such as the Office for Religious & Spiritual Life, the Muslim Student Union and The Markaz to support students with religious dietary needs.”