Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sugar Rush

An unknown author once commented, “Stressed spelled backwards is dessert. Coincidence?” The folks at University City’s newest food truck, Sugarcube Philly, think not.

Sugarcube Philly, the brainchild of Penn grad Franklin Shen (SAS ’03) and Drexel grad John Suh, is a gourmet dessert food truck which offers patrons a sweet form of stress relief. Head chef Daniel Tang whips up chocolate bread pudding, peanut panna cotta, pear almond tart, vanilla crème brulee, crème fraiche cheesecake, and spicy Mexican chocolate layer cake, each of which can be enjoyed for only $5.

Despite a morning of incessant rain, and some initially malfunctioning kitchen equipment, Sugarcube had its official launch on Monday afternoon. Sheila (yes, the truck is named Sheila) was parked at the corner of 36th and Walnut, where Sugarcube began serving the line of eager eaters at 1:15pm. Though initially only the crème brulee and the peanut panna cotta were available, the gang was serving up a full menu by the end of the day. Shen estimates that nearly 100 people snagged some sweets during Sugarcube’s first day of business.

For those of you concerned about the carbon footprint your eating habits leave, Sugarcube may be a good option. Sheila runs on compressed natural gas, and all desserts are served with cornstarch rather than plastic utensils. Sugarcube’s offerings will rotate seasonally, so hopefully we’ll start to see some local ingredients popping up on the menu.

Overall, Sugarcube seems like a great place to satisfy your sweet tooth. The crème brulee Penn Appetit sampled was a solid option. The custard was excellent, with a strong but not overpowering vanilla flavor. The caramelized sugar was a bit thick, and therefore hard to break, but it was entertaining to watch them torch it in the truck.

Sugarcube won’t be on Penn’s campus every day, but when they are, they’ll be on Walnut Street between 34th and 36th. Sheila will be roaming between her Penn, Drexel, and Center City locations on a regular basis. Check out their website,, for a weekly schedule.

Photo Credit: Dana Robinson

Ed. The food truck is now called Sugar Philly.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Food Week, Feb. 1-5

FOOD WEEK: Eat to Live
We eat food every day. This week we'll talk about it.
February 1st-5th, 2010
University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by Bon Appétit at Penn Dining
Monday [2/1]:
Farmworker Rights: What do tomatoes have to do with slavery?
Presented by Bon Appétit at Penn Dining, UCCANF, CAUSA, and Fox Leadership
There is more to our produce than meets the eye. Please join us for an honest discussion of the controversies of the tomato industry and the rarely told stories of those who work in the fields for little to no pay, picking tomatoes every day. There will be a short film screening and a presentation by Bon Appétit East Coast Fellow Carolina Fojo, followed by discussion.
8-9pm Houston Hall Class of 1947 (floor 3)
Tuesday [2/2]:
Sustainability and the Philadelphia Foodshed
Presented by Bon Appétit at Penn Dining, FarmEcology, and Fox Leadership
A dinner and panel featuring individuals who are working to provide sustainably sourced food to Philadelphians and the Penn community.
Sustainable food will be served!
5-7 pm 1920 Commons Lower Level
RSVP by February 1st at

Wednesday [2/3]:
Mind the Food Gap

Presented by the Penn Garden, Penn Bioethics Society, Penn Urban Nutrition Initiative Club

A dinner and conversation bringing together various communities in Philadelphia to talk about food justice.
Guided by three courses and highlighting three aspects of food justice, this dinner will encourage conversation among all in attendance. Come have dinner with us!
Sustainable food will be served!
6-7:30 pm 1920 Commons Lower Level
RSVP by February 1st:
Thursday [2/4]:

Food and You: Health and Nutrition

Presented by the Health and Societies Student Advisory Board and Bon Appétit

A question and answer seminar and luncheon featuring Dr. Stella Volpe, Registered Dietitian

Get YOUR questions answered about food and healthy eating
Sustainable food will be served!
12-1:30pm, Amado Recital Room, Irvine
How to Prepare Healthy Food: A kitchen tour of Bon Appétit
A cooking demonstration and Kitchen Tour by Bon Appetit, featuring registered dietition Terri Brownlee and Chef Lydia Kumpa

Sustainable food will be served!
7:30pm, Kings Court Dining Hall

Friday [2/5]:
"Food Inc.: Hungry for Change" film screening
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
6:30-8:30pm, Claudia Cohen Hall 402

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

GBM - Tonight!

Tonight will be the first Penn Appetit meeting of the new semester! We here at the blog hope that you've had a fun, restful break and that you're ready to contribute to the magazine and the blog this semester. If you have any interest at all in writing, layout, business, photography, and especially the blog, please come out tomorrow night to JMHH F95 at 8:00pm. Of course, there will be food to enjoy, as well. Hope to see you all there, your new blog editors, Marianne and Tucker

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