Ever wished that you could find authentic Latin American food on campus? You're not alone. 

At its Tuesday meeting, Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee heard from sophomore Jen Ricano, who expressed her dissatisfaction with Duke's lack of Latin American cuisine.

"It feels like our culture is being reduced down to anything that can be stuffed into a tortilla," Ricano said.

She shared that the only authentic Latin American food she could find at Duke were the plantains at Farmstead, which are only offered on occasion. Other than that, she noted that all of the other dishes are "quasi-Latin American" such as burritos, tacos and quesadillas.

"Beyond the plantains, I haven’t really found anything on campus that I can eat and be like, ‘This tastes like home,’" she explained.

DUSDAC members said they would contact Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken—a restaurant on Ninth Street and one of Ricano's favorite Latin American places—to see if they would consider joining the existing Merchants-on-Points vendors.

"It’s a crowd pleaser and it fits a lot of different cultures," Ricano said of the Peruvian chain. "It can be really far-reaching in terms of its menu.”

DUSDAC also suggested that Ricano provide them with some traditional Latin American recipes to incorporate at some of the on-campus eateries.

In the meantime, committee members noted Chef's Kitchen will have a Peruvian pop-up restaurant for a week in January 2018.

Eco-friendly food trucks

Melissa Whaling, a member of the Don't Waste Durham's Sustainable Food Truck certification program, was also in attendance at the meeting. The program certifies food trucks to use sustainable practices, which aid their businesses in reducing waste and saving money.

Whaling expressed her hope that Duke would prioritize the program's six certified trucks over less environmentally friendly ones. She said by doing this, Duke would create an impetus for local food trucks to get certified, which is free for them to do.

The current certified vendors are Chez Moi Bakery, Caffe Belleza Mobile Coffee Bar, Belgian Waffle Crafters, Qspresso, Chirba Chirba Dumpling Truck and Lost Boys Food Truck.

“All that we’re asking of Duke at this time is just to commit to us that when selecting food trucks every year you’ll prioritize those green ones over others,” Whaling said.

Senior Quinn Steven, co-chair of DUSDAC, mentioned that since there are just six certified trucks and the committee has to cater to the desires of the entire Duke community, they would not be able to strictly hire the Don't Waste Durham trucks.

"I think that it could be feasible to maybe present this and ask if [other trucks have] heard about you and if they’d be willing to look into this program,” Steven said.