School kicked off to a sweet start at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
On Monday at the school’s annual Back to School Barbeque, chefs made a 15,000-pound-fruit salad, setting a new Guinness World Record, the Associated Press reported.
The mixture made up of 150 different types of fruit was churned in a re-enforced 15-foot diameter swimming pool. The salad, which weighed an official 15,291 pounds, beat last year’s record of 11,197 pounds, which had been set at McGill University in Montreal, Gazettenet.com reported.
“You guys have definitely stepped it up a notch, not just in the volume, but 150 kinds of fruit isn’t easy to find,” McGill University Executive Chef Oliver de Volpi told the Daily Collegian. “And you know breaking our record by about 3,000 pounds is also a pretty impressive feat.”
And it was tasty, too.
“I think that it was yummy,” freshman Gordon Swain said. “I really like the variety of fruit because a lot of it was kind of squishy but then [there were] the really crunchy apples, they really helped balance the texture.”
About $38,000 was raised to fund the event, according to UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski, including money from corporate sponsors that included Dole, Kittredge Equipment and Coca-Cola.
Around 500 volunteers helped shop, slice and peel the thousands of pounds of fruit before the official weigh-in at 4 p.m. “It was pretty cool,” Rebecca Spencer, assistant professor of psychology, said. “Any way that we can bring some recognition, just excitement to the start of school for the students … is a great way to get the year started.”
While 5,000 pounds of the salad was used on Monday, the school plans not to waste a single scoop of the giant concoction. UMass Dining used 3,000 pounds of it for its dining hall dinner service and late night menu items. It plans to use the remaining fruit for baked items, smoothies and jams.
“It’s very colorful, it looks great,” Mike Cuvellier, a junior, said. “It keeps a very positive healthy message going.”