Smoked Cheddar Cheeseburger
Michigan State University, East Lansing
When Kurt Kwiatkowski, corporate chef of Culinary Services at MSU, set out to create a signature item for the department's new Eat at State ON THE GO food truck, he quickly decided he wanted an item that showcased the campus's commitment to local products.
"That led me to our MSU beef," Kwiatkowski says. "At first, it was going to be a bacon cheeseburger, but I started playing around with the cheeses from our campus dairy and I fell in love with the smoked cheddar."
Kwiatkowski says the smoked cheddar was too strong on its own, so he decided to cut it with a tradition sharp cheddar, also from the campus dairy. The burger also features product from the campus organic farm, when in season, as well as a bun from a local bakery.
"The nice thing is you get a little bit of the carmelization of the meat, which gives a really nice meat flavor. Then you get the smoky sensation from that cheddar, the crunch of the lettuce, the acid of the tomatoes and the bite from the red onion. It all just plays really nice together. People have told me it's the best burger they've ever had. I’d say about 40% of our truck sales is the burger."