NMSU students who have a knack for spinning milk and sugar into fresh gelato and working butter and flour into delicate pastries want to be part of your Thanksgiving spread this year.
ACES Foods at NMSU, a student-run food production company housed in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, has teamed up with a small business owner in Mesilla to sell handmade pecan pies this month at NM Vintage Market, a retail shop that exclusively sells New Mexico-produced goods.
A class of 10 students will craft each pie with a butter crust and a rich filling studded with New Mexico-grown pecans from the family-owned Legacy Pecans.
“We are truly excited to be partnering with NM Vintage Market to offer our holiday pie sales,” said Whitney Blickem, food science college instructor and manager of ACES Foods at NMSU. “I’m really looking forward to the experience our food science students will garner from this collaboration.”
Blickem said customers can order pies for $15 through Morgan Switzer, owner of NM Vintage Market, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at Switzer’s shop, 2310 Avenida de Mesilla. Blickem’s students will bake the pies the following week in a food production facility on the Las Cruces campus and have orders ready for customers to pick up between 3 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, at NM Vintage Market. The pies will be fully baked and frozen at pick-up.
“Everyone serves pie for Thanksgiving and all the rest of the upcoming holidays. Why not support local farmers, students, business and NMSU when buying pies this year,” Switzer said. “Local pecans used plus a student-run initiative equal a holiday win for your Thanksgiving.”
Switzer also will sell slices of the students’ pecan pie with a scoop of ACES Foods at NMSU’s gelato for $4 at NM Vintage Market during the Nov. 13 preorder event.
Blickem said she anticipates selling between 200 and 300 pecan pies this month.
ACES Foods at NMSU has sold pecan pies for the holidays for the past five years at Sam Steel Café in Gerald Thomas Hall and through wholesale orders, Blickem said. She added that she is excited to grow her relationship with Switzer and NM Vintage Market, which has sold ACES Foods at NMSU’s gelato since this summer.
“ACES Foods provides students with hands-on opportunities to apply the principles of food science and technology to the production of food products,” she said. “I hope they gain experience in an industry setting, learn what they’ll be able to do with their degrees and see how a food production facility operates.”
The pecan pies will also be available at Sam Steel Café, which also sells scoops of ACES Foods at NMSU’s pecan pie gelato, which contains chunks of pecan pie throughout a vanilla gelato base.
In addition to pies and gelato, ACES Foods at NMSU also sells an assortment of pastries, including cinnamon rolls, brownies, cookies and cakes, as well as all-purpose dry waffle mixes and hot chocolate mixes. The latter are available for purchase at NM Vintage Market for $6 per tin.
Author: Carlos Andres Lopez