To break bread with another person is to share the most primal, spiritual bond between human beings. It is an experience that transcends nations, cultures, traditions and religion. When one consumes food from an alien culture, one ingests not just the dish itself, but the very essence of that nation’s history and soul. In times of turmoil and travel bans, it is an act of rebellion to indulge the senses with newfound experiences. Yet, for all good intentions, one must remain vigilant, ever aware of a threat on the horizon.
Little did I know that I would come face to face with this looming hazard during my time in North Idaho College.
I was not at all prepared for the thick, brown, gritty paste drizzled over french fries. The soggy potato gave out a last, tired gasp as the chili smothered its airways. Like Stalin’s tanks rolling through the German front line, the brown beans crushed the worn, gold-faded strips of once crispy spud underneath. From above, a fork came swooping in, the white plastic tips sharp like Romanian pitchforks pointed at Castle Dracula. Tearing, rending and massacring the already broken resistance of moist tater, the fork proceeded to stir, and stir, and stir, until naught but a despicable paste of broken dreams and shattered culinary hopes remained. My brow furrowed as I bore witness to a sole fry’s attempt to escape the scene of the slaughter, frantically making his way towards the white parapet of the paper keel. He dared not cede one last glance at his fallen comrades, yet the gargled screams of their demise still rang in his ears and clouded his uncluttered tuber consciousness. He had to aven-…
“What? Have you never seen chili-fries?”
The RA of the dorms threw the last samufry into his mouth, devouring it whole. Like a mechanized barrage of Sub-slop projectiles, he lobbed the soylent paste into his gaping maw. Pre-maulers and savage canine teeth would hammer out any opposition, leaving the last remaining bastion of resistance drawn, quartered and pasted.
Cultural barbarism had triumphed.