The college I went to, the food wasn’t really terrible, they tried they really did! But for someone who loves to cook and loathes microwave dinners & the like, the options were limited. Most of the time, I made up a big salad from the salad bar; it was always stocked with mostly fresh ingredients so for me it was the best option. One day I created my usual salad: spinach, sunflower seeds, chicken, black olives, croutons and topped with cheddar cheese. As I chopped it up I noticed the cheese really didn’t want to give way, like it was frozen in some kind of mold. Huh. Weird. I took a bite…started chewing…and something was off. I took another bite. Something was definitely off. As the days went by, I discovered the cheese was different. For one, it was no longer a vibrant cheery orange. It was dull orange, faded as if it had been sitting in the sun for years, which of course, I knew was not the case. I took an individual bite of a pile of the cheese without anything mixed into it, and it tasted like….I don’t even know.But I did know one thing…this was not cheddar cheese. This was an imposter!
At dinner one day, one of my friends made a quesadilla. She stuffed the quesadilla with the imposter cheese and popped it in the microwave. After two minutes she pulled out her quesadilla and the cheese looked EXACTLY the same. It was still in it’s individual shredded state, not one piece had even started melted and turning gooey. At first, my friend thought the microwave wasn’t working right…she
put it in for TWO MORE MINUTES. By now, her tortilla was hard and crunchy…and the cheese….WAS UNCHANGED. She brought the quesadilla back to our table and announced that the cheese did not melt, would not melt. HHHHORRRORRRR!!! The question now was, what was this orange stuff they were serving us??? We decided to call the cheese “Bullet Proof Cheese”, because of it’s indestructible qualities.
I ended up working in the cafeteria ( =( I had to wear a hair net…it was awful!) and one way ran by the salad line to discover what the heck the stuff was. I found a clear bag full of the shredded cheese…I looked for a label, or nutrient label, or list of ingredients. The only thing I found was a white label slapped across the front that said in big black letters “IMITATION CHEDDAR”. No way? Are you serious? I never found out what exactly were the special ingredients that made this cheese that could survive a nuclear blast, but I knew sadly I was going to have to say good bye to cheese on my salad. So sad.
One day, they randomly brought back REAL CHEESE…the line that formed to get just even a shred of the real cheese looked like one of the lines at a department store check out on black Friday. We thought the people that ran the college would get the point, but no, they still served the fake cheese until I graduated from college. I wonder if they still have it now? YUCK!
The bullet proof cheese was at least good for one thing…laughter (or perhaps, protection?). Every time anyone brings up memories of that cheese, you can’t help but laugh!
Did your college or high school ever serve any “mysterious” food?