Food Choice: Vice Versa

Photo by Gabriel Carr

Gabriel Carr, Staff Writer

Have you ever been so hungry you felt as if you would eat anything, only to pick up an entrée from Sodexo, take a bite and immediately lose your appetite?  If the answer is yes, then I, and plenty of others, can relate to you. However, I believe Sodexo, our campus’s main nutritional source, is not inherently trying to live up to a bad rep and/or make us gag. No, this notion would be very uncharacteristic of their friendly, hardworking and helpful staff. I feel the real issue broods in the specific strengths of the kitchen. For every few unsavory entrées, the Sodexo kitchen manages to masterfully produce one delightfully, tasty dish. Yes, I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of food served to me at times. That is why I am writing this article: to share with Echo readers, what I believe to be, the most delectable items in SNU’s café: the ones Sodexo makes well.

Butternut Squash Curry Soup

   Baby barf, oh so it seems… This grainy mush sits to the right of the cashier and, on the best of days, takes on the appearance of cream of wheat. When one ladles it into their bowl, they might be repulsed by the gratuitous viscosity of the liquid, allowing it to appear watered down, baby regurgitation. However, these are mere aesthetic shortcomings, at least to a visual mindset, and do not hinder the soup’s flavor.

   Oh, sweet magnificence, the flavor of this soup has a dichotomy that needs to be tasted to comprehend. Although, I will do my best to describe what makes it so great. Sweet and sour sauce, sweet and tangy marinade, sweet and salty chocolate covered pretzels; sweetness has been partnered with seemingly, ineligible tastes to create deliciously original flavors. However, how often does one encounter a sweet and spicy dish? I will go on a limb to say not often, unless one is of Eastern heritage. However, the Butternut Squash Curry Soup provides this experience to anyone who is blessed to try it.

   Once fed to the taste buds, the sensation of an understated sweetness initially overwhelms the palette. Being of the same garden family, the flavor of the contained, butternut squash is comparable to that of a sweet potato. I refer to it as understated because it lacks the richness desirable in dessert foods, but this is preferred because it is intended to be an appetizing first course. Another reason it could never be a dessert: it detonates. After the initial splash of a pleasantly sweet mouthful is swallowed, the curry, Eastern Indian spices, goes to town. The consumer should taste these spices emerging from their butternut coverings accompanied by a slow burn all the way down the throat. Thus, the full extent of the dichotomy is revealed.

   This sensation is quite enjoyable in a mildly masochistic way. The best word I can think of to encompass this food experience is satiating. This soup slows the eater’s pace because a short cool-down time is needed after each bite in order to keep from losing the contents of the sinuses. I may seem like I am making this dish to be significantly hot; it is actually quite mild. I am really emphasizing the relative spiciness of the dish. These spices work to squelch the palette’s need for flavor. The curry spices and the sweetness of the butternut squash, blend to render a complete, and tasty, event inside of the mouth.

Well done Sodexo.

Look for this soup right of the cash register, and, if you like it, request that they make it more often!