It is no doubt that 2020 is a year we will all remember and would probably be telling tales of for years to come. I can imagine there are writers, producers, and storytellers alike, already setting movies, books, tv shows in motion based on the unprecedented year. It is the everyday person’s imagination, however, that I believe travels farther in time. As a Culinarian, my simplest and greatest form of imagination is done through food. From this imagination, I thought “What if 2020 was a meal?”
Humor me and let’s imagine that you placed your order at a restaurant…but the waiter served something other than what you expected. Here’s what I want to know:
What meal did the waiter serve? Describe 2020 in “food terms”.
What should it have been? Describe your original order for 2020.
What 2020 Looked Like for Me…
I remember when I first moved to Milan in the summer of 2018. Several people had told me ‘Risotto Alla Milanese’ was the best dish Milan had to offer. After a few weeks of eating so many other delicious dishes, I was finally going to try the classic Milanese risotto made with saffron. There was so much anticipation, and my eagerness is partially to blame, because on the day, I finally got to try the dish, it was not what I expected (in part due to my under researched restaurant selection). To my dismay, I ended up with a dodgy meal, served by a dodgy waiter at a dodgy restaurant. Joined by a friend new to Milan, we reluctantly ate. Make no mistake, we were polite to the waiter (a.k.a. Fake smiled) and eventually laughed it off. Since then, I have had so many amazing ‘Risotto Alla Milanese’. Especially ones served with succulent and tender Ossobuco. That is what we should have received when placing the original order.
This Pretty Birds, amusingly depicts how 2020 went for me. It began with hype, but ushered in a wealth of disappointment, reflection, and comedic relief.
In honor of April Fool’s Day, I opened up the question to you…
“If 2020 Was a Meal, What Would It Be?” Here are a few of my culinary favorites:
Deah, 44 (Dallas, TX)
At first, Deah said expected her year to be comparable to an appetizer of decadent oysters and lobster with a rich buttery sauce followed by a main course of oatmeal. Why? Because 2020 began pretty amazing for her, then it went south, and then towards the end of the year, she realized she would have to add things to her year to sweeten it. Ultimately, she received oatmeal as her main dish because it is considered a healthy food and has some nutritional value. But oatmeal is not attractive. The texture is unappealing and the taste is incredibly boring on its own. It requires other things to enhance it. “We had high expectations following the oysters and lobster” says Deah.
Gaby, 27 (Mexico)
Gaby, a Restaurant Manager from Mexico, gave a brief summary of 2020 in food terms: “ It was a super different kind of my favorite dish that seemed ugly and bad but turned out to be good in a different way.” Gaby said she would have preferred many of her favorite dishes like pasta, pizza, or Mexican. I mean anything, but what we got right?!
Vedika, 24 (Kolkata, India)
“The year of 2020 was Mashed Potatoes,” says Vedika, a 24-year-old founder from Kolkata, India. She describes it as absolutely bland and extremely boring to eat, it was devoid of frying oil and all the fatty stuff, making it supposedly healthy. “It should have been FRIES! Something much more decadent, wholesome, and indulgent. Although I guess good things take time.”
I hear you Vedika, good things definitely take time and what 2020 served us was on a broken clock. Which they say is right twice a day.
Mellissa (Bologna, Italy)
Mellissa narrates: “I placed my 2020 order, hoping it will be healthy and satisfying. Instead, a watery, flavorless dish of boiled food arrives. Considering the cost and (at least) being a healthy choice, I choke it down. Sometimes you can taste a hint of flavor, but it gets lost in the pool of strained vegetables, fish, and broken promises. I lose sleep over the cost, considering how bad it was, but at least my gut feels healthier.”
I can feel the sincerity in Mellissa’s words. She went on to say: “Looking at the menu, my imagination soared thinking of the floral and spicy notes, and the moment I’d crunch into a crispy-skinned potato, bursting into it’s soft-cooked center. What could go wrong when the menu reads like poetry? Freshwater jasmine-scented, pan-seared trout on top of a farro and lentil Moroccan-spiced salad with almonds and blistered oven-roasted potatoes…”
Well, from what Melissa has said, 2020 is a year we can look back at and smile with a simultaneous deep sigh because we made lemonade out of rotten lemons. Reflecting on some of the light-hearted responses, I share a round up of the perfect palette cleanser for your April Fool’s Day!
Have a Laugh Alongside The Flock for More Creative Entries:
- “Pork intestine, worst dish in the world”. “I ordered a pork tenderloin” – Sebastien, 33, Washington DC, Chef
- “The year of 2020 would be like someone handing me a Cuban Pork Sandwich. It would be a very disappointing food option for me.” (Hint: She’s Vegan). “It should have been something more interesting like Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken, something exciting and would be enjoyable.” – Charla, UK, Chef.
- “The year 2020 in food terms would be a weird meal; something unprecedented like gbanga and bolognese”. (I agree, mixing Nigerian gbanga soup with Italian bolognese, is an absolute disaster!). “There’s no shoulda woulda coulda over here. We ate the weird meal, survived, and moved on 😎.” – Minjiba, 35, Lagos/London, TV Chef
- “American prison food in the deep south that was dragged through a baseball field – dry”. (This has to be the funniest response!). “a four-course meal with palette cleansers and premium dining”. – (Our very own Pretty Bird) Milan, 23, Virginia
- It was “Pizza” when it should have been “champagne”! – Bonnie, 36, Italy
- It was “Pizza” (Frozen Pizza maybe?) when it should have been “fresh-made pizza”. – Veronica, 23, Italy.
Thank you for keeping up with us, Pretty Birds! Wishing you a fun-filled April Fools Day!
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