Momentary weakness leads to poor sandwich decision

Jonathan Willett

Jonathan WillettColumnist

I am a fan of food, in case the picture of me is misleading. The tastier, the more bizarre, the better.

Growing up and working in the food industry in a variety of jobs, I became acquainted with some truly delicious and some truly horrifying culinary concoctions by restaurants, crazy chefs, and lunatic foodie friends.

Because of these self-chosen, abusive relationships with food, I’ve been lucky enough to try most kinds of ethnic foods (Ethiopian to Sushi), a heart-stopping variety of fried fair snacks (fried Coke, fried twinkies), and some of the more disgusting fast food constructed in the last two decades (KFC Double Downs and Pizza Hut Cheesy Bites Pizza anyone?)

I have tried some truly disgusting things in my life, but they usually had one redeeming quality, even if that is only that drowning it in ketchup can save it, or it’s greasy or crunchy. But the menu item that I procured at the snack stand in Briggs Library last week has become the most disgusting thing that I have ever eaten.

First, I want two things cleared up. Yes, I realize that a library is probably not the place to procure quality nourishment. I also in no way mean to disparage any of the employees of the snack stand or the construction technician of the sandwich, unless they invented this culinary atrocity. Friends, I speak of the noxious 4-cheese wrap.

I honestly don’t know what I was thinking; it was a moment of weakness. I had never purchased anything there before, but the weather outside killed any desire for a journey for food that could not be accomplished within 30 seconds. The employee at the stand could not have been more kind and helpful to me as I stupidly asked, “Um, do you guys accept debit?” I’m sure she hears this at least three times a day.

While I did not expect manna from the gods was contained inside my plastic container, I was at least anticipating something neutral that would fill my stomach (5 inches of wrap for the low price of $5, what was I thinking?) I was sorely mistaken. I was not to have my hunger abated.

Let’s look at the wrap like the old Big Mac commercials from McDonald’s. First, you start with a dry, crusty tortilla that tastes stale and robs your mouth of moisture. Then you slather on a salty tasting cheese mush impersonating pimento cheese. Sprinkle some strong and old-tasting parmesan as cheese #2, and you’re halfway there. Next, a few slices of terribly powerful Swiss, and finish it off with American-ish, yellow, plastic-tasting, waxy cheese with a withered lettuce leaf for color? Texture?

I have to ask: does that sound like a proper combination of 4-cheeses to you? For me, 4-cheese has always been a pleasurable experience, but then again, all four of the cheeses were cheese, not just maybe two (I have my doubts about the parmesan too). It was horrible. So horrible that not even separating the base components of the wrap, nor applying ketchup could save its potential tastiness.

Finally, I just need to comment that despite this bad experience, if I am desperate again I will not hesitate to give the snack stand my business. I will not ever get one of the wraps again, though, because the tortilla wasn’t good, or fresh-tasting, and how many sandwich places do you go back to where you hate the bread? My purpose in this was not to show anger, but to warn people of the potential dietary disaster that can come from this much exposure to apocalyptic “cheese” combination wraps.

Jonathan is a graduate student studying English. Reach him at [email protected]