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Meal Club Revises Menu to Include An All New Set of Problematic Cuisine Options

Behind running a “Hot Wok” station without any visible woks and single-handedly supplying half of Toto’s annual royalties, this is by far our greatest accomplishment.

Nov 28, 2020

Editor’s Note: This article is a contribution to The Gazelle’s satire column.
For years, the Meal Club’s global cuisine options have supplied hungry undergraduates with both the nourishment and geographically problematic labels they desperately crave. In recent weeks, however, student outrage has demanded a change to the menu. Listing “Africa,” “Korea,” “Eastern Europe” and “Italy” alongside each other had become so normalized that students clamored for a fresh slate of insensitively scoped options. Responding to this feedback, ADNH Compass has revised the Meal Club menu to include all-new problematic food groups.
“For a while, we considered alternating days between ‘Colonizer’ and ‘Sh•thole,’ but we wanted to really push ourselves creatively,” said ADNH spokesperson Airon Shef. “Our range of options is now more diverse than before, but somehow even less representative. We’re really quite proud of the new lineup.”
As they should be. Mixing every kind of geographic unit to produce only the most horrifying false-equivalencies, the new menu is truly inspiring.
The start of the week will feature exotic foods of far-off Afro-Eurasia. Under the label “Belt and Road”, the menu will capture the essence of 87 percent of all human culture in just 6 dishes bland enough for the lowest common denominator, the North Atlantic expat.
Monday will follow up with the theme of “Americas.” Indeed, the meal club will feature food from each America: Ice cream cones for the America that voted for Joe Biden and a can of Goya beans for the self-proclaimed “real” America pretending it did not lose to him.
While ADNH was concerned that U.S. citizens at NYU Abu Dhabi would not be ignorant enough to assume the name of two continents was actually all just for them, feedback from Larry Eagleburger, Class of 2022, quelled their fears: "Ignorant... can't say I know what it means, but it ain't American, that for sure!"
Moving on to mid-week, Tuesday’s menu will exhibit the gastronomic delights of “All the Places the International Criminal Court Actually Bothers to Prosecute,” followed by Wednesday’s equally rich theme: “France.”
While we don’t know much about how these global locations were chosen, confidential sources from inside ADNH indicate the last theme of the week was selected at random by a managerial intern so the rest of the staff could break for lunch.
The result: Thursday’s menu will highlight the diverse, multiplicitous culinary landscape of all countries without access to the ocean. “Landlocked” day will feature traditional foods from Bolivia, Tajikistan and San Marino all at one counter. When Obly Vius, Class of 2023, asked why such different groups of people were arbitrarily lumped together because the folks in charge ran out of ideas and wanted to clock out early, Posca Lonial, Class of 2021, simply rolled her eyes and walked away.
“I couldn’t be more impressed!” exclaimed Noh Plaselykome, Class of 2022. “My country was listed today and I didn’t recognize a single dish prepared.”
When The Gazelle reached out to the serving staff of Plaselykome’s nationality, they agreed: “We didn’t either.”
“It actually felt kind of nice to see the Meal Club make the gesture though,” added Gratty Tood, Class of 2023. “Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but having something that at least attempts to honor my heritage is alright. Reminders of home in the UAE are so rare, they might as well be a productive breakout room. I’ll take what I can get.”
Despite Tood’s searing indictment, having produced a menu that still effectively describes nowhere, ADNH is claiming this as a huge success.
“Behind running a ‘Hot Wok’ station without any visible woks and single handedly supplying half of Toto’s annual royalties, this is by far our greatest accomplishment,” said Shef. “Sure, our job is made a tad easier by the fact that all geographic units are at least partially arbitrary and contain a world of diversity unto themselves that is impossible to fully capture. But still, give us some credit here! These new labels are seriously bad.”
Indeed, it takes a lot of work to create a menu so Eurocentric it makes the Social Science Division jealous. The world is a big place and it is quite unreasonable to expect more than a handful of historically weighted traditions to receive appropriate representation. While every once in a while the Meal Club may falter and accidentally celebrate one of our rich, vibrant cultures in a tasteful, tasty way, thanks to these changes, we should not need to worry about that anytime soon.
Ian Hoyt is a columnist. Email him at
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