Prison Menu

Those of you who have seen the movie Babette’s Feast know that Scandinavian food is not renowned for its deliciousness. It is known for being one of the healthiest diets along with the Mediterranean and Japanese diets. This might be true, but its health benefits apply to physical health only, not mental. Whenever I walk past the seafood aisle at the grocery story I cannot help, but look at the fish. They are so alien to me and unappealing. Crab and shrimp, though I do enjoy their meat, they are essentially the insects of the sea. I like to watch people eating Scandinavian dishes, trying to understand how they can enjoy such beige flavors day in and day out. When I first saw someone eat chunks of coarse brown bread covered in buttermilk and sugar in a bowl, I thought it was because they were forced to due to dietary restrictions. It was only later that I learnt that this is a common snack for people… which they enjoy. Why? Don’t ask me.

The blandness, brownness and healthiness of this culinary tradition has inspired me to come up with a menu appropriate for a prison. I tried to make it boring, yet not too painful… at first. With repetition over the weeks, prisoners will most likely suffer from gustatory sensory deprivation.

Day of the week Meal Mealtime
Monday Breakfast Gruel (either oatmeal or barley) with sugar and cinnamon and one fruit.


Lunch Makrell i tomat on brown bread


Dinner Shepard’s pie with ground lung meat


Tuesday Breakfast Brown bread with buttermilk and sugar (optional)


Lunch Fish pudding with shredded carrots and potatoes


Dinner Cooked barley with ground pork and beef with onions, cabbage and brown sauce
Wednesday Breakfast Bread and scrambled eggs
Lunch Brown bread with brown cheese and berry yoghurt


Dinner Cod tongue with potatoes and carrot salad


Thursday Breakfast Brown bread with cheese, jam and vegetables
Lunch Milk soup


Dinner Fish balls with potatoes and onion


Friday Breakfast Gruel and fruit
Lunch Sursild with boiled potatoes


Dinner Sausage and vegetable medley served with boiled potatoes
Saturday Breakfast Brown bread with buttermilk and sugar (optional)
Lunch Cream porridge with berry sauce


Dinner Mutton and cabbage stew


Sunday Breakfast Special week-end breakfast buffet:  Brown bread with choice of spread: jam, liver paste, baloney, boiled egg, mayonnaise, caviar, chocolate spread
Lunch Vegetable and meat stew with flat bread


Dinner Fish casserole with macaroni


*Bread is included with all meals regardless of whether it is mentioned or not.

**Desserts are served at dinnertime and are a variation of either: rice pudding, French toast or berries in cottage cheese (seasonal). On Friday evenings, dessert is always waffles with brown cheese, jam and sour cream.

If you think that was bad, wait until you see this:


Some people live to eat, others clearly eat solely to live.

If you are fortunate enough to enjoy a more flavorful diet, I hope this post makes you feel more appreciative when you take your next bite.



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