These are the worst meals I have ever witnessed being cooked by Lough students

Wait ’til you hear about the “papple”

I had an out of character moment yesterday… I, a broke postgrad student, shopped at M&S. The renowned retailer of class and sophistication…and you know what, I liked it. I discovered that, if you’re tactical with your purchases, you might just find some bargains. And, if you enter the shop with your head held high, it’s not too difficult to blend in – fake it till you make it, am I right? Anyway, in this profound moment of treating myself by (temporarily) swapping out Lidl for M&S, I thought about the absolute progression of my food and meals over my student years.

I’ll admit, I do still have a tendency to overdo it on the pasta consumption, but my experimentation with food and cooking has improved vastly over the last three years – thinking back to the times I cooked pizza with the polystyrene still on, thought the longer you boiled an egg, the softer it became, or burnt every other meal…you get the picture. Now, I’ve swapped out the microwaved beans on toast, for garlic mushrooms and spinach scrambled eggs on sourdough bagels; it’s been a kitchen reset.

Anyway, enough about my failing attempts at an Instagram foodie career, and more to the focus point of this article… the worst foods made by Loughborough University students. Naming no names (although, I know for a fact that the people behind these questionable meals would be proud of their achievements), I will be reflecting on the weird, wonderful, and worst food feats that I have witnessed during my time at Loughborough University.

Pasta party: First up, we’ve got the flatmate that loved spaghetti – sounds like a millennial romantic novel, but is, in fact, more entertaining than a millennial romantic novel. This humble carbohydrate-themed love story started with spaghetti bolognese for dinner at least three times a week. Somewhere along the lines, it progressed to spaghetti sandwiches (with no sauce and no seasoning may I add). This also evolved to toast sandwiches at some point. Toast sandwiches are exactly what they sound like by the way; a piece of buttered toast in between two pieces of bread – *chef’s kiss*.

Hairy sausages: As ambiguous as they sound. The meal in question requires a reformed and simple method of just two steps. All that is needed is some spaghetti and frankfurter sausages straight from the jar. The raw spaghetti is then speared through the innocent German sausage and boiled to cook. The result; hairy pasta – aka a mass of frankfurter encased spaghetti. No seasoning and only two ingredients… what more could you wish for?

Gravy with everything: Now, we are all partial to some gravy – a roast dinner would be naked without it. I’m even open to the idea of cheesy chips and gravy as I’ve heard very good things about this dish. But would you use gravy as a sauce for your turkey mince? What about rice and gravy as a (regular) snack? Potato waffles and gravy? The last one is perhaps more persuasive, as potato waffles are practically chips, but the others… I’m not so sure. Although, each to their own I suppose. I would never judge a student based on their choice of cuisine; anything that gets you through.

A ‘tad’ over cooked: I think every student has had this experience before. You’re working (or drinking) hard late at night, and feel a bit peckish so you throw a pizza or something similar in the oven for the classic 15 min at 200; what could go wrong. Well you get back to your working (or drinking) hard and completely forget about that lovely late night snack in the oven for a good hour, until…

The ‘Papple’: The ‘papple’ is an artistically thought out, imaginative concept of fruit, masterminded by an old flatmate of mine. It comprises of meticulously sliced apple and pear, arranged alternately to create a multi-fruit. I’d give it a 9.5/10 for effort and creativity, considering it would count as two of your five a day…but the effort. When study time is tight, would you sacrifice an extra ten minutes to create the ‘papple’?

Lasagne for four for one: I’m all for good food budgeting, but my boyfriend took ‘sensible spending’ to a new level in his first two years of university. The Tesco lasagne ready meal (which is apparently very good for all you Tesco lovers out there), is designed in two different sizes – a four-person and a two-person. The former is only 50p more than the latter, so of course every time, my boyfriend will take the challenge upon himself to finish the four-person meal, as it is only 50p more but considerably larger. And every time, he also has to nap off the toll it takes on his body – but apparently, the Italian cheesy goodness is worth it, and of course not forgetting the 50p savings.

I am going to round off this article with the disclaimer that I am by no means hating on the bizarre food choices listed above. They may be weird and not to everyone’s taste, but that’s the entertaining thing about university cuisine, or at Loughborough University anyway. My first-year flat bonded over people’s funny meal choices, and may I reiterate, that my kitchen antics are in no way perfect. From burgers in bread to Quorn chicken nugget toasties, it’s been a culinary adventure.