Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coalition Cuisine

I still have a little more time on my hands here. Time to reflect on many things I experienced here in Afghanistan. Today's post is dedicated to food. Let's take a look at food around the Area of Operations (AO). I am limiting this entry to Coalition food and may comment on Afghan food another time.

The food of Camp Spann is provided by Kellog, Brown and Root (KBR). The food is served in a line cafeteria style. Generally it is American style heavy on the fried foods. The service at Spann was always friendly and courteous. KBR also runs the chow halls down here at Bagram and all other US run bases. The food is always plentiful and has ice cream.

Next is the contractor Supreme. Supreme is found in most large Coalition base chow halls including those on German and Italian bases. The food is decidedly European in flavor and offerings. Breakfast is usually very sparse. There are cold cuts aplenty and very good cheeses. I also think Supreme provides food at most of the State Department bases at least in the north. When there are Gurkas providing security, the Indian food is excellent at these small State Department posts.

I have also eaten at a real German chow hall. The active duty staff wear these wild checkered pants. The food is similar to that found in Supreme kitchens, but with very friendly staff. Most entrees have some form of pig in them. One night of the week they shut down the chow hall completely and serve heated German style MRE's. Most folks go to eat at the grill in the German PX on that day.

Finally to my favorite chow hall in all of Afghanistan. The Norwegian chow hall at Camp Marmal. I believe the food is catered by Sodexo. The chow hall is located in a tent despite the number of years it has been there. Although it is in a tent, it has a friendly ambiance and is a great place to eat. They do have hours posted for those of us who are not Norwegian to eat, which is only right. They greet you with incredible grace as you enter. The food is served on real plates and silverware and served buffet style. My last meal there was memorable: paella, glazed chicken served on a bed of couscous with raisins and slivered almonds. The soup was leek and potato. Altogether it is the best Coalition dining experience I have had in country.
Of course we all know the best food is home cooked. I am looking forward to eating there very much.

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