Anyone who has ever said that dinner is the most unappetizing meal served by the Harvard University Dining Service obviously never gets up in time for breakfast. Large hunks of eggs of dubious backgrounds. Noodles laden with fat and other unappetizing substances. Stale peach muffins. Hash browns hashed beyond recognition. Maypo (whatever that is).
Although I usually eat my morning meal, I have a low tolerance level before noon. Food which might be endured at 9 p.m. is passed over at 9 a.m. And while I have been known to eat breakfast pastries in the past, anything laden with grease or visible fat leaves me ill. As a result, my usual meal consists of toast with honey, grapefruit and some sort of simple cereal (Special K or oatmeal). I involve the Harvard Dining Services food producing unit as little as possible.
With one exception. Cinnamon-apple crispitos.
These may sound like the crackly wafers served by Taco Bell, but they're not. They are a concoction consisting of a cinnamon-flavored apple paste (with chunks of real apples) wrapped up in a flour tortilla-ish object. They look a bit like white batons.
What they don't look like is grease-covered items designed to kill the appetite. (They're baked, not fried.) The crispitos are sweet, but not too sweet, crunchy, but not too crunchy, filling, but not too filling.
And they have magical powers, too. Certain occurances can set the pattern for an entire day--getting a call at 9:24 a.m. saying that you've won the lottery generally presages a good day, while tripping when you step out of the shower often alerts you to a bad one. Cinnamon-apple crispitos seem to spread their goodness through the entire day.
When I look in the dining hall and see cinnamon-apple crispitos, it means happy times ahead. My TFs like my papers. My mother sends cookies in the mail. My rooming group gets its ideal suite. (These, and more, have all actually happened.)
In this chaotic food world of Harvard College, how many dishes can promise not only a satisfying breakfast, but a satisfying day? Of course, this means that they'll never become a daily fixture on the menu. Constant contentment throughout the lives of Harvard undergraduates?
It's suffering that builds character, after all. So cinnamon-apple crispitos, alas, will always be infrequent. But then, happiness is boring. Right? Right?