This piece was first published in Issue 2 of Chips!
I’ve never had any great patience for food. I enjoy food and I understand it as a necessity, but the process of preparing, buying, or even consuming it, has always annoyed me slightly.
When I was in the 3rd grade, I did a class presentation on what I thought the world would look like in a few hundred years. My presentation included all the flashy and outlandish things that only a child tasked with imagining the future could dream up. There were lightspeed tubes that transported individual people across continents, there were underground houses that could be accessed by taking elevators down into the heart of mountainsides, and if you wanted to get around town, there were these fancy watches that, at the press of a button, would encapsulate you in a bubble car replete with customisable colours and a sound system.
Of all the things I dreamed up in that presentation, there was one I really loved – the ability to reduce all food types to nifty little tablets, each one being the equivalent of a full meal. Not much has changed. I still love the idea of being able to live inside a mountain and surely, if I could have my favourite foods in pill form, I would jump at the opportunity. But it is 2017, unfortunately, and the closest thing I can find to a simple and fulfilling meal is the toasted cheese and black coffee.
Humble at heart, the toasted cheese and black coffee is simple to prepare, even simpler to consume, and wonderfully easy on the wallet. As a kid, as a broke university student, as a broke adult, as an impatient writer – it’s never failed to keep me filled and fuelled. The toasted cheese – brown bread, butter, cheese – is easy to make, perfectly packaged, and just filling enough. And the black coffee – piping hot, no sugar – is the perfect accompaniment. But of all the times I’ve enjoyed a TCBC, I savour it most when I am travelling.