It’s bad enough when your little brother snags the jalepeno pepper you’ve been saving to eat at the end of your Greek salad, right? So imagine how paranoid and pissed prisoners must get when the cellblock bully saunters over to snatch the moldy piece of bread off their plate. And on the weekend of June 8-9 you can recreate something akin to this scene at Eastern State Penitentiary, the site of Prison Food Weekend.
Prison Food Weekend highlights the food ESP prisoners ate through the ages. Scattered around the historic site will be food stations serving samples of meals like “Beef, Salted and Broiled, with ‘Indian Mush’,” (which prisoners ate in the 1830’s), and “Hamburger Steak with Brown Gravy and ‘Harvard Beets,’” which appears on a menu from 1949. You can also taste Nutraloaf, which is what Pennsylvania inmates eat now instead of bread and water when they’re being punished by having their hamburger steak and Indian mush taken away.
Along with the food will be photos, menus and explanations of how prison food has evolved as philosophies toward corrections and nutrition changed. And by the way, the guy who runs the catering service preparing the food is a corrections officer. So you’d best eat everything on your plate.
Eastern State Penitentiary [official]