The internet might have moved on from the cursed dish served aboard Air Force One yesterday—featuring a stuffed bell pepper fashioned into a jack-o-lantern, topped with an unidentifiable white ooze, and paired with what is likely a baked good but could also have been sad morsel of baked fowl.
I, however, have not.
Time’s Tessa Berenson took the photo of the meal and noted in a press-pool report, “The wonderful chefs aboard AF1 were full of the Halloween spirit today with the presentation of these stuffed peppers. Trick or treat!” This was a charitable description, and while you can judge for yourself how appetizing the food aboard Air Force One’s normally looks, even the semblance of holiday cheer couldn’t quite shake off the ghoulishness of this particular array of food, which was clearly made with President Trump’s unique palate in mind.
It wasn’t just the disgust of the meal that left me upset and transfixed, it was the mystery of its seemingly inedible substances: What exactly is on the plate on the upper left-hand corner of the tray? And what the hell is that white stuff? I contacted some experts, chefs Alison Roman, Elizabeth Cauvel, and Angela Davis, to understand the meal.
Alison Roman, author of Dining In and Nothing Fancy
This is a horrifying image. Tatziki too high brow for that monster. I’m guessing cheese sauce or some sort of bechamel? I want to unsee this.
Roman immediately followed up with another email, containing a zoomed-in image of the White Stuff™.
Actually this folded part makes me think it’s not a sauce at all. Maybe a slice of cheese? Honestly, gross. Either way.
Elizabeth Cauvel, creative director, runner-up of MasterChef season 5
First impression: this is an abomination, but I applaud the attempt at a timely Halloween-themed dish.
I believe the thing in the upper left corner, as you say, is a baked good; my guess is a frosted cinnamon roll, although it is lumpy and misshapen.
As for the Jack-o-pepper, I assume it’s some sort of riff on a classic stuffed pepper. Since it’s autumn and they’re going with a Halloween theme, maybe it’s stuffed with fall veggies like butternut squash? If it’s on Air Force One, that means Trump would have eaten it (I assume), which leads me to believe it’s also stuffed with ground beef or meat of some kind. The white stuff on top could be tzatziki, but that seems a bit exotic for our President’s taste, so I think it might be melted fresh mozzarella that simply hasn’t been browned. It could also be ranch dressing.
I wish the chef had given the pepper a triangular nose hole, but that’s neither here nor there.
Angela Davis, food blogger behind The Kitchenista Diaries
Lol. My guess was [that white stuff was] a fried egg - looks like some sort of hash stuffed inside. I assume the thing on the left is an apple fritter but at first glance looks like a boiled chicken thigh, it’s anybody’s guess. If they were going for scary they nailed it. It’s shame nobody took the time to carve the jack o’ lantern a nose.
I was originally on Team Cheese, but Davis has convinced me that Team Egg might just be the way to go.