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Old 12-01-2016, 04:49 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Serve with Spread:
Finding their jailhouse diet bland, monotonous, and insubstantial, inmates in the California penal system invent alternative meals. “Spread,” the generic term for these creations, describes the inmate-created foods most often built around a single ingredient, instant ramen noodles.

Beginning with this noodle base, the inmates concoct variations that approximate their favorite foods on the outside, often those with distinctive flavorings and textures. Kermit Sanders, an inmate at San Francisco County Jail 5, or cj5, as it is known for short, describes the culture of spread:

"I learned about spreads when I came to prison. Spread consists of institutional canteen commissary food items. Basically soups. Top Ramen noodles. And then from there you go to the other stuff: tuna, beef, chicken, tamales, herrings. And different things like that. You got chili-bean spreads, you got tamale spreads, you got seafood spreads.

My favorite is Going-Down-South Hog Spread. You take pig skins. On the average, when I fix spread for just me and someone else, I would take two bags of pork skins, two bags of jalapeño pretzels, four beef sticks, and I would take a big bag of Cheese Crunchies. I would grind all that down with the Top Ramen, and I call that Down-South spread, ’cuz it’s full of pork....
Full article: "“Breaking Bread with a Spread” in a San Francisco County Jail," Sandra Cate, Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Summer 2008), pp. 17- 24