January 26, 2015

Scrolling Headlines:

Paranormal Research Society seeks to uncover the truth about the supernatural -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass tops Merrimack 4-1 to cap off successful weekend series -

Monday, January 26, 2015

‘Broad City’s’ second season off to a wickedly funny start -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Students respond to Obama’s State of the Union address -

Monday, January 26, 2015

St. Bonaventure earns tight victory, VCU clinches 11th straight win in Atlantic 10 men’s basketball action -

Monday, January 26, 2015

An open letter to the people who were kind when I was struggling -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass club hockey salvages weekend with tie against NYU on Saturday -

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Winter TCA’s announce bevy of show returns and new releases -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Brilliant online film archives for cinema lovers -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass men’s and women’s track and field teams see mixed results in Joe Donahue Indoor Games -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Steve Mastalerz, defense delivers for UMass hockey -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass online graduate programs climb U.S. News & World Report rankings -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Front to Back: Week of Jan. 25, 2015 -

Sunday, January 25, 2015

BLOG: UMass football receives seven verbal commitments -

Sunday, January 25, 2015

UMass plans to fail again with Super Bowl guest policy -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Special teams play fuels late UMass rally, forces tie -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

BLOG: UMass hires Mark Michaels as special teams coordinator, outside linebackers coach -

Friday, January 23, 2015

Former Tibetan political prisoner overcomes odds in Tibet and the US -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

UMass basketball falls flat in loss to St. Joe’s -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

‘Selma’ resonates with the here and now -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Click here to visit UMass Dining
Click here to visit UMass Dining

Franklin stir fry: risk and reward

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

As I enter Franklin Dining Commons, the stench hits me. A combination of sweet, sour and saltiness, infamously known as the “Frank Stank” seeps up through my nostrils and begins to fry my brain. But I trek up the carpeted ramp, willing to sacrifice my stomach to sure indigestion.

So, where does this smell originate? It certainly does not come from the pasta, sandwich or salad bars. All one needs to do is search for the cloud of steam arising from the campus-side of Frank: the stir-fry station.

There are two questions I must ask myself before venturing over to the line: Have I eaten yet today? Have I showered yet today? If the answer to both questions is no, I will proceed at my own risk.

First I choose my veggies, because, of course, veggies will automatically make any meal a healthy one. I wait for a frying pan to open up, during which time I consume more than half of the peppers, peas and water chestnuts that I had just placed on my tea saucer-size plate, but it’s too late to backtrack for more.

The cook dumps the veggies into the empty pan, adds garlic, chicken and a heaping pile of egg noodles. She asks me a question. I don’t understand a single word, and ask her to repeat. Her response is still incomprehensible, so I answer, “yes,” politely. She produces the result from four plastic squeeze-bottles: fountains of hoisin,  teriyaki and oyster sauces, along with a a splash sesame oil. Dear God, will my taste buds survive this combination of brown sodium-laden liquid?

Then, she quips a short one-word question: “Spicy?”

The most impactful, perhaps harmful decision comes here: Do I take the risk of adding more flavors to my meal only to end my afternoon with an explosive result?

“Just a little,” I reply; to which she adds a heaping spoonful of chili paste. This will not end well.

I carry the food back to my seat, dodging the odorous steam arising from the plate, so my classmates do not have to suffer from the ghastly scent that it surely will implant into my skin.

No matter, I purposefully wore an old sweatshirt and sweatpants – my usual Franklin gear – which I planned to change out of and possibly torch immediately following my meal.

As I take my first bite, the flavor is overwhelming: much better than the smell. The spiciness bites at the back of my nose, reminding me of what is soon to come. I make it most of the way through the meal, but not even my empty stomach can handle the entire mountainous pile of food. A few noodle strands and peas remain, which my chopsticks could not conquer. I stand up and walk out, surely reeking of the food I just consumed.

I walk back across the street to my dorm, my stomach furiously gurgling in response to the decision I just made. But it’s done.

Thirty minutes later, my digestive system gets its payback. I vow to never return to the stir-fry station, but I know I’ll be back, and my intestines will scream bloody murder yet again.

Taylor Snow is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at tsnow@dailycollegian.com.

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