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Cantina Europa

by AK Krajewska

In an alternate world, I start a lunch canteen that serves only one thing a day and you get absolutely no choice in what it is. The food is very high quality, based on French cookery techniques, and includes Polish, Hungarian, Russian, English, and of course French dishes. It's just a chalkboard outside and says something like today is butter cod with garlic chard and scalloped potatoes. No substitutions.

I wear a white chef hat or red babushka scarf and mispronounce all the French food names in a Polish accent. I am bossy and don’t care about anyone’s preferences. I know what’s good.

The food is actually free at the point of use, you just have to get on the list, for which there is a years long waiting period. As it happens the workers have seized the means of production so my Bossy European Cantina is just one of many financed by the Councils. In a world of boundless choice, some people like to be told what to eat.

Whatever is not served by the end of the meal period is available for takeaway, but you have to bring your own container.

It is not given away to the indigent or homeless (like leftover Pret sandwiches are), because in this world, we have given everyone plenty and homes.