The case of the missing chili in a bread bowl

Jonny Sonnenfeld ’20

I would like to address a mystery that has befallen our community: the culinary tragedy of the missing chili in a bread bowl. 

     Since the dawn of time, Haverford students have thrived on chili in a bread bowl: it is the ant to our anteater, the peanut to our elephant, and the acorn to our squirrel.

     There is no food more efficient than chili in a bread bowl: the flavor-packed protein-rich chili, contained within a carbohydrate bowl. The delivery system is part of the meal. The most bang for your buck. If you buy a blackjack chicken sandwich they give it to you on a paper bowl or plate. You can’t eat a paper bowl or plate, at least not enjoyably.

designed by Austin Zhuang ’22

     The beloved dish was last seen sometime at the end of September. I have devoted myself to solving this tragic disappearance. I figured my best bet was to ask Ms. Erin Bryne, so I sat down next to her at breakfast while she typed in names, and asked questions.

     My first question was, of course, “What happened to chili in a bread bowl?” 

     Erin looked me dead in the eyes and said, “I don’t really know, we just haven’t been having it as much.”

     I thought this was strange, though I knew Erin would never lie. Erin told me how, in the past, chili in a bread bowl would show its face once a month, every month for years.

     Until October. I had a feeling from the beginning that it couldn’t just be a Halloween prank.

     My suspicions were confirmed when we left for Thanksgiving break and chili in a bread bowl was still nowhere to be seen, another month without an appearance. I’ve begun to worry.

We are now well into December and chili in a bread bowl is still nowhere to be found. I suspect foul play.

     We are now well into December and chili in a bread bowl is still nowhere to be found. I suspect foul play.

     From my conversation with Erin, I felt sure the lunch staff had nothing to do with it. This left three suspects.

     Suspect A: a disgruntled student, whose digestive system couldn’t handle chili in a bread bowl. In an attempt to get revenge, the student kidnapped our beloved lunch.

     Suspect B: An overbearing parent, who was unsatisfied with the nutritional value of our wonderful food and abducted chili in a bread bowl and did the unspeakable—killed her. I pray suspect B is innocent.

     Suspect C: Dr. Nagl, who was unsatisfied with the student body’s showing at his TED Talk and decided to get back at everyone by sending chili in a bread bowl to the United States Military Academy, his alma mater. I fear suspect C may be guilty. He will be brought in for questioning by the Mock Trial team next week.

     If chili in a bread bowl is reading this, know that we love you and are working hard day and night to locate you. And if the chili in a bread bowl’s captor is reading this—know that we will find you. We have a very particular set of skills.

Author: Jonny Sonnenfeld '20

Jonny Sonnenfeld '20 is a journalism student who has written for The Index throughout the past four years. He is in honors English and won a gold key this year from the scholastic arts and writing. His chili in a bread bowl article was responsible for the reintroduction of the meal in the surrounding area.