As chance would have it, my favourite magazine
Petits Propos Culinaires
published an article on French hospital food in the same week that I went to
hospital in Germany.
The author was thrilled
to receive an emissary from the chef who asked what she liked and what not,
and told her that dinner would be soup followed by an omelette, salad and
afterwards an apple doughnut.
In the event, the omelette had the consistency of a hard-boiled egg and
was wrapped in cling film, etc.
Now I'm in a German hospital, and guess what, food is ordered using
ugly machine-readable forms. There are three options for main dish each
day, with two options for salad on the side. Today's salads are
salad with beef. I cannot investigate the difference
(I am not not permitted to eat salad), but perhaps that's a feature.
Instead of beefy salads, they serve me pork, potatoes and a sauce
apparently made from carrots, flour and monosodium glutamate. The pork
yesterday had been butchered twice, that today had also been shredded to
hide the evidence.
Fine French menu here, ugly German menu there, the food is the same. I
take this to mean that large organisations will grow to act like each
other where it matters. Only appearance will differ.