Not The Tab: Making Vague Claims About Your Diet Based on Your College

Features Food and Drink News


Yes, it’s time for a list of stereotypes which in some limited way you recognise, or don’t, but understand that you should, this time diet-flavoured, I have a deadline. Let’s get to it:

Christ Church: you like the finer things in life, possibly served in a similarly fine layer of edible gold leaf, or not, that actually doesn’t sound very appetising? I can empirically substantiate that you feel the proper number of 17th-century clergyman to watch you eat is, in fact, never enough, and if Harry Potter were real, they would all be having a fabulous disputation about the scriptural authority for the Calvinist notion of predestination as you tuck into an endangered species of bird. Or not, that seems really unlikely.

Corpus Christi: my blessed home, usually too small to make it onto these things, but everything is changing now. Aside from the ceremonial Eating of the Tortoise, which occurs every year after the race (we have a tortoise, we race it, we’re going to keep plugging this, deal with it), our diet is composed of taking things other colleges eat, then shrinking them down, to match the small, friendly vibe we like to broadcast to the world.

Merton: you eat a strict, self-mortifying diet of lentils and gruel, as a form of monastic discipline in order to climb the Norrington Table. You’ve heard rumours that there are other food groups present in other colleges but, being allergic to the harsh light of the sun, you will never know this.

Mansfield: having come top of that poll rating veggie/vegan food provision across the colleges, you are the paradise to which we will all one day ascend. Stories will be passed around campfires in the distant, dystopian future, about how Mansfield found it in its heart to provide a full, varied range of food options for all the members of its community.

Magdalen: you, however, Magdalen College, came last in the same poll. The obvious explanation is that you force-feed your own deer to those among you, you know who they are, who feel opposed to that. Bad, Magdalen College, feel your shame.

Merton: you eat a strict, self-mortifying diet of lentils and gruel, as a form of monastic discipline in order to climb the Norrington Table.

Wadham: I understand that I’m supposed to make some disparaging comments about how Wadham is a wretched, Trotskyist hive of scum and villainy, ruled by a series of workers’ councils, but the fact their JCR passed a motion for 5 straight days of vegan food makes me jealous as all shit, when we’re stuck with the eternal 2:1 meat-to-veggie option ratio. Good for you Wadham, you do you, don’t let anyone put you down.

St. John’s: your unlimited wealth means you’ll have whatever you damn well please, and if anybody wants to argue with that, they can get their own ancient grants of land. All the varied produce of the Earth is bought and brought to you on request, and you wouldn’t change a thing about that.

St. Hugh’s: because you are objectively in a different country to the rest of Oxford, nobody knows what your food provision is like. Vague descriptions are brought back by travellers, those who choose to return, of various semi-mythical types of cuisine, and it’ll be another few centuries until the discourse of mysterious otherness surrounding what you eat will receive rigorous, academic scrutiny.

Brasenose: Well, I can certainly guess that pig is off the menu–no, that joke is old and terrible, I’m not coming up with something based on that. I’m sure your food is lovely.

Look, The Tab literally put out a ‘Which uni is your uni?’ article, at least I’m better than that.


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