by Oskar Steiner
Picture, for a moment, a public swimming pool. Now imagine that it’s a warm summer’s day. The pool is popular amongst locals and tourists alike, and on this particular weekend, everybody and their mother is out for a splash. The pool fills up slowly, the water is tepid, and soon enough the pool is sloshing to its brim, threatening to overflow. A yeasty mix of skin, sweat and chemicals all intermingling, tumbling back and forth incessantly. Suddenly, a truck carrying exclusively baking flour crashes over the walls and tumbles into the pool. It spills its contents all over the courtyard, and the pool becomes gluey and dense, a quickly thickening mass of goo with a few chunks firmly anchored in place. Now, imagine that pool is my stomach, and you have an accurate picture of how Huel feels in your gut.
It is Wednesday, October 4th. I have now officially subsisted for 24 hours primarily on Huel. I say primarily, because I am a cheater. Since the beginning of my Huel cleanse, I have fudged on 4 occasions. In addition to Huel, I have consumed one apple, a forkful of Hashim’s homemade shakshuka, and an assortment of cheese. It would be forgivable to stop reading now. I have gone against my word, and can no longer be trusted. In my defence, however, Huel tastes like a wet sock blended with cardboard and I’m not a masochist.
Anyways, a few things that I have noticed on this first day of Huel consumption.
- Far and away the best flavour is Original, with its unoffensive, mild Vanilla taste. The Berry flavour tastes like somebody described wildberry-flavoured-toothpaste to a food chemist over a crackly phone connection and then the chemist removed all the berry flavour and replaced it with pre-chewed chewing gum. The supposed Coffee flavour is a whole other story. I tried to craft a unit of it for ‘lunch’ today, and it was so purely and utterly revolting that I had no choice but to brew my own pot of coffee and then blend that in. I also added ice, because without a slight chill, Huel tastes like tepid bath water.
- I crave salt. Like really really crave salt. Huel is very low in sodium, and although our dietary overlords recommend a low sodium diet, eating (drinking) artificially sweetened paste for every meal every day leaves one desiring something savoury. I need Marmite.
- Huel has a suspicious way of making me feel both overwhelmingly full and desperately hungry all at the same time. Its oaty mass fills up my bowels thoroughly, yet I don’t feel like I’ve actually eaten. Because of this, every experiment with Huel leaves me confused more than anything else.
- I have way too much of this stuff. Based on preliminary online research, I had been led to believe that Huel was actually mildly tasty. I read testimonials of converted former food eaters who swore that they exclusively ate Huel for breakfast lunch and dinner. Because of my susceptibility to iffy online reviews, I purchased way too much and now have enough powdered gunk to keep me alive for 3+ weeks. I am happy to announce that I will be hosting Huel parties at 123 Rue Longue for the next year in an attempt to purge my cupboards of this unholy foodstuff. Please come by anytime. Huel and I will welcome you with open arms.
That is all for this chapter. Tune in tomorrow for Chapter 3: A New Hope?