Valley Chefs Try To Spice Up Sheriff Joes Vile Ham Stew 2009: Inmates Maricopa

Valley chefs try to spice up Sheriff Joes vile ham stew

Some inmates in Maricopa County’s jails started a hunger strike, complaining that the evening meal was unpalatable.
At times, more than 1,000 refused to eat the hot slop in protest. We wondered just what was being served and how close the cuisine was to being palatable. THE INGREDIENT: It was labeled as ham stew and picked up at the Maricopa County’s industrial food-services unit near the Lower Buckeye Jail in Phoenix. It was the exact food that would be served to the inmates – those who would eat it, at least – that evening. The milk-based stew contains carrots, green beans, potatoes and ham. Although, when the soup is poured onto a plate, only the carrots are identifiable. Capt. Don Marchand, the division commander of institutional services for the jail, said the meal was one of seven that are rotated throughout the week. Some are gravy-based stews. Others are covered in barbecue sauce. The meat varies. For a while, the jail was using turkey or chicken, he said. “But we’re getting a good deal on ham so we’re using ham now,” he said. A court order has ensured daily meals meet nutritional standards. But it also means meals can have only so much sodium, so the kitchen cut back on salt, he said.
“When you do that, you end up with a very bland menu,” Marchand said.

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