I’m one of those students who loves to batch cook, it makes complete sense to do, I usually spend about £7/£8 per batch cook and get about four or five portions out of something. My repertoire includes the humble paella, a cheeky veggie curry and of course, the classic spag bol. However, as much as I enjoy making these things, and eating them, over my tenure as a university student, I question how good the leftovers taste.
The first portion of a batch cook is always the best, fresh out of the pan and gorgeously hot and tasty, it’s the best reward for hours slaving over a hot stove. Then it’s all about tubbing up and freezing your dish, and for me this is the worst part because I know that whatever I make is never going to taste as good as when I first initially eat it. Whether you stick it in the fridge and eat it the next day or keep it in the freezer and defrost it, your meal always seems to lose a bit of flavour.
No matter how you cook it, warming it up in a pan or microwave, the full flavour is never there. It’s a shame because batch cooking is the sensible and cheaper option for a uni student. Eating leftovers is never the same experience as you long for that freshly cooked taste.
Takeaways are also quite interesting. Myself and my house are quite partial to a takeaway curry, and usually, there’s a fair bit for a leftover lunch the next day. However, heating the curry back up doesn’t have the same tandoori taste you had the night before with a couple of beers. Like a batch cook, it’s pleasant enough, but never quite the same.
After many years of researching this area of food, I’ve found the one item that won’t let you down- pizza. Order a pizza or cook one yourself, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the original thing and the leftovers. Pizza as a leftover is a delight whether you choose to have it cold or warm, for breakfast or for lunch, you know where you stand and it is utterly joyous. There have been many times I’ve stumbled into the kitchen, after an evening of alcohol-fuelled fun, to be greeted by the sight of the tattered treasure chest that holds the one thing every hungover person wants, a cold slice of pizza from the night before. The best leftover which can be eaten in any form, I raise my glass to the no-nonsense pizza.