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With an estimated 14 million meals to serve, it is no wonder London is already well on the way of preparing for the 2012 Olympics.
Out of those 14 million, 1.2 million meals will be served to athletes. There will be over 800 spectator concessions and all food sourced is expected to meet high environmental, ethical and animal welfare standards.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is planning to feature more than 150 different types of dishes that will showcase the diversity and quality of British food, so there should be no shortage of pies and mash.
Along with the classics, like fish and chips, they will have everything from Italian dishes, seafood and salads to Indian curries. A few dishes include jacket potatoes with bacon, chicken and herb mayonnaise, scotch beef with mashed potatoes and Singapore noodles.
Spectators will be able to buy lamb from Wales, charcuterie from Perthshire and sourdough bread from Tower Hamlets. If you’re in the mood for something a bit faster however, you’ll undoubtedly be able to grab something from McDonald’s without too much hassle.
As one of the commercial partners of the London 2012 Olympics, McDonald’s is creating a record-breaking restaurant. According to the Daily Mail, the new McDonald’s will be the largest in the world seating 1,500 customers and employing more than 2,000 workers.
It’s estimated that they will sell 50,000 Big Macs and 180,000 portions of fries while it is open for the Olympics. There are also talks of special menu items in celebration of the summer games.
McDonald’s executive chef Don Coudreaut promised that it will offer, “the broadest menu ever offered” in London. There have not been any further details released but some sources suggest the current menu items offered in Australia are a hint of the new dishes. The “Sydney Stack Burger,” “Barcelona Omelette,” “Paris Chocolate Delight,” and the “Atlanta Pork McRib” may be showing up in London as well by the end of July.
Meanwhile, the plan from the LOCOG is to fit the food into two main themes, British food and international food from every continent.
In addition to making sure spectators are offered varied, affordable and delicious food; LOCOG is responsible for feeding more than 15,000 athletes.
The plan is to have a main dining room that can fit the equivalent of 880 double decker buses where athletes will be able to choose from four zones including British, European, Mediterranean, African and Caribbean dishes.
London 2012 is following their sustainability commitments as well making sure all fruit, vegetables and cereals are Red Tractor accredited, the fish is sustainable, and many ingredients are Fairtrade or ethically sourced.
Heineken and Coca-Cola are among the London 2012 commercial partners and there has already been some backlash over the cost of beer at the Olympics. Spectators will be paying 7.23 pounds or about $11.50 AUD. This is more than double the national average price for a pint of beer.
“We believe that our prices are more than comparable to those found at other major sporting events which because of their temporary nature are often more expensive than the high street,” said LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton.
Spectators are allowed to bring their own food in soft bags but alcohol won’t be permitted into the events.
Spectators may have to shell out a bit extra for food and drink at the Games but it seems LOCOG is making an effort to feature a few tasty items at somewhat reasonable prices.
Check out a few items on the sample spectator menu:
• Porridge and maple syrup, made with UK oats and milk - £2.20
• Toasted tea cakes, with Yorkshire butter – £2.10
• Red Leicester British cheese with British apple chutney and Farm assured lettuce on Oxfordshire bread - £3.80
• Pole and line caught tuna and sweet potato British salad – £5.90
• Freshly carved Dingley Dell hog roasted Red Tractor pork, served in Oxfordshire cross hatched bread roll with mixed leaf salad and assorted accompaniments – £6.50
• Penne pasta Red Tractor chicken and mushroom white sauce - £6.50
• Farm assured Scotch Beef with Long Clawson Stilton Pie, Irish mashed potato with Red Tractor Cream and British butter and onion gravy - £8.00
• Cod and chips – from £8
• Singapore noodle, stir fried egg noodle, chicken, prawns, char sui Pork, chilli and shredded peppers in a hoi sin dressing – £8.50
• Lamb Rogan Josh served with Pilaf or Saffron rice - £8.50
• Bottled water - £1.60
• Fairtrade Tea from £2.00
• Fairtrade Coffee from £2.60
• 500ml bottle of Coca Cola - £2.30
• 330ml bottle of Heineken - £4.20
• London 2012 red wine 18.7cl - £4.80