Turns Out Alcatraz Had the Best Food of Any Prison System at the Time

Alcatraz was a prison known for its high security and difficulty to escape from. The movie industry even shot films inspired by daring escape attempts. One may have drawn the conclusion that the company was terrible and the food was awful, as typical prison food is, but you’d only be right about one of these. As it turns out Alcatraz dished out some of the tastiest meals within the federal prison system.

Sumptuous prison fare

Prisoners at the facility must have looked forward to their meal times the most. Instead of the high carb offerings that most prisons are infamous for, Alcatraz kitchen staff served items like biscuits and gravy, pork chops, butter drenched potatoes, chili dogs and banana pudding just to give a few examples. How do we know this? The food of Alcatraz Prison was featured on the Discovery Family Channel show “Secrets of America’s Favorite Places. It has now become a popular tourist site, but it wasn’t exactly a favorite place to visit when it was in operation more than 50 years ago.

Why the meals were so good at Alcatraz Prison

The warden wasn’t trying to establish a five star restaurant, nor did he seek to give the prisoners any kind of special treatment. His reason for serving decent food at the prison was to cut down on the amount of trouble for guards. He had the belief that bad food is one of the factors that led to outbreaks of trouble among the ranks of the incarcerated. By serving great food, morale would be higher and there would be fewer incidents to deal with. The staff at the prison dined on the same cuisine that prisoners did.

A prison notorious for the wrong thing?

Don’t mistakenly think that Alcatraz Prison was a beach front resort in sunny California. It was just the opposite. It was notorious for being a dangerous and isolated facility. Criminals dreaded their sentencing hearings because of fear of being sent to Alcatraz. It was no vacation to land there, but until now, not much has been said about the fantastic food. This was just one of the prison’s best kept secrets throughout the decades. We doubt that knowing the food was great would have inspired felons to make it their first choice though. Alcatraz prison has been the topic of multiple documentaries, paranormal investigations and so forth. It wasn’t until just recently that their amazing food offerings became a topic of interest to the public.

Where to learn more about the food of Alcatraz Prison

The Discovery Channel is featured on the show’s episode “Secrets of America’s Favorite Places.” Re-runs are available online so you can catch the episode that reveals how Alcatraz provided prisoners with outstanding prison food. We’re not quite sure if the prisoners were appreciative of the meals or not. After all, they were locked up. Those on the inside who had been in other prisons in the state and federal system would have the best basis for comparisons. From what we’ve heard, most prison food is barely edible, but this wasn’t the case at the infamous island prison.


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