Oh me, oh my! What could this be, beckoning goopily to my hungering eye? It can’t be … It is! A pile of slop, green and gurgling on a cheap, off-white plate! This can only mean one thing: Ortega’s Fall 2021 slop has dropped, and not a moment too late. 

It’s been over a year since our quivering lips have felt the embrace of the Ortega Slop Tube, and it’s a shame, for some of my fondest memories at UC Santa Barbara have stemmed from the ol’ Slop Drop. I mean, who doesn’t feel a twinge of nostalgia looking back on those hungover Sunday mornings, pumping your gullet full of some throbbing slop straight from the chute? The sense of community built by passing the tube to your fellow student, meeting eyes while gurgling that gloppy good-good and declaring, “Damn! That’s some slop!” is integral to the UCSB experience.

Luckily, with the university planning to open up this fall, we hungry little goblins won’t have to wait much longer for our chunky treat. Ortega has already begun finalizing the recipe, and as Nexustentialism’s food correspondent, I had the supreme honor of getting a sneak peak at the new slop. Allow me to be the first to tell you: It HITS. 

I arrived at Ortega under the cover of darkness, as instructed. I knocked at the door three times and was immediately whisked inside, blindfolded and led to the middle of the dining common. Upon removing the blindfold, I found myself at a candlelit table with only a spoon in front of me. I looked up at the horrific mural that graces Ortega’s walls and thanked whatever gods were out there for this opportunity. 

Unfortunately, due to COVID-protocals, I couldn’t lip the tube. Bummer! No matter though; I soon heard its familiar chugging and, within moments, a plate of pulsating, frothy slime was wavering in front of me. Bon appetit! 

The first bite of slop transported me to a beautiful Eden, where sweet, salty and umami danced around naked, frolicking euphoric through patches of daisies. It also tasted a lot like dirt, which helped with the garden imagery. The next few bites were equally as transformative. I tried to have a word with the chef to see what combination of ingredients could have created something so incredible, but he only grunted and made vaguely threatening gestures in response. 

In case you’re building a list of things to look forward to when we go back to in-person learning, you have to add this! I’ve always said that slop should be more than a meal … it should be an experience, and Ortega’s Fall 2021 slop fits the bill perfectly


Chace Duma wants sloppy toppy, hold the toppy