Creative Foods Whipped Up by Inmates

Originally Published February 11th, 2020

The standards for prison foods vary from country to country, and it has been a point of controversy for quite a long time now. Some prison foods are not that bad and quite tolerable, but some institutions serve straight garbage.

Either way, who would expect more to a prison meal? Prison is not meant to be an awesome experience, after all. And the situation gets more ugly, especially now that most prisons are banning visitors from bringing food to inmates. Families are now only allowed to send money to inmates to buy foods at the prison’s canteen.

So what do inmates eat if they get a nasty prison meal? Well, most prisoners tend to create their own food while inside the jail. Here are the examples of prison foods made by inmates that will amaze – and somehow shock you.


The Chi-Chi recipe is like the Wagyu beef of prison. It consists of ramen noodles, cheese curls, summer sausage, pepperoni, barbecue sauce, honey, pickles, and chili powder. All the ingredients are mixed in a plastic bag and cooked in boiling water. The result? A sweet, salty, and crunchy dish with nothing to worry about the sodium content.


Who says you can’t have pizza Friday while in prison? Well, surprisingly, prisoners can also create a pizza using a crushed up ramen noodles as the crust. And for the toppings, they can add whatever they can buy in the commissary.

a ramen made by an inmate


Prison wine, a.k.a “pruno,” got its name from its original ingredient, prunes. But as the years go by, inmates improvised and changed the recipe. Prisoners now use moldy pieces of bread, oranges, a ton of sugar, and then strained everything through a sock. All they have to do is wait for the juice to ferment for a couple of days. And then, voila! A glass of pruno is enough for them to get buzzed.


Even though prisoners are locked up behind bars, they still celebrate their birthdays. And it can’t be called a birthday if it doesn’t have a cake.

With Oreo cookies, peanut butter, and M&Ms, inmates can create a correctional cake. The cookies are crushed and molded to create the layers of the cake. The peanut butter and the creamy interior of the Oreos, on the other hand, are used as an icing. If there’s M&Ms available, prisoners will use it as the toppings.


Piper Kerman is an ex-convict who was famous for her memoir, “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.” In her book, Kerman wrote a no-bake cheesecake recipe. She used graham crackers, lemon juice, vanilla pudding mix, coffee creamer, and a tub of stolen margarine for the crust. It looks like the cheesecake’s really good to risk yourself from being sent to the SHU.


If you think inmates can’t have a Starbucks-like macchiato, think again. Prison latte is the easiest one to make. With a carton of milk, an instant coffee, and a maple syrup, prisoners can enjoy their breakfast with a cup of latte. Who knows, maybe one day they can add some whipped cream to it.


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Franchette Agatha an author for GlobalTel


Franchette Agatha Jardin believes that everyone has the capacity to help those who are in need. She writes blogs about issues and news surrounding those in prison in the hopes of restoring a little extra faith in humanity.