WASHINGTON — Sagacious officers across all branches of the armed forces are only indulging in five rosewater scones per day on the average, according to a report released today.
The 14-page study, published in this month's issue of online food journal "Gastronomica", shows that the palates of our nation's leaders have changed dramatically over the last two decades, moving away from almond-flour sweets towards more rustic, custard-based desserts.
"We are extremely concerned that commissioned officers are trying to relate with the enlisted by eschewing the food of their forefathers," said Pentagon spokeswoman Col. Lucretia Portendorfer. "While admirable, it is hardly becoming of an officer of these United States to be noshing on Manchester tart and tipsy cake with soldiers who are supposed to respect them."
Other floured delicacies are also facing a decline in dinner party merriment. Where sablés, clafoutis, tuiles, madeleines, and financiers composed over 95 percent of every officer's post-repast snacks, their consumption has steadily declined to a record low of 90 percent. Llewelyn Davies, chancellor hostis humani generis of the Society of Cincinnati branch responsible for the study, told reporters that he hasn't seen this kind of dessert decline since the Great Macaron Crisis of 2002.
"The drop in delicate, crumbly dessert bread being consumed by America's lords and ladies is due to many factors," said Davies. "We can't put our finger on just one, but from the lack of effulgent confectioneries outside most military installations, to bothersome crumbs soiling their finely starched waistcoats, we are seeing a major shift among all commissioned ranks in the consumption of delicate finger foods."
As the Pentagon tries to determine the root cause of the recent downturn in deportment, leaders from around the military are hardly ruffling their cravats about the results of the study.
"The geopolitical landscape is always changing and our nation's leaders have to be able to change with it," said Lt. Col. Septimus Nithercott III. "Gone are the days of officers sitting on their laurels and stuffing their faces with whatever second-rate panna cotta they can get their well-manicured hands on. Today's leaders need to be flexible, three dimensional, and ready to deal with whatever tarte à la bouillie gets thrown at them."
A compromise may be on the horizon, however, with the unveiling of Officer-specific MREs arriving in late 2020. The MREs will be an "L-shaped ambush for the senses," according to the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine's Military Nutrition Division official press release. Not only will it bolster the waning petite French cookie industry, but the delectable bagged collations will also contain perennial officer favorites such as a foie gras, escargots de Bourgogne, rosbif à l'alsacienne, and dehydrated 1982 Bourdeuax Cheval Blanc.
Intrepid Duffel Blog reporters Blonds Over Baghdad and Dick Scuttlebutt contributed to this report.