School Lunch From Around The World
May 31, 2009 8:16 PM   Subscribe

School Lunch From Around The World
posted by Joe Beese (86 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Which is the tater tots and which is the chicken nuggets?
posted by netbros at 8:22 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tots to the lower left, nuggets in the center.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:23 PM on May 31, 2009


At least we've got milk!
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:26 PM on May 31, 2009


Well they fail to identify several of the Japanese food items in several lunches. "Noodle stuff" is a mix of sprouts and vegetables.

From experience way back when - some schools have awesome cooks and some average. But generally there are guidelines they have to follow in regards to nutrition and dishes.

Which is probably pretty much the same for every country that offers school lunches.

Not pictured - the Australian School Lunch which is generally an inevitably half squashed Vegemite and cheese sandwich that was chucked together before you had to run out the door to get to school on time. All these lunches with plates and utensils are so fancy!
posted by gomichild at 8:26 PM on May 31, 2009


Obligatory: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners campaign in the U.K.

Alice Waters' push for a new school lunch program here in the States.
posted by ericb at 8:28 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some of these are obviously pretty far fetched. I'm looking at you unbelievably real-food-looking American "school lunch", whole artichoke with scallops and whole fish.

If those last two are real, I'm going back to high school. Every day. For like 35 minutes. Around noonish.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:31 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


whole artichoke with scallops

Um ... I think they are actually steamed mussels and not scallops.
posted by ericb at 8:34 PM on May 31, 2009


Those are mussels not scallops.
posted by fshgrl at 8:34 PM on May 31, 2009


Jinx, fshgrl, you owe me a Coke!
posted by ericb at 8:36 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


yeah, scallop shells are, well, scalloped.
posted by boo_radley at 8:37 PM on May 31, 2009


all i wanted was a pepsi
posted by the aloha at 8:37 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


How many different shades of brown can a kid eat?
posted by stargell at 8:40 PM on May 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who eat those nasty lunches
You fuckers be servin'
posted by brain_drain at 8:41 PM on May 31, 2009 [9 favorites]


Malk. Now with Vitamin R.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:41 PM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


No Coke! Pepsi! Cheesburger. Cheesburger.
posted by ericb at 8:42 PM on May 31, 2009


Err ... *cheeseburger*
posted by ericb at 8:44 PM on May 31, 2009


Fear the heat lamp.
posted by Artw at 8:44 PM on May 31, 2009


Some of these are obviously pretty far fetched. I'm looking at you unbelievably real-food-looking American "school lunch", whole artichoke with scallops and whole fish.

When I was a guest artist in Macao, China, I ate in the cafeteria with the students. I got a whole fish. It was tasty. But it also was an international school.

(I also noticed that the likely-wealthy students left a lot of food on their trays and would make a big obvious move before they got up from the table. The tray ladies who looked to be migrant workers, would come around, not so subtly collect leftovers, before taking the trays and wiping the tables. My colleagues and I were pretty confident we were witness to some unspoken resource-distribution model. The teenagers were not interested in the 'old-fashioned' meal, but the migrant workers were most definitely interested. No one saw anything, and no one gets hurt.)
posted by typewriter at 8:47 PM on May 31, 2009


Yeah, I'd like to know which American school serves a lunch like that because at Goddard High of Goddard, KS, our best lunches included a Kleenex-flavored "bread roll", "yellow corn," and the triangle-shaped fish stick known as "Tri-Fish."
posted by katillathehun at 8:48 PM on May 31, 2009


what? no half squashed Vegemite and cheese sandwich?
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:50 PM on May 31, 2009


I remember the ritual that was performed at every table of my junior high cafeteria, regardless of clique: the swabbing of the pizza rectangle grease. A light day would mean two napkins. Extra greasy days meant three or four napkins would have to be used to get all surface oil slick ecological-culinary disaster clear prior to consumption.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:56 PM on May 31, 2009


We recently moved to North Carolina, and her public school serves stuff pretty much like the "unbelievable" one paisley henosis mentions (maybe with like green beans or corn instead of the salad, though). It costs $1.75/day (or less if you are low income) and the school also offers breakfast for $0.80/day (or less). It's amazing to me how much they pack into such little cost. We were very amused when the monthly menu specified "Eastern NC barbecue sandwich" instead of just "barbecue sandwich" like a public school might have back in New England. They take their pulled pork seriously down here, y'all.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:57 PM on May 31, 2009


the american meals all look so sanitary and unappetizing. But apparently, I loved the stuff growing up. Actually, I still love tater tots.
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:57 PM on May 31, 2009


This took me back.
posted by rubah at 8:59 PM on May 31, 2009


I miss school lunch so much. Now that I'm an adult, being able to eat fast food for lunch whenever I want is a poor substitute for reduced-price "nutritionally-balanced" food I don't have to make myself.

I work very close to a middle school. Only the threat of breaking some sort of nebulous law or social taboo prevents me from trespassing and purchasing a school lunch every day. When the noon bell rings, my mouth waters like Pavlov's dogs.

paisley henosis, that "school lunch" looks pretty much like the food I got every day in elementary school, even adjusting for twenty years of idealized memory. $.70 per tray, even if it doesn't look "real?" Sign me up!
posted by infinitewindow at 9:03 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Curiously, Malawi's lunch looks to be about the healthiest of the bunch (beans + rice = complex proteins; other cut vegetables to boot). Malawi is bty far he "poorest" nation represented there, although on balance probably a large portion of the children don't get lunch every day.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:05 PM on May 31, 2009


Yeah, that's a rectangle pizza slice in the last photo.

My high school cafeteria served the same thing. The trick was to order two pieces while you were in line and then stack them and smush the cheese around the edges so you just got charged for one by the time you made it to the register.

I'd be shocked if the cafeteria ladies weren't hip to the scam. I only think they eventually pretended to care when a certain dipshit dude did a bad job of cheese smushing one day while the principal was watching the line.
posted by Cyrano at 9:10 PM on May 31, 2009


I sent my 5yro & 8yro to school today with a cheese and vegemite sandwich! Not squashed yet, and on homemade wholemeal rather than the white Tip Top I used to get. And the cheese was Mainland Colby, so that beats the Kraft cheese in a box I used to get too.
My main reaction, though, is there are a lot of calories in most of these.
Is this what junior school kids get, too?
My kids took a sandwich, a mandarin, a yogurt container size thing of peach pieces and two cookies, and I bet I get half a sandwich brought home.
How do kids eat all this?
posted by bystander at 9:12 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


From a site titled: Funny & Interesting Email Forwards...cringe
posted by GavinR at 9:15 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to start taking pictures of the crap Sodexho serves me every day at the caf and add it to the list. I may be 20 years older, but it's still the same old slop.
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 9:15 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still miss the taco pizza my school district used to serve. And the peanut butter crunch bars, too.

These days, fruit is the only dessert served in the district's school lunches - a whole generation is missing out on the joy of peanut butter crunch bars. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 9:19 PM on May 31, 2009


Who are all the people saying that curry's a UK phenomena? I grew up on curry in Malaysia and my family's from Bangladesh.
posted by divabat at 9:23 PM on May 31, 2009


I don't plan to have children, but if I ever do, I swear here and now to make lunch for them each and every day. Because school food sucks, from both culinary and nutritional perspectives.

Best thing ever? Opening a brown-bag lunch to find a peanut-butter-banana-honey-raisin sandwich on whole-wheat bread. YUM. Especially when the honey had started to crystallize into the bread after sitting around for a few hours. (Okay, maybe not the healthiest thing ever, but damn good.)

On days when I was buying instead of bagging, I survived on Tastykake pies (or nothing at all), because the cafeteria food was so revolting. I know they're making the stuff as cheaply as possible, but is it really necessary to boil the broccoli to a ghastly-smelling mush?

Mmmm. Now I want one of those sandwiches.
posted by ixohoxi at 9:28 PM on May 31, 2009


Having experienced some of the "too-real to be real" food, allow me to assure you that it's not spectacular. It might be "real food," but somehow they manage to make it disgusting nevertheless. Pizza whose primary topping might as well be listed as "chemically orange grease;" bread on a sandwich with the texture of sponges; hamburger patties with strings(?!) in; oranges so dry as to be borderline inedible; and milk, of course, which has been kept just on the verge of "too warm" for the last three days and tastes horrible.

Most of the time I took in an apple and a PB&J sandwich.

These days I mostly eat rice. It's an improvement.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:30 PM on May 31, 2009


Oh god, The Pizza. It's all coming back now. That rectangular form is instantly recognized throughout the US. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a golden rectangle or some new universal constant.

I still get strange random urges for tater tots.
posted by formless at 9:39 PM on May 31, 2009


Because school food sucks, from both culinary and nutritional perspectives.

While I'm sure you can do better, for a lot of kids the school lunch is the most nutritious thing they will eat (quite probably not the tastiest, however). If the parents care about nutrition a lot, and have the time, they can definitely do better, but thats definitely not true of a lot of parents. The schools really do put a lot of effort into making nutritious food, but their budget per student is pretty low, so the ingredients certainly aren't the top choices and flavor is often sacrificed. It's hard to beat the nutritive value of a school lunch on price tho (especially for low income students who pay nothing or next to nothing).
posted by wildcrdj at 9:44 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


At least we've got milk!

Chock-full of nutrients growing children need, like bovine growth hormone!
posted by Mikey-San at 9:46 PM on May 31, 2009


To be fair, the site does list the French lunch as "Scallops, an artichoke, grapefruit, cheesecake, baguette and fries." though they are clearly mussels. I wasn't really paying attention.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:50 PM on May 31, 2009


Oh man the rectangle pizza, I can still taste it. Strangely I miss those days. In our school the most popular lunch days were toasted cheese (Tuesdays) and pasta your way (Thursdays). Those days the lines would run the whole length of the cafeteria. We also had a whole other section of the food where there was nachos, hot dogs, bagels, and salad that you could buy along with all the snacks and ice cream. How I miss those days.
posted by lilkeith07 at 9:53 PM on May 31, 2009


A few observations:

1. Some of these are obviously promo pics, like those big juicy burgers on menu boards that look completely unlike the sad, limp food you actually get.

2. I cannot believe how ubiquitous chocolate milk, chicken nuggets, and fries are in US schools. This is just crap fast food. This could just be McDonalds, except the chocolate milk would be a shake. Are there really regulations? They must be pretty lax if so.

3. I have a sudden craving for a mint It's It, which they sold at my high school snack bar. I was excited to see you can order these online, for $20 a case.. plus $70 in shipping. Yikes.
posted by cj_ at 10:17 PM on May 31, 2009


Did anyone else's school always serve corn with the rectangle pizza? In my entire elementary and high school career they never, ever served pizza with anything but corn. I've always wondered what nutritional regulation that combination was designed to meet.
posted by little e at 10:17 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perhaps they hoped the corn would aid in pushing that gob of pizza goo through your gut in good time.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:25 PM on May 31, 2009


Anyone else have Chili-Crispito-Pickle Day? I crave that combo to this day.
posted by Ugh at 10:29 PM on May 31, 2009


I remember the ritual that was performed at every table of my junior high cafeteria, regardless of clique: the swabbing of the pizza rectangle grease. A light day would mean two napkins. Extra greasy days meant three or four napkins would have to be used to get all surface oil slick ecological-culinary disaster clear prior to consumption.
I remember that, except for ours it would take at least seven or eight napkins. But maybe our napkins were thinner.

There should be a standard napkin thickness that can be used for a measurement of how greasy a particular pizza is.
posted by kmz at 10:35 PM on May 31, 2009


Did anyone else's school always serve corn with the rectangle pizza?
Ha! in the UK you get corn kernels on the pizza (Dominos supreme, I think it was...)
posted by bystander at 10:35 PM on May 31, 2009


Oh man, this just jogged a long buried memory from the fifth grade. I was in a Future Problem Solver group and we decided to tackle the terrible school lunches. We wanted better food and more freedom over our selections. How did the district administration address the heartfelt and detailed concerns of hopeful 11 year olds trying to make a difference? By instituting a double-portion program that allowed students to pay $.65 extra to get an additional portion of the main course. We were all rather stunned to a kid, and were never given any explanation for the decision but instead we were praised in the district section of the local city newspaper.

We complained about the food and in turn the administration let us buy more portions. I wonder if our teacher-adviser went out and got plastered that night.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:41 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Remember, if you ever get the chance to order rectangle pizza again, go for the darkest, brownest slice you can find. The almost burned slices tasted like a tiny little bit of heaven, pale rectangle pizza slices can go straight to hell. Until they too are deliciously browned.

Also, pull the cheese and topping off in one piece, roll up and eat the dough, then roll up and eat the cheese. Maximum deliciousness!
posted by Science! at 11:13 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pretty much all of those look better than the Taco Bell and Pizza Hut served at my highschool in the early 1990's.
posted by item at 11:21 PM on May 31, 2009


Did anyone else's school always serve corn with the rectangle pizza? In my entire elementary and high school career they never, ever served pizza with anything but corn. I've always wondered what nutritional regulation that combination was designed to meet.

Yep. In my entire school lunch experience the rectangle pizza was always served with corn, and the dessert on that day was always a cinnamon roll. Always. I never quite understood it either, but it was my favorite of all the school lunches.
posted by amyms at 11:50 PM on May 31, 2009


I wouldn't be surprised if it's a golden rectangle or some new universal constant.

[downloads pizza pic]

[opens photoshop, measures]

[discovers 1.6 ration width to height]

[boggles]
posted by device55 at 11:51 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've eaten the school lunches at several different jr. highs and high schools in Japan. The quality/tastiness varies from school to school and from day to day. Mostly it's pretty bland but inoffensive, like a lot of Japanese food, but occasionally they'd have some kickass miso ramen or tonkatsu (pork cutlet) or something. And then sometimes they'd serve this awful bland, gooey, starchy goop called champon. Or some random fish swimming (not literally) in sour soupy stuff. Blech.
posted by zardoz at 11:53 PM on May 31, 2009


The vegemite and cheese sandwich needs to be represented here, along with the likewise squished muesli bar, dented popper and hard, impervious apple. You'd think none of us had lunch boxes, and even though I always had the comparmentalised bento-style dealies designed to stop an ICB, I still managed to wind up with mangled sandwiches.

Oh! And also the sarnies highschool cousin, uncooked two minute noodles. For when you're just too cool for vegemite.*

C'mon, someone with kids! Let's get onto this! Our national pride is at stake!

*No-one is too cool for vegemite
posted by Jilder at 1:39 AM on June 1, 2009


What I found fascinating was that no matter what kind of cuisine I was looking at, what nation's food was ostensibly being represented, I still got the feeling that the school lunch version looked like a bad version of it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:03 AM on June 1, 2009


My elementary school's PTA sold the rectangle pizza, frozen, as a fund-raiser. So we could have it for lunch, and then again for dinner.

That was about the same time that Reagan told us ketchup was a vegetable.
posted by Houstonian at 4:06 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is the point of providing lunches like this? I know that school lunches are meant to ensure that every kid gets at least one good meal a day. But if the meal your school provides has the nutritional value of deep-fried sawdust, then isn't it just ensuring you grow up malnourished and overweight, rather than merely malnourished?

All the other countries' lunches look pretty good, especially compared to the squashed sandwiches I was raised on. (Sorry Jilder, no vegemite for me...)
posted by embrangled at 4:09 AM on June 1, 2009


They all looked so yummy.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 4:27 AM on June 1, 2009


squished muesli bar, dented popper and hard, impervious apple

Either this means something different over there, or your high school was a much wilder scene than mine.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:28 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


In Australia a popper is what I believe you yanks call a 'juicebox'.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:09 AM on June 1, 2009


Also, as a child of the 90's, no Australian lunch box was complete without a packet of Tiny Teddies. Unless you couldn't be arsed packing lunch and so instead it was begging Mum for two bucks to buy a meat pie and sauce.

It's a wonder that I can still see my toes.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:16 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


They should have included photos of the condiments.
Giant ketchup and mustard pumps!
Open bowls of tomato sauce with greasy ladles!
Coagulated mayonnaise tubs!
posted by orme at 5:17 AM on June 1, 2009


I love love love institutional food. I really do. Airlines, hospitals, cafeterias. To be able to eat school lunches from around the world? Man. One of the best meals of my life was the Hindu meal served on a TWA flight - I imagine these meals are like that.

I worked as a special ed teacher's assistant in an elementary school for a while, and I ate the school lunch every day. I took a picture of my school lunch it nearly every day. Self link!
posted by dirtdirt at 6:02 AM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Obligatory kickass dirtdirt photography previous thread.
posted by cavalier at 6:14 AM on June 1, 2009


When I started school its institutionalized slop (stew/mash/cabbage... blurg!)... by the time I left it had gone 'canteen' (chips/pizza/burger) to save money/get more kids to actually eat and thus institutionalized grease. At least we had plates though.

The main memory was that whole food hall pounding their knifes and forks on the table and shouting 'Whaaaa!!!!' if anyone ever dropped a tray.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:14 AM on June 1, 2009


pounding their knifes and forks

Wow, that sounds downright civilized. We ate with plastic sporks. Oh, and we got a wooden stick/paddle to eat ice cream. Mmm, ice-cream-and-splinter-day!
posted by Houstonian at 6:26 AM on June 1, 2009


When I was a kid, the pizza came in two forms.

Standard rectangular pizza was always accompanied with salad (iceberg lettuce) and ranch dressing. Dessert was usually some form of mixed fruit.

However, on certain, blessed days, we had pizza bread! Served with tater tots! And once everyone was served, you could go back to the counter for seconds on the tater tots, for free!

I'm sure it was just the way they got rid of all the leftover tots, but we would all go to our seats, cram our tots in our faces, and get back up to the line as quickly as possible.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:31 AM on June 1, 2009


School Lunches from Around The World


And memories are released.

Sitting in a grade school classroom that, for some reason, did not have a cafeteria so all the students ate their lunches at their desks. All except for me and about 2 other kids. We were on the "Lunch Provided" program, so right before everyone else eats, the school rolls in a cart stacked with big white Styrofoam boxes and calls out your name so you can collect your lunch in front of everyone.

Or in the other words "HEY EVERYONE! YOU GOTTA WAIT CAUSE THE POOR KIDS NEED TO EAT! C'MON DOWN POOR KIDS AND EAT YOUR HORRIBLE GOVERNMENT MEAL!"

I don't think I ate lunch for a year out of embarrassment.

A little older, middle school, I find a dead spider in some macaroni and cheese. Refuse to eat lunch for another year. Also that year, I was reading a "character testing assignment" that was supposed to teach you about helping others and tolerance and ...stuff. It had the question, "A new student from another country is eating lunch. You notice him pick up an apple and eat it completely, core and all. Do you try to help him? Why?"

I remember thinking, even at that tender age, that this was complete bullshit. Who around the world as A) Never seen an apple, and if so B) Would immediately try to eat something he's never seen before and C) Eat the obviously inedible part or even D) Be able to do so, aren't cores really hard? My disillusionment with the educational system begins.

High School. Since I have to make lunches for my Mom and my brother, I'm up at 6 throwing sandwiches together and putting in the banana I know neither will eat. My attempts to vary the meals are stymied by my mom's poor grocery skills. I, being a priggish overachieving student, skipped lunch most days to take extra classes. I nibbled on blueberry muffins while declining nouns or some nonsense.

High School again. After it dawns on me that eating an entire plate of french fries for lunch may not be the best thing ever, I decide to forgo all forms of sugar and overly processed food (I was on a self-righteous kick about the soda machines in the school and did I mention what a priggish nonce I was?). It lasted about a week. I broke down and bought a Capri-Sun pack. I took once sip and then nearly retched. A week without sugar left my taste buds super-sensitive and twitchy. The Carpi-Sun, something I had enjoyed many times over the years, was suddenly the MOST SUGARY THING IN THE WORLD. It was vile, so thick and sweet and cloying! Uck! I spit it out into the garbage can and then dramatically flung the rest of it into the garbage like it was a sack of flaming poo. It was then I noticed that the entire cafeteria had seen me do this. It did not help me socially.

Damn you Metafilter. Damn you.
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


My 9 year old, who has been homeschooled up til now, is so excited about eating school lunch when he starts school next fall. We'll see how long that lasts!
posted by Biblio at 7:42 AM on June 1, 2009


I don't know how our school got away with it, but like twice a week you could order KFC ahead of time. On the days I didn't get that meal I'd survive on an It's It and pepsi. For breakfast it was a cup-o-noodle. After school was McDonalds for 2 double cheeseburgers for $2. If I ever ate the caf food it was for a double order of tots.

Why I'm not a million pounds overweight is beyond me. I love cooking and try to eat pretty healthy. Mystery.
posted by like_neon at 7:42 AM on June 1, 2009


I remember thinking, even at that tender age, that this was complete bullshit. Who around the world as A) Never seen an apple, and if so B) Would immediately try to eat something he's never seen before and C) Eat the obviously inedible part or even D) Be able to do so, aren't cores really hard? My disillusionment with the educational system begins.

I eat apples core and all. Slice them into eighths and it doesn't even taste weird.
posted by nasreddin at 7:55 AM on June 1, 2009


I went to boarding school. I ate school food three meals a day, five days a week (two meals on weekends).

My survival trick was to get a job in the kitchen. This meant I had access to the cereal at dinner, and could eat raisin bran instead of Pork Chops with Mint Green-Apple Jelly.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:05 AM on June 1, 2009


When I was in high school it was social death to let a boy see you eat anything. Girls were supposed to subsist on iced tea and fairy dust, so I think all I ate for a whole year was lemon slices with sugar on them and plain bread, also with sugar. Sugar mixed with butter margarine - the stuff you could grab from the condiment bar, in other words. Mmmmmm. And then when I couldn't stand the hunger anymore I'd have a Coke and a Rye-Chee from the ubiquitous vending machines. Surprising I have any teeth left.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:15 AM on June 1, 2009


Is our children barfing?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:39 AM on June 1, 2009


Korea FTW.

Also, Whelk, in high school I used to eat every bit of the apple -- not sliced, I just ate around the core, like a normal person, and then ate the core, like a not-normal person, from the top down. I think it was part of some kind of pose. (Inevitably, really.)
posted by palliser at 10:24 AM on June 1, 2009


nebulawindphone: I think high school would have been a hell of a lot more bearable if we'd swapped the Fruit Juice Drink (tm) with amyl. Hell, I sure would have been happier. Mildly brain damaged, but happier.

Serial Killer Slumber Party: I can't believe I forgot the Tiny Teddies. I used to bite their limbs off and save their heads for last, so they got to hear their own screams as I dismembered them. Good times.
posted by Jilder at 10:46 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I eat apples core and all.

You know else who also eats apples whole?

That's right. Retiring Associate Justice David Souter. Along with a yogurt.
posted by spec80 at 12:27 PM on June 1, 2009


Great english there, spec80.
posted by spec80 at 12:28 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


To this day I have an irrational fondness for soggy olive-green broccoli.

When I was in elementary school, I always looked forward to the days my dad would come to the cafeteria and eat lunch with me and my friends. I was crushed when I figured out he only showed up when they were serving cinnamon rolls.
posted by aquafortis at 12:35 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was in elementary school, I always looked forward to the days my dad would come to the cafeteria and eat lunch with me and my friends. I was crushed when I figured out he only showed up when they were serving cinnamon rolls.

When my kids were in public school, my husband used to mark the days on the calendar when their schools were serving pigs-in-a-blanket. It was his favorite and he specifically joined them for lunch on those days. The lunch ladies learned to expect him and always gave him extra.
posted by amyms at 1:52 PM on June 1, 2009


I think some of the Korean "school" lunches are actually from company canteens although this one is from Japan. I see one photo that has time table schedules under a glass plate over green felt cover that screams teacher's office.

I'm too old to experience state funded food as a student, everyone brought packed lunches.

Lunchtime was the highlight of the day. As soon as the bell rang, you arrange the desks around in a circle with your best friends at the time, open up the 3 tiered lunchapail and share the banchan so you always got a great variety of food. Some greedy students kept the lid of their banchan boxes covered and would sneak out a treasured vienna sausage or meat pattie or whatever they wanted to hog for themselves. No one in my group ever did that.

You did have to watch out for the banchan bandits though. They would roam around the room a bowl of rice in one hand, chopstick wielded like spears in the other. Occasionally swooping down and making off with the choicest morsel. Fortunately, my mother wasn't really devoted to bentomania so I was never a victim.
posted by slyrabbit at 4:10 PM on June 1, 2009


"You know else who also eats apples whole?
That's right. Retiring Associate Justice David Souter. Along with a yogurt."

Dude, you have to give me time to guess. If you're going to quiz me you have to insert a pause.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:04 PM on June 1, 2009


I am now informed on the practice on eating apple cores!

Still, it throws the purpose of the question in ...question. Maybe in the end you found out that apple core eating was totally normal, but by then I was already cynical and disaffected and ...such and didn't bother to hand in the assignment.
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 PM on June 1, 2009


Oh man, when I was in France many many years ago I had what was probably the best meal of my life. I believe it was simply called a 'Steak-frites' sandwich and was two or three hamburger patties on a baguette stuffed with fries. It was delicious. I remember dangling my legs over the aqueduct at Pont du Gard (or a similar place) while munching on it. It's nice to know that schoolkids in France get to enjoy the same!
posted by xorry at 6:03 AM on June 2, 2009


During my freshman year of high school, I (as one of two vegetarians in the school, the other of whom always brought lunch from home) asked if I might be able to take the "Super Nachos" without meat. After a surprisingly lengthy period of thought, the woman at the counter told me it was fine as long as I took enough of the institutionalized-glop-they-called-cheese, since it apparently contained protein.

(Later that year, a girl found a maggot in her cherry turnover.)
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 2:55 PM on June 2, 2009


Oh my. Sweden's lunch makes me glad that my forebears had the sense to emigrate. Egads. I'll stick to the nuggets, thanks.

Still, the peas in US lunches do bad things to my soul.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:25 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I used to eat blood pancakes at school.

Pancakes. With blood in them.

They were black.

That was my favorite lunch the school served, so you can imagine what the other lunches were like (or maybe you can't, lucky you).
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:09 PM on June 2, 2009


I am so jonesing for some school pizza right now.
posted by deborah at 12:18 AM on June 6, 2009


« Older Heroes and Gay Nazis is a german documentary by Ro...  |  Christian Privilege: Breaking ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments