Tuesday, August 22, 2006

school lunches

Most of us think of school lunches in these terms, with gloppy pizzas, mystery meat, and canned fruit cocktail if we were lucky. But that's not true around the world! My friends and colleagues, Mary and Mohammed, who recently spent a year in Morocco, showed me their daughter's preschool lunch menu. Preschool! It's amazing! (Both the variety and the quality, plus the fact that four-year-olds will eat these dishes without begging for macaroni and cheese instead.) Take a look at some of the offerings, taken from the May 2006 lunch menu (one of each of the following courses per day):

First courses:
creamed leeks
rice with tomato coulis
grated carrots with orange juice
leek soup
lentils with sauce
vegetable gratin with potatoes, zucchini, carrots, and creme fraiche

Second courses:
tagine with meatballs
tagine with fish
potato gratin with cheese and ground beef
spaghetti bolognese
couscous with meat and seven vegetables (this was served every Friday)

oranges and yogurt
chocolate flan
caramel flan
vanilla flan
seasonal fruit salad

I had to use my French-English dictionary to look up some of the translations--this food is that fancy! But there's one final dish I wanted to mention, just to show that some dishes are indeed universal in their appeal to children: now and then, the Moroccan preschool also serves chicken nuggets.


Blogger Shirin said...

Those lucky tykes! An interesting take on the American school lunch is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/magazine/20lunches.html

How anyone can not like sweet potatoes is beyond me, though!

7:51 PM  
Blogger lis said...

but if all of the lunches here were so tasty, I would have missed out on one of my most vivid food memories: "taste-testing" school lunch as a soon-to-graduate kindergartener. I was thrilled to be eating in the lunchroom with my older sibs and I got to eat what I then judged the best food ever: the flying saucer, which was a slice of balogna, topped with a scoop of mashed potatoes and covered with a slice of melted American cheese. Mmmmm, I think I just solved today's lunch dillema.

6:50 AM  

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