We’ve spent the better part of the last two months thinking about our dinnertime fares with the holidays commanding their spots at the dining table. Let’s switch the narrative. This issue’s Tastemakers section takes a rearview look at lunch—specifically those shared in school cafeterias around the globe and the context that served a multitude of experiences.
In the article It’s Lunch, I write about Lucy Schaeffer’s School Lunch: Unpacking Our Shared Stories (Running Press, 2020). The book includes 70 interviews from around the world, including one from Lake Minnetonka Realtor Natalie Webster.
Out of curiosity, I asked Minnetonka Mayor Brad Wiersum if he recalled some lunchroom memories. He says, “Hot lunch was 35 cents, and it included one carton of milk—white or chocolate. For the brown baggers, milk was two cents … Brown bag fare was pretty consistent, a sandwich (ham, bologna, salami or Spam [I’m sensing a theme here! You’ll know why after reading the article.]) on store-bought white bread. There was usually fruit and a few cookies. No big surprises.”
Hot lunch, Wiersum notes, “was also basic.” He says, “The German potato salad was universally hated, but I really didn’t think it was that bad. I am pretty sure the ‘bacon’ in it was texturized soy protein.” He goes on to say, “The best part of lunch was hanging out with your friends, trading stories and playing a few tabletop games. It was only 20 minutes, so you had to be quick.”
And then it was off to recess, where we learn that former sports broadcaster and Mound resident Eric Perkins was busy prepping for his future—and it wasn’t as a kickball champ or medalist on the dodgeball circuit. Visit Perk Really at Play for my interview with Perkins, who shares some insight into his recent career change and future plans. True to form, he sprinkles some humor into all he does, including responding to interview questions.
Until next time,