Sandwiches in Waxed Paper-German School Lunch in an American Cafeteria
The school cafeteria in the 1970’s was one place where I always felt different from everyone else. Mom packed my school lunch for me almost every day, and I loved these lunches, but it’s amazing how different mine were from the kids around me.
You see, although I had a Scooby Doo lunchbox like the other kids, the contents were worlds apart.
The other kids opened their lunchbox and pulled out clear ziplock baggies containing a sandwich made from Peanut Butter and Jelly on Wonder bread (maybe with the crusts cut off) , next to this would be a bag of Potato chips (also in a ziplock) or a Twinkie (in it’s cellophane wrapping), and maybe an apple or orange. It all looked so neatly packaged; square sandwich in a square bag, cake made in a factory, fruit… nice.
Is Your Bread BURNT??
Then I’d pull out mine. Thuringer Salami or Gelbwurst on dark crusted rye bread spread with butter, and wrapped in waxed paper. There would be piece of cake or cookies home made from mom’s kitchen, or German Lebkuchen from a package that Opa sent; and fruit, of course (mostly citrus… because of dad’s work). On the best days, there was a thermos filled with leftover Eintopf (soup or stew). Bohnen Eintopf, Graupen Suppe, Goulasch Suppe (Green Bean Soup, Barley Soup, Goulash Soup).
The other kids would stare… and someone would always say “WHAT’S THAT?” and “why is your bread burned??”
Everyone else would be trading, but they thought my food looked too weird.
And BUTTER on the sandwiches instead of Mayo? Kids were confused.
I loved my sandwiches, and I really loved mom’s Eintopf, so it wasn’t so bad to not share.
I was curious though. (Who wouldn’t be?) At the front of our cafeteria was a box for extras. ( In those days you didn’t waste food by throwing it away, the Cafeteria ladies would watch!) If there was a sandwich or fruit you didn’t want to eat… you put it in the box, and if you were hungry, you could take something out. I remember sometimes taking one of these exotic sandwiches out to try….things like Oscar Meyer Bologna or Peanut Butter and banana on squishy bread.
I even convinced mom to buy American bologna (never could convince her to make the sandwich with mustard instead of butter though…)
Times Change, Sandwiches Stay the Same
It’s funny though how things change. When my kids were small, we lived near San Francisco, where the food revolution made “artisan” breads “gourmet”. Charcuterie shops sell specialty cold cuts that look an awful lot like what my mom would feed us all those years ago.
Just like my mom did, I packed my kid’s lunches... but now in the school cafeteria, my kids have people fighting to trade peanut butter for their delicious Salami, Schinken or Gelbwurst!
The only difference…. I don’t use waxed paper anymore…. Maybe I should.
Find Waxed Paper and other Lunch Supplies HERE….