It’s no secret that the school canteen scene has been changing for a while now.
Old favourites are rapidly becoming a thing of the past and the quest to kill junk food is a growing movement.
Schools today are quite likely to have their own gardens which students tend to and snack on the produce.
So it’s time to document some of your parents’ favourites, before they are forgotten forever.
1. Meat pie
Of course we’re going to talk about the humble pie before we talk about anything else.
It’s a Kiwi staple, an old faithful.
At primary school our canteen was run by the ‘Pie Lady’ who took orders in the morning and fetched pies from a mystery location for hungry children.
Once available in a white paper bag for $1.20 at the tuck shop, pies are gone but they will not be forgotten.
There was nothing like a ham and pineapple mini-pie heated up in a microwave and soggy, or slightly charred after an extended period in the pie warmer.
Honourable mention: Pizza pies and stuffed pizza bread
A frozen treat still available from the supermarket for nostalgic parents, these came in tropical and wild berry and occasionally lemonade.
Leaving juicies on hot asphalt for the right amount of time was an art but there was nothing like the perfect ice/juice mix on a hot day.
4. 50 cent mix bags
Two pebbles, a jafa and an eskimo were staples in these beauts.
The temptation to indulge in the mystery of a 50 cent mix bag is still strong but they don’t exist in canteens – although you can find miniature versions at dairies.
Honourable mention: Nerds – which “made you hyper and gave you diarrhoea” according to a Herald staffer.
5. Noodles in a cup
At one per cent noodle and 99 per cent sodium, chicken noodles made with hot water from a cylinder on the wall from the 1970s were a wise choice. Not only could you slurp the noodles, the left over water was like soup so it was two meals in one.
6. Nacho toasties
The nacho toastie was the ultimate school lunch at Christchurch Boys’ High School and fuelled an entire generation of All Blacks.
The recipe was simple but absolutely delicious. A burger bun, covered with spicy beans, a dolloping of sour cream, and a layer of nachos – topped off with cheese.
7. Red liquorice
A metre long red liquorice ribbon could be yours for a mere 50 cents.
Yes, red liquorice is still available at shops, but I swear it has no flavour and is only 30cms long – you’re better off with the sherbet fizz version.
8. Cream doughnuts
Still available from old school bakeries, these doughy mates were a much desired lunch time treat.
Stuffed with cream, and custard if you were lucky, sprinkled with icing sugar and finished with a dot of jam, there is no way anyone can ever go past a cream doughnut.
9. Cookie time
After a few seconds in a microwave the chocolate in these bad boys melted, making them soft in the middle.
It’s highly likely the canteen only stocked the basic chocolate chip versions, but they’re nothing to turn your nose up at.
10 Lasagne toppers
The topper will go down in history as the king of all canteen snacks.
It probably had mince from an animal in it, cheese and some sort of pasta mash, wrapped in a delicious crunchy golden breadcrumb.
These greasy gems were microwaveable or sitting crispy in a pie warmer and were usually more expensive than your average pie but were certainly worth it.
By Patricia Greig
SOURCE: NZ Herald