Monday, 20 January 2014

What do you eat for lunch ?

I've always wondered why Irish people don't really eat lunch. Sure they have Irish breakfast , which can stuff you right up to dinner time; but people just don't have the time to eat that every day. So why are they still not eating a proper lunch ? I eat in my workplace canteen every day, and I'm nearly the only one having a meal that doesn't involve crisps, sandwiches or baked beans. 

It's like the rules  regarding meals are completely inverted in Ireland. People have a very light lunch and a big dinner. In France, people have a solid lunch and a lighter dinner, which, in my opinion is healthier. You don't want to go to bed feeling bloated really...
 When I first arrived and was staying in an Irish family, they used to stuff me like a goose. One of the first dinner was lasagna and chips, and a  slice of chocolate cake with whipped cream for dessert, followed by a coffee and some biscuits. I know they meant well, but needless to say I put on some weight in the process... 

I'm not gonna lie, I do eat sandwiches sometimes (if there is no left-overs from the dinner to bring to work) but it's quite rare. I do love a good hot chicken fillet roll though, but just not every day.

The truth is, I don't want to bring up my children that way. I want them to eat a well-balanced lunch and dinner. Not a sandwich every day. The problem is that's what they do at school and it kind of worries me. When I see my child having a 30 mns break at most, to eat a ham and cheese sandwich at his desk, it saddens me. I hate the fact that he doesn't eat a hot lunch. In a way, I miss the French school system where you have an hour long break, with a fresh hot meal in a canteen. I think it's important to get away from the classroom to eat as well.

I know this is all my French mind coming out, but it's true, food is an institution in France. You don't eat just to survive, but for the social experience that comes with it. Meal times around the table are when you have discussions with your family, you laugh, you argue, you cry.And sometimes, for big occasions like a wedding, you can stay hours and hours at the table. In an Irish wedding, the meal is eaten in an hour at most ( and the menu is always the same)!
It seems to me like in Ireland, people don't enjoy the social aspect of a meal as much as the French do. They eat to survive, not by pleasure.

But that's alright, I got used to it. I just don't follow the Irish rules, for once !