I was overwhelmed at the response to my all-encompassing totally comprehensive survey of the lunch habits of Food Republic readers — thanks for taking the time to answer! I feel like I have a much better handle on your lunch lives going forward. Here are some of the more intriguing answers I received.
Currently, what is your favorite lunch and why?
“When I’m at the office, a dish called carne en su jugo. It is basically thinly sliced beef served in a tomatillo and jalapeño broth, with garnishes of crispy bacon, raw onion, cilantro and lime.” (Editor’s note: How have I never heard of this?)
Age 5, what is your favorite lunch?
- “I used to spread mayo on bread and microwave it until it was really crispy — it was actually very good!”
- “A peanut butter and honey sandwich. I loved it because my mom had made it ahead of time, and by the time I ate it the honey had started to crystallize into delicious little sugar crunchies that I couldn’t get enough of.”
- “I was so fussy that all I wanted to eat was bacon on toast. Don’t judge, it was better than the cafeteria’s box pizza.”
What was the last worst lunch you had?
- “I had a pepperoni roll that gave me food poisoning for 8 days.” (Hint: try our easy recipe at home — boom, no food poisoning.)
- “The worst lunch I’ve had recently was in a local restaurant where I ordered a margherita pizza, which came with a soggy crust drowning in sour-tasting red sauce and topped with yellow cheese.”
- “Any bad lunch would have been on the fly, grabbing fast food or a cold sandwich, or sushi in a box not made that same day it way bought.”
What was your last liquid lunch? Were you satisfied?
“V8 and no, despite what the commercials say.”
Do you have a signature lunch hack?
- “I suppose it could be creative use of cold noodles with warm sauces — you can make udon noodles the day before, and as long as you shocked them with ice water and then tossed them in sesame oil, they retain great texture until you add some sort of sauce to them the next day… which could be anything.”
- “I bring in a package of the fancy Italian cold cuts for the week, and buy a fresh roll every day. Fresh bread makes all the difference in the world.”
- “Rice – it absorbs all kinds of liquid that would otherwise be a potential mess in my bag, on me, in the microwave.”
Lunch: hands or utensils?
- “I always eat my lunch with utensils. I have an irrational paranoia about having a post-lunch conversation while donning a large piece of arugula wrapped around my front tooth.”
- “Obviously utensils, since that means I’m having something hot, which is a treat.”
- “In general, there is no shame in getting your fingers dirty and licking sauce from them, as long as you were smart enough to wash them vigorously first.”
- “On work days when I carry my lunch to work, it’s eaten with a spoon. If it can’t be eaten with a spoon, I don’t take it to work. I tend to use a fork for dinner, sometimes a spoon, sometimes my hands.”
What are you having for lunch today?
- “A healthy take on an Italian sub. Flax seed wrap with ham, salami, provolone, arugula, spinach, tomato, hot peppers and spicy mustard. It was the best part of my day.”
- “It just arrived. The special of the day, meatballs in a broth with veggies. I’m just on my way to the kitchen to get some Sriracha after I press send! Buen provecho!”
- “I’d rather eat a big green salad for lunch most of the time, but I’m too cheap to buy it and haven’t figured out a way to carry it to work without adding lots of bulk to what I’m carrying already.”
Now that I’ve been re-familarized with the intricacies of your lunchtime behavior, I’m off to schedule the next week of thoughtful advice. Feel free to keep sending your stories, suggestions, quirks and hacks to firstname.lastname@example.org. And to the reader who created the “ultimate condiment” by mixing ketchup, mustard, Sriracha, Thousand Island and mayo…keep on keepin’ on.