School Dinners with St. Dalfour

March 11, 2019

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Many of us will remember standing quietly in the school dinner que, tightly grasping our empty plates. Half excited but half dreading which culinary delight will be slopped on our plates and spray onto our pearly white shirts.

But school dinners haven’t always been this glamorous…

19th Century

The earliest record of school dinners in the UK was in Manchester, 1879, where children were provided with an extremely basic school meal. Usually this consisted of a stew, which was as bland as a bowl of bath water, and a piece of stale bread. But many had no choice, and for them, this was vitally important to prevent hunger throughout the day.

20th Century

During the war, with rationing very much in full swing, school dinners were very basic. They were also extremely nutritious as the majority came from agricultural surplus.

Later that century, classics such as Spotted Dick and Spam Fritters were widely available and loved by all. Even today, we reminisce about sumptuous steamed puddings covered in custard, fried pork slices and a jam roly poly the kids of today could only dream of. Well, that’s what we tell ourselves. The truth is, they have it rather better than we did!

21st Century

School dinners today offer up a plethora of options from around the world; from pasta and lasagne, to chicken tikka masala and even croissants! However, many classics are still being served to our children and grandchildren. Jam sponge and custard and a classic roast dinner will forever be indented in the hearts of anyone who had the joy of eating school dinners!

We thought you might wish to reignite the good memories of your childhood lunch hour. So why not recreate history and have a go at bringing some of these St. Dalfour – ‘old school classics’ ideas to life!

Whether you want to educate your kids on your gastronomic journey through school, or just indulge yourself with a delicious, nostalgic treat, these reimagined old school classics are sure to take you back in time!