To this day, nothing has fulfilled me like a Friday lunch order, I guess it’s the equivalent feeling to Friday after work drinks, though not nearly as exciting because Mum was paying! And, so she should, with two kids a year apart she had more impressive excuses for skipping canteen duty than I could ever concoct.  How much money is this, and what can I get for this much money? A common saying among school kids looking for a bite to eat at recess, but also one I can’t deny saying in my adult years.

Don’t get me wrong I love Jaime Oliver, but twice in my life, I’ve stopped to think ‘what on earth is he doing!’ The first was his sub-par food chain Jamie’s Italian, which locals obviously saw straight through as its since closed. And the second occurred further afield but nonetheless had a knock-on effect in Australia.

The crime I am eluding to is canteen food reforms! Yeah yeah someone had to think of the children, but while the current canteen food status is full of nutrients, our school days were full of pleasurable memories.

The only place on earth you could walk in with 5 cents and walk away with a buttered pikelet or yogurt frog. Sadly, tuck shop ladies are remembered for their flabby triceps and not the important financial advice they gave us kids on how to spend our $2 to maximum capacity. Since entering the big bad world without their guidance us millennials have been under fire for our unsavvy spending like forking out $5.50 for extra gauc.

The hardest thing to come to terms with when entering adulthood was how on earth the highly acclaimed Ovaltine could be greatly underrated.

As a student, it never much bothered me that I wasn’t a ‘private school girl’. That was until the thorough research began for this article. What you will find out next will sicken you. It’s true when they say: private school kids are more privileged. Word on the street is that Merici girls had access to bolognese puffs and Radford had the chunion.

What is this you ask? The puff is pretty self-explanatory, a pastry ball stuffed with spag bol! And the chunion, well that is a wholemeal sub which was sliced through the middle and spread with tomato sauce, onion, bacon, and cheese, grilled. All the cool kids knew this delicious snack could become lunch with the addition of a chickadee (chicken and corn nugget) in the middle of the roll. It’s what Radford dreams were made of. Us public school kids settled for what we creatively called a ‘chicken and corn roll in a roll.’

When it came to pizza we were spoilt for choice. Single slices on pita bread with cabanossi was a safe go-to, but if you were looking for something more filling the ham + pineapple pizza with all its contents stuck to the box was reasonably tasty, and for the real ballers the pizza rounders which could do more damage than hot tomato on a toasty if you didn’t allow cooling time were a hit.

Not to be forgotten, the flavoured soda waters to wash all the processed foods down. Blue Lagoon was the top pick because who isn’t impressed by bright blue teeth for the remainder of the day.

Unfortunately being chosen to collect the coffees of a morning in the workplace doesn’t hold the same honour as being selected to pick up the lunch order basket.

A few to get us started:

Carob buds
sour straps
Mini Sunnyboys
Limited edition caramel fudge Moove – which was targeted as a healthy option.
Giant bagged choc chip cookies and doughnuts, served microwaved so we couldn’t comprehend how stale they were.
Potato smileys.
Pizza rounders.
Frozen fruit cups

The list of obsolete treats goes on and we want to hear about them, did south or north side have the better canteen treats? fill out the box below.

Canteen Food

Let us know which canteen foods you miss!