Can You Name These Lunchroom Meals?

By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Can You Name These Lunchroom Meals?
Image: SolStock/ E+/ Getty Images

About This Quiz

There is no time like adolescence. Young people go through physical changes. They discover and begin to develop their latent talents. They learn to be comfortable with who they are. They are also subject to the whims of the bureaucracy responsible for supplying them with meals that meet specific nutritional guidelines and the budgetary restrictions of the calendar year imposed by legislative authority. Or they bring a packed lunch. Either way, a certain type of meal is sure to be in store for adolescents, one that will etch itself into memory.

Perhaps you recently graduated from secondary school, or maybe you are an adult with children who are now having a culinary experience similar to that of your school days. Or perhaps you're a lunch lady who really needs to study up because some of the ingredients that arrived in today's shipment aren't easily recognizable. Whatever the reason, you will be able to relate to this subject. Many of us have clear memories of the school cafeteria, time with friends, or people who turned out not to be friends at all. What do you remember better, the pupils or the food? Time to test your memories of your educational and culinary Venn diagram with this quiz!

Question 01 - Tuna Sand Have you seen this sandwich before?
Chicken mayonnaise
Shrimp mayonnaise
Tuna mayonnaise
Tuna mayonnaise is a classic of the genre, with the controversial fish accompanied by the equally but separately controversial mayonnaise. Should it have cheese? That's a matter of opinion.
Eggs mayonnaise

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Question 03 - Egg Sand Can you identify this amorphous sandwich?
Anchovies mayonnaise
Chicken mayonnaise
Shrimp mayonnaise
Eggs mayonnaise
Eggs mayonnaise is a high protein way of filling two slices of bread, and the sort of food that does not look out of place at lunch or at tea. Most likely, this is something a parent would put in a packed lunch.

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Question 02 - BLT Sand How many letters does it take you to name this iconic lunch?
BLT
How do you spell delicious? B-L-T. The holy trinity of bacon, lettuce and tomato has been entertaining taste buds for generations. Though the proportions of the three main fillings change from chef to chef, diners can all agree that there is never enough bacon.
Reuben
Eggs and two cress sandwich
Club sandwich

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Question 04 - Chicken Sand What do you think lurks between these slices of bread?
Chicken mayonnaise
Chicken mayonnaise is to tuna mayonnaise as an Aston Martin SUV is to an Aston Martin sports coupe — a compromise. To some, mayonnaise is delightful, but tuna is awful. For those picky eaters, there is chicken mayonnaise.
Turkey mayonnaise
Anchovies mayonnaise
Shrimp mayonnaise

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Question 05 - Toad Hole What delights await the pupils whose pupils are focused on this food?
Vegetarian toad-in-the-hole
Hot dogs in puff pastry
Not-dogs in puff pastry
Toad-in-the-hole
In the early 20th century, schools served foods which, for the most part, qualified as "British classics." These included toad-in-the-hole, which sadly, seems an unlikely inclusion in today's health-conscious menu.

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Question 06 - Shep Pie Pupils would want a slice of this, after learning about π. What do you think it is?
Steak and kidney pie with greens
Apple pie with greens
Chicken pot pie with greens
Shepherd's pie with greens
A common "treat" in both the early 20th century and the period of post-war rationing, shepherd's pie was a firm staple in the food firmament. Given the heating in those schools, this was likely a welcome treat. Some cafeterias still serve this today.

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Question 07 - Veal Pie This meal presents a heaping helping for any child. What is it called?
Pastrami pie and roasties
Cold veal and ham pie with potatoes
Considered a deluxe lunch item in the '50s and '60s, this veal meal would not only be far too expensive to make a regular menu item today, but it would also surely enrage certain quarters of the population who deem all veal cruel. Don't hold your breath.
Deli-style sliced turkey breast pie with yams
Vegetarian "ham" pie and potatoes

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Question 08 - Spam Even Monty Python would appreciate this meal. Can you recognize it?
Meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Pork and mashed potatoes
Gyro and mashed potatoes
Spam and mashed potatoes
In the postwar era, when rationing was necessary, British schools had to be especially careful about how they spent money. As a result, Spam was on the menu in many forms.

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Question 09 - Mince Pie This meal comes with a side of attitude. What is it?
Calzone
Pork pasty
Ground beef pie
Snark mince pie
Children who grew up in the '70s may be familiar with the introduction of "snark" meat, also known by its traditional name, "whale." Naturally, no one is likely to see this anymore.

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Question 10 - Chees Flan Salad What food greets you here?
Greek salad
Caesar salad
Cheese and flan salad
Even hearing the words "cheese and flan salad" fills one's nostrils with a whiff of the '70s, complete with brown vinyl chairs and tragic fashion. This item, thankfully, is no more.
Greens salad with quinoa

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Question 11 - Fish Au Gratin What unholy marriage of deliciousness is this?
Fish au gratin
Another "deluxe" item from the mid-century menu, fish au gratin would often be accompanied by peas and mashed potatoes. If one were so inclined, one could have it with its traditional pudding: apple pie.
Tilapia Almondine
Chicken Kiev
Potatoes dauphinoise

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Question 12 - Ham and Cheese Crackers What manner of "futuristic" comestible do you see here?
Factory-produced ham and cheese crackers
The '80s and '90s saw the rise and supremacy of the factory-made "food items," most of which came in sealed plastic bags. An example of this is the packaged cracker sandwich hybrid seen here.
Artisanal cheese and cracker sandwich
Ham and digestives
Toast with cheese and ham

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Question 13 - Turkey Twizzlers This food seems almost like a euphemism. What could it be?
Fish fingers
Chicken strips
Turkey Twizzlers
The target of national rage (or at least that of Jamie Oliver) in 2005, Turkey Twizzlers are a classic, unbelievably unhealthy cafeteria food. It contains three sweeteners, pork fat, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and 35 other ingredients.
Fried noodles

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Question 14 - Chi Ava Corn Wrap This looks new. What is it?
Chicken Caesar wrap
Chicken, avocado and sweetcorn wrap
A creation of food writer Lorraine Pascale, this wrap is intended for parents low on time, enthusiastic about healthy packed lunches. It's low fat, low in sugars, and has plenty of healthy, green veg. Will the lunch ladies adopt it? Only cafeteria diners can tell.
Hummus and chicken wrap
Smoked turkey wrap

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Question 15 - Chicken Hummus Wrap A delicious item is before you, but can you name it?
Chicken Caesar wrap
Smoked turkey wrap
Shredded pork wrap
Hummus and chicken wrap
While not for everyone, this invention of food writer Lorraine Pascale consists of a couple of tablespoons of hummus, some shredded lettuce, shredded chicken, salt and pepper. Tasty, portable and inexpensive? We hope this is seen in school cafeterias as an offering, not just a packed lunch.

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Question 16 - Hoisin Veg An object beautiful, aromatic and delicious. What is it?
Vegetable lo mein
Spaghetti with vinegar reduction
Hoi sin vegetable noodles
Hoi sin vegetable noodles are a fairly recent addition to secondary school lunch menus, as in this globalised world, the food of many cultures filters into the school cafeteria. This example was taken from the menu published by the Hampshire County Council.
Udon noodles

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Question 17 - Mac and Cheese This classic would be a delight to any child and some adults. Do you remember its name?
Spaghetti Alfredo
Rotini puttanesca
Tortellini pesto
Mac ‘n’ cheese
Macaroni and cheese, aka "mac ‘n’ cheese" is a staple of American cafeterias that successfully crossed the Atlantic. Today, this creamy, cheesy pile of calories can be found in cafeterias in the UK.

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Question 18 - Minced Beef This dynamic duo is seen in many a cafeteria. Do you know its secret identity?
Bacon cheeseburger
Snark pie
Shepherd's pie
Minced beef and onion pie with mashed potato
This item published by the Hampshire County Council is a savory meal that combines protein, carbs, and vitamins from the onion. In moderation, this is healthy. We think we'd fall asleep after a serving!

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Question 19 - Vegetable Lasagne What manner of lunchroom meal is this?
Roasted vegetable lasagne
Vegetarianism and veganism have transformed school lunch menus. As school cafeterias must be able to accommodate any student, they have had to improvise to create lunch items for students who subsist on an all-vegetable diet.
Spaghetti Bolognese
Angel hair fra diavolo
Fusilli Alfredo

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Question 20 - Vegetable Toad This is an oddity to some but commonplace now. What is it?
Vegetarian toad-in-the-hole
Vegetarian options have grown over the years, giving rise to some foods that sound delicious even if they're meat-free! Toad-in-the-hole without meat? Does that mean we can have two helpings?
Toad-in-the-hole
Sausages and mash
Hot dogs

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Question 21 - Chicken Tikka Can you recognize this celebrity of meals?
Chicken korma
Barbecued chicken
Green curry with chicken
Chicken tikka masala
Chicken tikka masala is the most popular dish in the UK, and for a good reason. It is only natural that it should appear in school cafeterias. It isn't particularly difficult to produce at scale, has inexpensive ingredients, and everyone loves it. Ring the dinner bell!

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Vegetable curry
Red curry with chicken
Green curry with chicken
Chicken korma
Pupils in the UK benefit from the nation's sizable Indian population in many ways, one of which is this incredibly delicious food. Creamy, spicy and savory, this meal will make any day more delicious.

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Question 23 - Roast Beef York Is this meal a national treasure or national torture? Can you name it?
Beef Wellington
Barbecued beef ribs
Chicken Kiev
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding is the quintessential winter meal. It is warm, filling and delicious. The combination of roast beef with the flaky joy that is Yorkshire pudding, married with gravy, is a dream come true.

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Question 24 - Veg Tikka This meal's name is not Rumplestiltskin. What is it though?
Pork tikka masala
Chicken tikka masala
Roasted vegetable open pie
Vegetable tikka masala
Chicken tikka masala may be the most popular food in the nation, but what about vegeterians who crave its flavours and aromas? The answer is vegetable tikka masala; all the same spices and flavours, but no chicken.

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Question 25 - Fish and Chips Tell us you recognize this meal. Surely. Do you?
Fried chicken and chips
Potatoes dauphinoise
Braised veal and chips
Fish and chips
This meal may be a bit of a stereotype for British food, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Fish and chips isn't the healthiest food, as it is deep-fried, but it does have fish and peas, which are at least somewhat healthy. You cut corners where you can! At least it isn't a deep-fried Mars bar.

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Question 26 - Chili with Rice What meal is spread out before you?
Chilli with rice
Chilli isn't a British food per se, but its presence in school cafeterias makes sense. It involves spices that can be overpowering if one wants, minced meat, and beans. What could be more British than this?
Minced beef over rice
Chilli tikka masala
Bean curry on rice

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Question 27 - Veg Saus and Chips Which meal is this? Can you tell by sight?
Roast pork with vegetables
Vegetarian sausage and chips
What for the poor children who cannot have fish and chips, because they have dietary restrictions? The answer is in vegetarian sausage and chips. Vegetarian sausage is an easy alternative to fried fish, and as long as the chips aren't fried in animal fat, it's all vegetarian.
Pork sausage and chips
Beef sausage and chips

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Question 28 - Beef Wrap This is truly a worldly food. What is it?
Hoi sin duck wrap
Fried chicken wrap
BBQ beef wrap
Barbecue is an ancient preparation coming from Central America that uses indirect heat to cook food. Originally pronounced "bar-ba-COE-ah," this method has infiltrated many other kinds of food: wraps in this case.
Roast lamb wrap

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Question 29 - Marg Pizza This is a classic! But which classic?
Margherita pizza
The "Margherita" pizza is said to be the original of the modern breed of pizza, using the traditional round crust, cheese, tomatoes and basil. It was allegedly created for and named after an Italian princess, one who would no doubt be honored to know her name is written on walls in cafeterias all over the world.
Pepperoni pizza
Flatbread with cheese
Chicago-style pizza

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Question 30 - Pasty and Chips What could this possibly be?
Beet pasty with chips
Cheese and onion pasty and chips
Vegetarianism and veganism are not quite the same, and this meal is an example of the difference. Including cheese, which is verboten to vegans, it is offered as a vegetarian option, combining cheese and onion in the pasty, perhaps the most British of all foods.
Pork pasty with roasties
Mutton pasty with chips

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Question 31 - Spaghetti Just looking at this makes us hungry, but hungry for what?
Spaghetti fra diavolo
Angel hair pesto
Rigatoni alla vodka
Spaghetti Bolognese
Spaghetti Bolognese is an easy food to make in large quantities and serve to children. The sauce is simple and has vegetables and protein, and the spaghetti itself only requires boiling in a little prepared water. What could be easier?

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Question 32 - Fish Fingers What might this hybrid be called?
Fish fingers and chips with tomato sauce
What is cheaper than fish and chips, and, without a distinct serving size, can thus be served in smaller helpings? Fish fingers and chips with tomato sauce! This no doubt saved many a local council a few quid on the food keeping their children alive.
Fish and chips
Deep-fried mozzarella sticks and chips
Salmon almondine

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Question 33 - Jacket Potato This mountain of calories has a name. Do you know it?
Vegetarian slider
Jacket potato with Swiss cheese
Jacket potato with cheddar cheese
Don't jacket potatoes sound as if they are headed out to a black-tie dinner? Jacket potatoes made with cheddar cheese, when combined with vegetables, can be a healthy meal for many a pupil, but on their own, they aren't exactly a nutritionist's dream.
Cheeseburger

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Question 34 - Veg Puff What delightful food is this?
Curried vegetable puff with chips
The marriage of popular British food with popular eastern food results in this fun lunch. Chips go well with nearly everything, but then, so do curry puffs ... so which is the hero of this dish?
Golden bags with roasties
Jungle curry potato
Roasted vegetable open pie

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Question 35 - Chicken Rogan Josh Doesn't this image make you want a portion? What is it?
Chicken aloo
Chicken rogan josh
A classic Kashmiri dish, rogan josh is usually made with red meat, but the substitution of chicken is both healthier and less expensive. Made with chilies and alkanet root, this curry is a delight to all the senses.
Chicken massaman
Red curry chicken

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Question 36 - Veggie Nugs What manner of food is this?
Chicken goujons
Fried prawns
Fried mozzarella sticks
Vegetable goujons
For vegan children who cannot or do not want to have chicken goujons, vegetable goujons fill an important role. Often served with chips, this delightful meal is both tasty and moderately healthy ... ish.

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Question 37 - Sweet Pot and Len Curry This looks interesting. Which interesting name does it have?
Hoi sin
Sweet potato and lentil curry
Sweet potatoes are not potatoes, but a kind of yam filled with healthy vitamins as well as the carbs one would expect from something named a potato. Combine this sweet treat with a savoury lentil curry, and you have one very healthy, tasty meal.
Potato and grain gruel
Grog and snark soup

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Question 38 - Vegetable Paella What interesting meal is this?
Vegetable paella
With so many Britons vacationing or even retiring to Spain, it should come as no surprise that Spanish cuisine is a hit in the UK. Vegetable paella is both interesting and free of animal products, making it a tasty addition to any school cafeteria.
Roasted vegetable open pie
Roast pork with vegetables
Vegetable pasty

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Question 39 - Saus and Mash This looks delicious. Can you recall its name?
Sausage and mash
Few foods have found a home in the hearts of Britons, both literally and figuratively, as sausages. To pair the humble sausage with a sidekick means to find one worthy of such a perfect food, and mash gets the job done for many a school cafeteria.
Sausage and lentil soup
Hot dogs
Sausages au gratin

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Question 40 - Veg Open Pie This one looks good, but unusual. What is it?
Roasted vegetable open pie
Roasted vegetables are lovely and delicious, but to give them some carbohydrates, and to make them easier to divide into servings, having them arranged in an open pie is a smart route. Enjoy this at your local school cafeteria!
Roast pork with vegetables
Vegetable medley
Vegetable pasty

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