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 Lunch Menu Ideas
Lunch Menu Ideas
1000s of great lunch recipes and menu ideas

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Delicious Lunch Recipes

Lunch

Lunch is an abbreviation of luncheon, meaning a light midday meal.  In the modern usage the term refers to a midday meal of any size.

During the eighteenth century what was originally called "dinner." A word still sometimes used to mean a noontime meal in the British Isles, and in parts of the United States, Canada and Australia. It was moved by stages later in the day and came in the course of the nineteenth century to be eaten at night, replacing the light meal called supper, which was delayed by the upper class to midnight.

Christmas dinner (and Thanksgiving dinner in the United States) are still often eaten at the old hours, usually between two and four in the afternoon.

Lunch food varies. In some places, one eats similar things both at lunch and at supper - a hot meal, sometimes with more than one course. In other places, lunch is the main meal of the day, supper being a smaller cold meal.

Many people eat lunch while at work or school.  Employers and schools usually provide a lunch break in the middle of the day, lasting as much as an hour.  Some workplaces and schools provide cafeterias, often called canteens, where one can get a hot meal (in British schools female staff who serve lunch are often known as "dinner ladies" (or in northern England as 'Dinner Nannies'), but never "lunch ladies").

In some work locations one can easily go out to eat at a nearby restaurant.  Where these conveniences are not available it may be impractical to make lunch the main meal of the day.  In these cases relatively simple foods might be packed in a container, such as a bag or a lunchbox, and taken to work or school.

The quintessential bag lunch (also, brown bag from the brown paper sack used to carry it) in North America of the past has consisted of a sandwich and often a whole fruit and either cookies or a candy bar. But now, the near-universal spread of the microwave oven to the workplace since the 1980s has changed the nature of workers' lunches considerably.  Leftovers from home-cooked meals, frozen foods, and a huge variety of prepared foods needing only reheating are now more common than the sandwich lunch.

In addition to its primary purpose, lunch can function as a form of entertainment, especially on weekends; a particularly fancy or formal lunch can be called a luncheon. Such lunches can be served at a restaurant, as a buffet or potluck, or as a sit-down feast. These events are very similar to festive suppers. Lunch, both simple and fancy, often includes dessert.

Many nutritionists suggest that it is more appropriate to eat a large meal at lunch than it is to do so at supper, just before going to sleep, when the energy from the meal will not be properly used. An example of this style of meal can be found in the German, Brazilian and Scandinavian diet, whose lunch mostly is large and cooked (as opposed to, say, a sandwich).

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