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Amazing Lunch Facts

Do you know…
… that in English-speaking countries during the eighteenth century, lunch was originally called "dinner"— a word still used regularly to mean a noontime meal in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and some parts of England, and also in some parts of Canada and the United States?

Two street vendors taking time out for lunch at a makeshift table of wooden crates covered with newspaper. New York, August 1946.Do you know…
… that businesses will use the standard word "Lunch" when referring to the noon meal to avoid confusion due to the cultural domination of Standard English?

Do you know…
… that the mid-day meal on Sunday and the festival meals on Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving (in the U.S. and Canada) are still often eaten at the old hours, usually either at noon or between two and four in the afternoon, and called dinner?

Do you know…
… that traditional farming communities also may still commonly have the largest meal of the day at mid-day and refer to this meal as "dinner?"

Do you know…
… that the abbreviation lunch, in use from 1823, is taken from the more formal "lunchentach," which is from the 1580s, as a word for a meal that was inserted between more substantial meals?

Do you know…
… that in medieval Germany, there are references to nuncheontach, a non lunchentach, a noon draught— of ale, with bread— an extra meal between mid-day dinner and supper, especially during the long hours of hard labor during haying or early harvesting?

Do you know…
… that in Munich, by the 1730s and 40s, the upper class were rising later, and dining at three or four in the afternoon, and by 1770, their dinner hour in Pomberano was four or five?

Do you know…
… that in the 19th century, male artisans went home for a brief dinner, where their wives fed them, but as the workplace was removed farther from the home, working men took to providing themselves with something portable to eat at a break in the schedule during the middle of the day. In parts of India a light, portable lunch is known as tiffin?

Do you know…
… that ladies whose husbands would eat at the club would be free to leave the house and have lunch with one another, though not in restaurants until the twentieth century?

Do you know…
… that in the 1945 edition of Etiquette, Emily Post still referred to luncheon as "generally given by and for women, but it is not unusual, especially in summer places or in town on Saturday or Sunday, to include an equal number of men"— hence the mildly disparaging phrase, "the ladies who lunch?"

Do you know…
… that lunch was a ladies' light meal; when the Prince of Wales stopped to eat a dainty luncheon with lady friends, he was laughed at for this effeminacy?

Do you know…
… that Afternoon tea supplemented this luncheon at four o'clock, from the 1840s?

Do you know…
… that in France the mid-day meal is taken between noon and 2 p.m. when lunch is the main meal of the day in the South of France and the evening meal is the main meal of the day in northern France?

Do you know…
… that in the Netherlands, it is common to eat sandwiches for lunch: slices of bread that people usually carry to work for eating in the canteen, in school or at the work place and the slices of bread are usually filled with sweet or savory foodstuffs such as apple syrup, pindakaas, or cheese; however, when the meal typically includes coffee or milk, it is eaten around noon?

Do you know…
… that in Hungary lunch is traditionally the main meal of the day following a "leves", soup?

Do you know…
… that in Denmark, lunch consists of a light meal, when often it would be rye bread with different toppings like liver pate, herring and cheese?

Do you know…
… that in Finland and Sweden, lunch is a full hot meal, served as one course optionally with small salads and desserts. Dishes are diverse, ranging from meat or fish courses to soups heavy enough as standalone meals, and school diners occasionally serve even porridges. Workplaces have cafeterias that serve lunch from 11 a.m. to about 1 to 4 p.m., usually as a buffet with 1-4 dishes to choose from. Schools serve school lunches that are free of charge to pupils?

Do you know…
… that in Spain, lunch takes place between 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., earlier in northern Spain and later in southern Spain, where it can take place as late as 4:00pm (in contrast, supper does not usually begin till 8:30-10p.m. and it is nonetheless the main meal of the day everywhere, and usually consists of a three course meal similar to a dinner, with the first course usually consists of an appetizer (yet rarely a soup); the main course of a more elaborate dish, usually meat or fish based; the desert of something sweet, often accompanied by a coffee or small amounts of spirits?

Do you know…
… that in Portugal, lunch consists of a full hot meal, similar to dinner, normally with soup, a meat or fish course, and dessert?

Do you know…
… that a traditional Bengali lunch is a seven course meal with the first course being 'shukto', which is a mix of vegetables cooked with few spices and topped with coconut icing; the second course consists of rice, dal, and a vegetable curry; the third course consists of rice and fish curry; the fourth course is that of rice and meat curry (generally chevon, mutton, chicken or lamb); the fifth course contains sweet preparations like rasgulla, pantua, rajbhog, sandesh, etc.; the sixth course consists of payesh or mishti doi (sweet yogurt); and the seventh course is that of paan, which acts as a mouth freshener?

Do you know…
… that in Israel, lunch is eaten between 2 and 4 p.m. and is the main meal of the day?

Do you know…
… that since lunch typically falls in the middle of the working day, it can either be eaten on a break from work, or as part of the workday?

Do you know…
… that the difference between those who work through lunch and those who take it off could be a matter of cultural, social class, bargaining power, or the nature of the work?

Do you know…
… that also, to simplify matters, some cultures refer to meal breaks at work as "lunch" no matter when they occur -- even in the middle of the night and this is especially true for jobs that have employees rotate shifts?

Do You Know - Famous Chefs
...that Julia Child (née McWilliams; August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was an American chef, author, and television personality.  She is recognized for introducing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television programs, the most notable of which was The French Chef, which premiered in 1963?

Read more Do You Know...Famous Chefs?

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