This year I’ve vowed to eat a healthier lunch. I want to pay more attention to good food with healthy ingredients not only at the dinner table but in my Italian “lunch box”. The word schiscetta is an old school Milanese term for lunch box or lunch pail. In post-War Milan it was used to describe the small metal-hinged pot factory and farm workers used to carry food to work that their wives or mothers had prepared for them at home. It comes from the infinitive schiacciare which in the Milanese dialect means to press or to bring close together as in a “packed” lunch.
Today 59% of Italians who work prepare their lunches at home eating rice or pasta, a panino of cured meats, vegetables and cheese or “leftovers” from last night’s dinner. My friend Luca (as do many other Italians) believes that even in Italy eating anything made at home is better than eating out (unless it’s a special occasion).
“Schi- chic” lunches are now back in vogue and the practice of bringing food from home to work has given chefs new inspiration for lunch box Italian meals. A status symbol of a healthier lifestyle, schiscetta has a passionate following and fervent supporters like Alessandro Vannicelli who created tumblr site Schisciando, as “a way to declare the Italian lifestyle and to love yourself even in the small things like a lunch break”.
Here are 5 Schiscetta Lunch Box meals the fashionable Milanese favor.