Thursday, November 19, 2009

Italian School Lunch

Everyday my school feeds every student and staff member lunch. No one packs their own lunch for school. At first I assumed I probably wouldn't be able to eat anything at school, and would have to pack my own lunch. This was not the case though! School lunch here is very different than in the U.S. They have lots of fresh food. There is salad, fruit, plain pasta, and cheese that are always available. They also make other things each day besides those foods, but I am always able to find at least those foods at school every day.

During our staff orientation week before school started, I went with one of the women who work in the office to talk to the chef and the other people that work in the kitchen. They only speak Italian, so I needed someone to help me communicate. I brought them a copy of my chef card for them to read. I found out that they used to use peanut oil, but stopped last year when one of the students was allergic. Now they only use Olive and Corn oil. They let me take a look at both bottles to make sure they were okay. They also kept my chef card in the kitchen. They were very nice about everything.

Since then, I always feel comfortable eating the basic foods that are always served. Sometimes they make other dishes with many more ingredients that look good, but I am not sure about them, so I don't eat them. Sometimes I double check and ask about a food they are serving, but the language barrier is definitely difficult, and they are so busy at lunch time. If I want to ask them about a food I need to do it before lunch. The kitchen staff is very nice and helpful though, so I feel lucky that it has worked out the way it has, and I am able to eat at school.

I definitely think that having so many allergies is pushing me to work on my Italian. It is hard to have such a language barrier here. No one in this area of Italy speaks English, so dealing with everyday things is tough, but having allergies to deal with on top of that, makes it an even greater challenge!

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