Lunch is a meal that is usually eaten around noon or in the early afternoon.
The meal varies in size depending on the culture, and significant variations exist in different areas of the world.
In some countries, lunch is the most important meal of the day.
The abbreviation “lunch” is taken from the more formal Northern English word “luncheon”, which is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word nuncheon or nunchin meaning “noon drink.” The term has been in common use since 1823.
The Oxford English Dictionary reports usage of the words beginning in 1580 to describe a meal that was eaten between more substantial meals. It may also mean a piece of cheese or bread.
From the Roman times to the Middle Ages everyone ate in the middle of the day, but it was called dinner and was the main meal of the day.
In the early to mid 17th century the meal could be any time between late morning and mid afternoon. During the late 17th and 18th centuries, this meal was gradually pushed back into the evening, creating a greater time gap between breakfast and dinner. A meal called lunch came to fill the gap.
It was the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, that helped shape lunch as we know it today. Middle and lower class eating patterns were defined by working hours. Many were working long hours in factories and to sustain them a noon-time meal was essential.
School lunch has its roots in Germany, where as early as 1790, an American-born man known as Count Rumford began mass feedings for poor kids who worked part-time in exchange for schooling and food.
A lunch box, spelled lunchbox in almost all UK and US dictionaries. It is used to store food to be taken anywhere. The concept of a food container has existed for a long time, but it was not until people began using tobacco tins to carry meals in the early 20th century, followed by the use of lithographed images on metal, that the containers became a staple of youth, and a marketable product.
It’s the Earl of Sandwich’s famous late-night snack from the 1750s that has come to dominate the modern lunchtime menu. John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich asked his servant to bring him meat stuffed between two slices of bread so that he would be less inconvenienced while out hunting, playing cards, and just generally being a rich gentleman on the go. Apparently, his friends took notice and asked for ‘the same as Sandwich.’ And so, the name stuck.
In Russia and most Eastern European countries, the midday meal is taken in the afternoon. Usually, lunch is the biggest meal and consists of a first course, usually a soup, and a second course which would be meat and a garnish.
In the United Kingdom, pub lunch dishes include fish and chips, ploughman’s lunch and others. The Ploughman’s Lunch, as defined by modern British cuisine, presents a modest plate of simple sandwich and pickle or small salad.
In Japan, various rice bowls and noodle dishes are popular for lunch.
A traditional Bengali lunch is a seven-course meal.
In the United States and Canada, lunch is usually a moderately sized meal generally eaten around noon. North Americans generally eat a quick lunch that often includes some type of sandwich, soup, or leftovers from the previous night’s dinner (e.g., rice or pasta).
Today the average time taken to eat lunch – usually in front of the computer – is roughly 15 minutes, according to researchers at the University of Westminster.
The $229,000 Oscheriyori is the most expensive lunch box in the world. The luxury lunch box has with three layers that are made from 18-karat gold and weigh 3.35 kilograms.
The most bagged lunches assembled in one hour is 10,320, and was achieved by Food Lion Feeds (USA) at the Homestead Resorts in Hot Springs, Virginia, USA, on 19 September 2017.
A Hong Kong based investor paid $2.1 million on 28 June 2008 for a lunch date with Warren Buffett, the world’s richest man. Zhao Danyang (Hong Kong) enjoyed a meal for himself and seven friends accopmanied by Mr. Buffett at Smith & Wollensky’s steakhouse in New York. All proceeds from the auction went to a charity which helps the poor and homeless in San Francisco.