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French School Lunch Compared to American School Lunch, Day 14

Bubaicho 5 Chome, 2009/10/24
Creative Commons License photo credit: Osamu Iwasaki

Welcome to Day 14 for a comparison on French school lunches vs. American school lunches. In case you are a new reader, we are comparing school lunch menus between France (Pau school district) and America (Toms River, NJ school district).  Toms River is on a two week menu: the food choices repeat themselves every two weeks.  Take a look at my previous posts if you would like to get an idea of what is served both in a typical American cafeteria compared to a French school cafeteria.  Pau is a town in SW France, about 1 hour east of Biarritz, near the border of Spain, and overlooking the Pyreenes.  Toms River, where I grew up is a growing town located on the East Coast, in New Jersey.  It is very close to the ocean, but you must cross over the bay bridge to reach the ocean; with the closest Jersey Shore town being Seaside, (slightly made famous by the television show).  Enjoy discovering what these two places serve their children for lunch in the school system 🙂

Toms River, NJ

Choice of 1 main dish, 2 sides and served with a half pint of milk

Hot Dog or Pizza Bagel

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Fresh Fruit Salad


Pau, France

Served with slices of baguette and water

White Bean Salad

Roasted Pork with Poelee Campagnard (1)



(1)  Poelee Campagnard is a sautee of cut potatoes, carrots and bacon. 

The question here:  what happened to the vegetable in the Toms River menu?  Why is the dietitian planning a side dish of a fruit crumble and then fresh fruit salad for dessert?  A bit bizzare…maybe I will email them and ask that question.  Those two choices for the main meal:  hotdog or pizza bagel merit a good vegetable to go with them! What are your thoughts readers?

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