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#foodbeast Features FOODBEAST Humor Video

JEFF’S TABLE: Lunchables, The Original Deconstructed Meal

Not many realized this back then, but Lunchables were the penultimate status symbol of the lunchroom. Yes, the grandaddy of deconstructed meals was an indicator that you had the advantage when bartering for other lunch items or simply were going to attract more friends than usual during lunch. The latest episode of Foodbeast’s docu-series, Jeff’s Table, does much to represent that notion.

The currency of mini bites of processed ham and cheese along with a sip of Capri Sun had much buying power, whether it be of other foods or even of companions, was determined in the hands of the one wielding such might.

Is it the infantile iteration of hors d’oeuvres? Sure. But everybody loves to love infants. And those tiny, bite-sized meals on the go can be just as cute. The mini is much to love, if you think about it.

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Opinion Packaged Food Tastemade/Snapchat

A Fond Look Back At Lunchables, A Childhood Obsession

Lunchables — the American Bento box

#Lunch be so bad at #work, I bought a #lunchable

A photo posted by @lisha_candace85 on

Every culture has its version of the boxed lunch, the thing millions of school children are sent off with every day, 180 days out of the year.   In Japan it’s a bento box made of rice, meat and veggies.  In America it is the Lunchable, a deconstructed sandwich in a perfectly packaged plastic container. It’s fun for kids and easy for adults. Everyone wins when you don’t have to think about what to make for lunch every day, day after day.

 

If you share a slice of cheese….

Think about it, what makes a Lunchable special?  It’s literally just ham, cheese and Ritz crackers in a box.  

However, back in the early ‘90s, it was also a status symbol.   My family wasn’t poor, but my mom definitely didn’t believe in name brand anything. As an adult I respect that she took the time to make me a sandwich every day, but as a kid, the Lunchables just seemed, cooler, and I wanted one.

My school lunches were turkey sandwiches wrapped in a plastic grocery bag, but Lunchables were food toys you could eat.  Therefore, I was always begging some friend for some ham; it always looked and tasted better in a thickly sliced circle and the cheese, which was savory to the max, when you had to ration one piece.  

And I’d never just sit down and eat a Ritz cracker by itself, but with that ham and cheese, it just seemed to have a completely different personality, not dry, like its usual lonesome form.  

Likewise, there was always dessert, a little Twix or Crunch Bar, or even a decadent Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  Cool looking and convenient, I always approached it with the care I assumed an astronaut lifted his dessert from whatever floating space tray he ate from.

 

Kids these Days

The website for Lunchables has a tab for both kids and parents.  If you click the kids tab, it takes you immediately to a commercial about Lunchables where a satyr eats a playing card.  “Mix your food up,” is the new theme.

I also clicked on the “parents” tab, which I’ll just interpret to mean all adults.  The site is way less fun, but I did learn about all the new Lunchable options.  For example you can get your Lunchable with or without a drink, you can even “upload” to a deep dish pizza, or a turkey sub.  Wow! They’ve come a long way from a few slices of cheese, ham and crackers.  

Having recently worked at an elementary school, I hadn’t seen a fruit rollup or a pack of Gushers in years. But once a week some kid will come to school with a Lunchable and with a hint of shame, I would ask them for a slice of cheese. Here I go again. Mooching off some kid.  What am I doing!? I can buy my own Lunchables, or even better, create my own DIY Lunchable with gouda, pretzel chips and smoked Boar’s head ham, because I am an adult now and I deserve the best versions of my childhood.

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Features

The Essential Food Guide to Surviving Comic Con

Comic Con kicks off this week which means over 100,000 nerds will converge on San Diego to celebrate all things geek. If you haven’t attended the convention before just know that it’s definitely not a vacation. It’s basically a mission for us nerds: spending hours in line waiting to get into a panel with your favorite television show, pushing through an ocean of people to get through the Gaslamp Quarter, and basically just being at the mercy of the destroyer of dreams better known as Hall H. In order to avoid potentially starving in line or mistakenly taking a bite of that Puppycat cosplayer who’s starting to look like a delectable fluffy marshmallow (nom nom nom), Chixelate, a blog dedicated to all things nerdy, has created the Ultimate Food Guide to Surviving Comic Con.

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Pack Sandwiches

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Super simple to make and even easier to pack, sandwiches will be your best friend at the con. The possibilities are endless, PB&J, Club, etc, you can make all your sandwiches ahead of time or just grab all your fixins and make them fresh daily.

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Instant Coffee Crack

Iced-Via

Caffeine is a non-negotiable for Comic Con. If you want to survive those 4am alarms to make to the infamous Hall H line by 6am (real talk even that early might be too late) you’re gonna need some of that liquid crack. The coffee locations (aka Starbucks)  in and around the convention center charge a grip more than their downtown counterparts, my advice is to skip the line and just BYOC. It’s just easier to buy a box of instant coffee packets which mix with water to make instant coffee. The humidity in San Diego is wicked so you might want to opt for instant ice coffee versus regular.

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Candy

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Regardless of how much caffeine you consume you’re probably going to crash at some point. Whether it’s in the middle of a panel or outside in line, the lack of sleep will come creeping up on you. In order to combat a case of the drowsies pack some of your favorite candy for a sugar rush. Personally, I’m a fan of sour gummy worms since they’re tart enough to shake you back into consciousness but gummy bears are my second go-to choice.

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Instant Noodles

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Not the greatest thing for you but it’ll do the job. Chances are your hotel room has a coffee maker which you can also use to heat up some water. If you’re looking to save some cash to splurge on some sweet SDCC exclusives but don’t want to completely sacrifice a warm meal, instant noodles are the way to go. Around a quarter a piece, you can get a flat of enough maruchan to last you the entire four-day con for probably $5-$6. If you really want to get fancy why not bring some hardboiled eggs, Sriracha, and some spam to get that college ramen feel.

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Uncrustables, Just Like Ma Used to Pack

uncrustables

Sure, these things are marketed towards kids but you’re lying to yourself if you don’t love these things. PB&J’s just like mom used to make, but even better because it’s crustless. There’s even a peanut butter and honey one if you’re one of those weird kids who didn’t like jelly. These portable sandwiches are already individually packaged making them easy to throw into your backpack to munch on while you’re trolling the exhibition hall.

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Trail Mix AKA M&M’s Mixed with Some Other Stuff

Trail-Mix-Comic-Con

Salty, sweet, and ultimately makes you feel better about eating candy since it’s mixed with healthy-ish stuff, trail mix is a great snack to have on hand. Sure, there’s legitimately healthy mixes with dried fruits, seeds, and nuts but ain’t no body got time for that. Gimme that Monster Mix chock full of M&M’s, almonds, and peanuts any day. Notice I skipped over the raisins because they’re gross and don’t belong in there.

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Lunchables

lunchables

Lunchables aren’t super filling on their own so you might need to pack a few to fill yourself up throughout the day but with so many different options, that shouldn’t be hard. Bonus, they usually come with a drink and candy of some sort. Side note: the lunch meat ones are WAY easier to eat in the panels than the pizza ones. Don’t be that geek trying to build your three little pizzas in the confines of your seat. Do that shiz outside in line.

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Brotein Bars

Engery-Bar-Comic-Con

Nah bro, we don’t even lift. Just in case you can’t grab a meal between panels, or just don’t want to drop $10 on a mediocre hot dog, protein bars are a perfect way to fill that hunger since chances are you’ll be stuck at the convention center for over 12 hours a day. I told you this wasn’t a vacation.

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Water – This is Not an Option

water-bottle

In case you didn’t know, water is the most important thing to keep on hand while at SDCC. If you bring a reusable bottle you can refill it as you please within the convention center and inside most panel halls. But if you’ll be outside in line for hours trying to get into Hall H or Ballroom 20 (aka all 100,000+ of us) it’s even more crucial for you to stay hydrated. The humidity is a bitch this time of the year and will make you want to die around 9AM. If you’re sick of water why not spruce it up with some of those concentrated water flavorer things, like MYO, Gatorade, or Crystal Light.