RIP to these popular Kiwi school tuck-shop classics

Publish Date
Tuesday, 11 April 2017, 3:11PM

Whether you left school years ago or you're still attending, it's no secret that the school canteen scene has been changing for a while now.

Old favourites are rapidly becoming a thing of the past and the quest to kill junk food is so widespread, it's not just the canteens - parents are shamed for unhealthy choices in lunchboxes these days.

Schools are going so far as to have their own gardens which students tend to and snack on the produce.

So it's time to document the favourites, before they are forgotten in a haze of health and anti-obesity measures.


1. Meat pie


This pie makes me feel like singing. Photo / 123RF

Photo / 123RF

Of course we're going to talk about the humble pie before we talk about anything else.

It's a Kiwi staple, an old faithful.

At primary school our canteen was run by the 'Pie Lady' who took orders in the morning and fetched pies from a mystery location for hungry children.

Once available in a white paper bag for $1.20 at the tuck shop, pies are gone but they will not be forgotten.

2. Pizza

There was nothing like a ham and pineapple mini-pie heated up in a microwave and soggy, or slightly charred after an extended period in the pie warmer.

Honourable mention: Pizza pies and stuffed pizza bread

Pizza - whether it was stuffed in bread or in a pie - was a canteen champion. Photo / 123RF

Photo / 123RF

3. Juicies

A frozen treat still available from the supermarket for those who are particularly nostalgic, these came in tropical and wild berry and occasionally lemonade.

Leaving juicies on hot asphalt for the right amount of time was an art but there was nothing like the perfect ice/juice mix on a hot day.

4. 50 cent mix bags

Two pebbles, a jafa and an eskimo were staples in these beauts.

The temptation to indulge in the mystery of a 50 cent mix bag is still strong but they don't exist in canteens - although you can find miniature rip off versions at dairies.

Honourable mention: Nerds

5. Noodles in a cup

At one per cent noodle and 99 per cent sodium, chicken noodles made with hot water from a cylinder on the wall from the 1970s were a wise choice. Not only could you slurp the noodles, the left over water was like soup so it was two meals in one.

Please note the fork that can be folded in half... So convenient. Photo / 123RF

Photo / 123RF

6. Nacho toasties

The nacho toastie was the ultimate school lunch at Christchurch Boys' High School and fuelled an entire generation of All Blacks.

The recipe was simple but absolutely delicious. A burger bun, covered with spicy beans, a dolloping of sour cream, and a layer of nachos - topped off with cheese.

7. Red liquorice

A metre long red liquorice ribbon could be yours for a mere 50 cents.

Yes, red liquorice is still available at shops, but I swear it has no flavour and is only 30cms long - you're better off with the sherbet fizz version.

Such a treat and easy to sneak past the French teacher for mid-class snacks. Photo / 123RF

Photo / 123RF

8. Cream doughnuts

Still available from old school bakeries, these doughy mates were a much desired lunch time treat.

Stuffed with cream, and custard if you were lucky, sprinkled with icing sugar and finished with a dot of jam, there is no way anyone can ever go past a cream doughnut.

And III-eee-IIIII will alwaaaays love yooo-oooou. Photo / 123RF

Photo / 123RF

9. Cookie time

After a few seconds in a microwave the chocolate in these bad boys melted, making them soft in the middle.

It's highly likely the canteen only stocked the basic chocolate chip versions, but they're nothing to turn your nose up at.

10 Lasagne toppers

The topper will go down in history as the king of all canteen snacks.

It probably had mince from an animal in it, cheese and some sort of pasta mash, wrapped in a delicious crunchy golden breadcrumb.

These greasy gems were microwaveable or sitting crispy in a pie warmer and were usually more expensive than your average pie but were certainly worth it.

This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald and was republished here with permission.

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