Every Friday at School Lunch Box I chose a country, or one of our Instagram followers nominated a country, to which I focused on their food and culture. I strongly believe that one way for our children to understand culture and food is to experience it first hand. I have featured over 55 countries and my daughter’s loved it, learning about countries and cultures with food and fun facts is awesome. Thank you to everyone that participated and helped me create awesome International School Lunches.
Introducing foods of the world in our children’s school lunch box not only made it exciting but the fun facts I included gave us “awesome” knowledge.
Here are some of the countries I featured, to see all the countries I featured please visit my Instagram Page HERE.
Heritage Friday and I’m showcasing my own heritage, Macedonia. My beautiful mum and I made the traditional Macedonian food. Top left we have white beans (grafche tafche) with a minced meat patty and a pickled pepper 🌶, top right we have a stuffed capsicum with rice and mince meat (polneta piperka), bottom right we have pastry with spinach and cheese (zelnik), as a salad we have diced tomato 🍅, cucumber 🥒 and onion with grated feta cheese (shopska), we have a popular relish made from bell peppers 🌶, egg plant and garlic (Ajvar), we also have chocolate wafers (Oblandi). Macedonian’s love food. Watermelon 🍉 is a popular summer treat and tomatoes 🍅 are eaten like apples. Many Macedonians grow their own vegetables, Chilli flakes are used in a lot of food too.
Macedonia producers amazing wine and it’s even exported into France, a drink called Mastika (pictured) is very popular too but it’s very strong. These are adult drinks only! Do not put these in the lunch bag!
Macedonia is a landlocked country in the Balkans with a population of 2.2 million people. The capital city is Skopje. Famous Macedonian sports people include Darko Pancev & Goran Pandev both soccer players, Kiril Lazarov is the world’s best in Hand Ball, Peter Daicos is the most famous Macedonian to have played Aussie Rules. Pero Antic was the first Macedonian NBA player.
Macedonia is the first country in the world to be completely Wi-Fi, Lake Ohrid is one of the world’s oldest and deepest lakes, it has extremely pure water 💦. The most mountain peaks in the world are in Macedonia! The biggest cross in the world is on a mountain peak overlooking the capital Skopje.
Tose Proeski was the most famous singer whom tragically passed away very young, he’s still missed greatly. Mother Theresa was born in the capital Skopje.
Toni Maticevski is a Macedonian fashion designer living in Melbourne.
Finally, Milcho Manchevski is an amazing movie writer and director that was nominated for an Oscar for his masterpiece, Before the Rain.
Heritage Friday is about discovering food from countries around the world. Embrace culture and food with the willingness to learn and discover.
It’s Heritage Friday and we have South Africa, a big shout out to my South African friend Robbie and his awesome daughter Lil @lily_hylands – today we have Droewors (dried sausages made from beef), Biltong (air dried beef slices), Provita multigrain crisp bread with cheese, tomato and salad leaf, pressed fruit snack made from Guava, these are popular treats. Boiled egg, strawberries 🍓 and of course bananas 🍌. Did you know that banana’s are the worlds largest herb?
A cool South African word is Lekker (pronounced “lacker”) means awesome. The population is 53 million people and the capital city is Pretoria. However it’s also known to have 3 capital cities! There are 11 official languages too. Nelson Mandela is an anti apartheid revolutionary. He served 27 years in prison and later when released he became president. He’s an inspiration to millions. The first ever heart transplant was done in Cape Town in 1967. Amazing. South Africa is the second largest producer of fruit in the world. South Africa was the first African nation to host a soccer World Cup ⚽️. It’s moto is Unity in Diversity, very cool! Educate our kids through food and culture. Enjoy
It’s Heritage Friday and we have Portugal 🇵🇹. The oldest country in Europe! Today we have BBQ beef slices in a Portuguese Roll (Papo Seco) this is called Bifana. We also have chicken pieces in a mild Peri Peri sauce and BBQ corn. These Portuguese Tart’s are called Pasties de Nata. We have a salad with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers and finally we have grapes, all traditional Portuguese food and commonly found in school lunch boxes. A big shout out to Liliana my Portuguese friend for her awesome help!
Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, the capital city is Lisbon and the population is 11 million people. Way back in 1494 half the world belonged to Portugal 🇵🇹. Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries including Brazil. The most famous historical person from Portugal is Vasco da Gama, he was the first European explorer to reach India. My favourite fact about Portugal is this, they were the first country in the world to abolish slavery, 50 years before Britain, France, Spain and the U.S. The Cork Tree is native to Portugal and the largest producer of cork in the World. So next time you pop a champagne bottle remember it’s from Portugal. The current most famous person from Portugal is Cristiano Ronaldo, the most famous Real Madrid player ever! His achievements are too numerous to mention, his most noteworthy was the victory of the European Cup this year! Enjoy Portugal and educate our children through food and culture.
Heritage Friday brings us to Jamaica. One of the most famous Caribbean Islands 🌴. We have top left, Jamaican mince beef patties in pastry, exotic avocado salad with lime juice, mint and papaya, pineapple slices sprinkled with cinnamon, BBQ Salmon pieces marinated with mango, chicken skewers also marinated with a manga salsa, finally natural fruit passionfruit. Refreshing and awesome lunch. Jamaica is in the heart of the Caribbean and is famous for many things. First person that comes to mind is the King of Reggae Bob Marley, what a legend! My favourite song is Buffalo Soldier and No Woman No Cry. He’s a superstar in the region. Jamaica is the birthplace of Reggae music 🎶. The next superstar is of course, Usain Bolt, a gifted sprinter that has won 9 Olympic Gold Medals 🎖, currently the world record holder in the 100 and 200 meter sprints. Jamaica has a population of 3 million people and its capital city is Kingston Town. Jamaica is famous for exporting bananas 🍌, coffee ☕️ and sugar. Jamaica’s national drink is Rum, the best rum is Jamaican Rum. The people are very friendly and the climate is tropical most of the year with a few cyclones and wild weather. For such a small island Jamaica is rich in food and history. Did you know that Jamaica was the first country to build a railway track after Britain? When you’re older you can look up Rastafarian way of life to truly grasp their spiritual beliefs. Enjoy Heritage Friday and learn through food and culture.
Heritage Friday and we have Japan 🇯🇵, a country that has amazing cuisine. I was fortunate enough to spend time with Tomoya from @wabisabisalon in Collingwood, their Chefs are all trained in Japan which means this creation is extra special. This is a typical bento box lunch eaten by school children in Japan, here we go.
Top left we have Edamame which is a potato croquet with coriander sauce which came with sweet potatoes, top right we have a salad with sweet corn, daikon radish and carrot. Bottom right we have pickled vegetable that are spinach, potato, daikon yuzo and kin pies burdock. We also have a cooked tuna sushi roll, and finally wagyu beef meat ball, purple cabbage and baked potato with a basil mayo. Seriously awesome food. I know my girls will try most of this, let’s see how we go.
Japan’s population is over 128 million people and the capital city is Tokyo. Japan leads the world in robotics, imagine a robot making lunches! 99% of the people in Japan can read and write, that’s only second to Cuba. There are also over 1500 earthquakes a year in Japan, ouch! Japan is made up of 6800 islands, did you know they grow square watermelons 🍉? In Japan 24 billion chop sticks are used every year! The highest life expectancy in the world is Japan with the average age being almost 84. They’re also famous for making awesome cars like Honda, Toyota and many others.
Educating our children about different food and cultures is what Heritage Friday is all about, hopefully by understanding one another more we learn to accept different foods and cultures.
Heritage Friday and today we have India 🇮🇳, an amazingly rich culture. This is a typical Indian school lunch, butter chicken or murgh makhani, beef vindaloo, the rice dish is a chicken biryani which is vegetable, rice and chicken, very aromatic, we have naan bread, perfect for dipping into the curries, we have natural yoghurt that is a great balance and great source of dairy, finally we have mango and banana as a fruit treat. I’ve also added plain puppodums, they’re so fun to make.
I’m not sure how many Aussie kids would eat this for lunch but it’s awesome to see what our Indian friends enjoy for their school lunch, learning from a rich culture is awesome.
India 🇮🇳 has the largest population in the world 🌎, over 1.3 billion people! The capital city is New Delhi. The most popular sport is Cricket and the national hero is Sachin Tendulkar, a true sports hero. The amazing structure of the Taj Mahal was finished in 1632, to this day it’s a masterpiece and wonder of the world. India is the wettest inhabited place on earth, I didn’t know that one. Did you know that shampoo was invented in India? There are more Vegetarians in India than anywhere else, cool fact. Did you know that Freddie Mercury of Queen is of Indian descent, champion! Diamonds 💎 were first mined in India too.
In my opinion the most famous Indian person would be Mahatma Ghandi, a peaceful leader of the independence of India from British rule. I’ll leave Heritage Friday with Ghandi’s quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”
Educate our children through food and culture. Enjoy!
Heritage Friday and we have Switzerland 🇨🇭. There are more banks than dentists in Switzerland. Interesting. Today our Swiss lunch is a Cheese Fondue which is bread 🍞 cut into cubes and then dipped into the cheese sauce, we have Rosti which I made using just grated 🥔 potato and butter and then grilled on the frying pan, we have various dried meats from the Grisons Switzerland, salami, prosciutto, ham, sausage accompanied with pickles, pickled onion and a tomato 🍅, we have Bircher Muesli with blackberries which was founded in Switzerland in 1900, finally we have Swiss Chocolate 🍫, the Toblerone and Lindt. Seriously delicious. Pls don’t put that much chocolate in their lunchbox.
The capital city is Bern however Zurich is the largest city. Swiss brothers Peter and Henri Nestle developed the first ever milk chocolate in 1875. The population is 8.5 million people. The first waterproof watch was made by Rolex in 1927, Tag Huer is a very famous Swiss watch. The World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners Lee in Swiss in 1989! Thank goodness he did that. The greatest ever Tennis 🎾 player in my opinion is Roger Federer, pictured. We love the Swiss master here in Australia @rogerfederer
Did you know that you can lease a cow in Switzerland and keep all the milk and cheese it produces? That’s amooo-zing! The Swiss Alps are very famous as well as their banking system. Please enjoy Heritage Friday Switzerland 🇨🇭. Educate through food and culture.
Heritage Friday and today we have Malta 🇲🇹, a small island in the Mediterranean. Today we have a soy sauce steak with a touch of garlic on a skewer. We have Ftira which is a Maltese flat bread which is eaten as an appetiser with Bigilla which I have in the round compartment, it’s made from broad beans. Also, the Zebbug Mimli is very popular too, these are green olives stuffed with capers and slightly drizzled with olive oil. We also have a Maltese Summer Fruit Salad with water melon, rock melon and strawberries, very refreshing. Finally, Malta’s biggest and most famous export, the Pastizzi, I love them. This Pastizzi is with ricotta cheese and spinach, some are made with meat and most with just cheese. Yummy!
Malta’s name comes from the ancient Greeks meaning “honey-sweet”, due to Malta’s unique production of honey. The population is only 450,000 with over 200,000 Maltese people live abroad, mostly in Australia. The capital city is Valletta and the Maltese language is unique but sounds almost like Arabic. The Maltese coastline is beautiful with its crystal blue waters, the ancient temple pictured (Tarxien Temple) dates back to 3600 B.C, amazing! The Maltese drive on the left side of the road too. There are 365 churches in Malta, one for every day of the year. There is only one University in Malta. Finally, the people are very friendly and extremely helpful. Happy Heritage Friday everyone!
It’s Heritage Friday and today we have 🇹🇷 Turkey, an amazing country that is the only country to be in Europe and Asia. We have Köfte which is a beef mince pate, Pide which is a yummy traditional Turkish Pizza with cheese, Dolma – vine leaves with rice and lamb, eaten hot or cold, Pilav which is a simple rice however it’s buttery and toasted. My favourite sweet of all time – Baklava, sweet, sticky with pastry pistachio nuts and grated hazelnuts together with Lokum which is Turkish Delight.
The capital of 🇹🇷 Turkey is Ankara and the overall population is 94 million people. One of the first and most precise world’s maps was made by famous Turkish cartographer Piri Reis in the 16th century. Did you know that over 70% of the worlds hazelnuts come from Turkey? How cool?
The origin of word “turquoise” comes from the French word for Turkey (Turquois) and represents beautiful color of the Mediterranean in the South Turkey.
A big thank you to @ch1tty and her dad Tony for their knowledge and assisting me in capturing the essence of Turkish food. For my Geelong friends please check them out at Pizza Land in Mercer Street.
Heritage Friday and we have Thailand 🇹🇭 as requested by@geneva_the_giant . I had the great privilege of meeting Chef @manman_siri(Manny) and the crew at Malee Thai in Highton @maleethaihighton . We have Pad Thai Chicken eaten hot or cold, we have crispy prawn 🍤 snacks, skewered chicken, a salad with carrots, a light sweet chilli sauce (mild) and an amazing children’s treat – it’s a sweet bean Thai dessert! They look amazing.
King Bhumibol that recently passed away worked very hard for the Thai people – he’s very much missed. He was the longest serving head of state ever. The capital is Bangkok and there is a population of 68 million people. There are over 25,000 temples in Thailand. Did you know that Bangkok is the most visited city in the world! Red Bull the energy drink was founded in Thailand.
Elephant Polo is a sport played in Thailand, amazing. 🐘! The word Thai means “free man” and Thailand is a monarchy. The motorbike with the people carrier is called a Tuk Tuk a Thai Taxi (pictured). Finally it is illegal to stand on money, it’s considered disrespectful. I love Thailand and it’s beautiful people. So @geneva_the_giant I hope I did your request justice! Educate our children through food and culture.
Heritage Friday takes us to the Middle East, we have 🇱🇧 Lebanon, this weeks request is from Claire @clairkhoury thank you for your ingredients and suggestions, make sure you visit us in Geelong soon. I’m certain my girls will love this. We have felafel’s, Shawarma meats chicken and lamb. We have Lebanese Bread that my girls can dip into the hommus. The Tabouli I made myself, parsley, tomato, mint, a little olive oil and a touch of salt, I didn’t add onions as my girls aren’t too keen on them yet. I’ve added a Lebanese fruit salad with strawberries 🍓, grapes 🍇, apples 🍎, and pears 🍐. Knowing Kiki my youngest, she will make her own Shawarma combining all the ingredients. Yummo.
Some fun facts, Lebanon has a population of 6.2 million people, half the people live in the capital city called Beirut. Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. Batroun is one of the oldest cities in the world and famous for its fresh lemonade sold in street cafes. Did you know that Keanu Reeves was born in Lebanon?
There is one doctor per 10 people in Lebanon as compared to one per 100 in America. The name Lebanon is the oldest in the world and has remained unchanged for over 4000 years! The first alphabet was created in Lebanon. Wow! There are so many interesting facts about Lebanon, do a little research and tell your children. Finally, my favourite, the first boat ever built and sailed was made in Lebanon. Enjoy Heritage Friday, educate through food and culture and we can all understand the world better.
Heritage Friday, Hola Spain 🇪🇸 I had the beautiful Rosa 💃@spanish_mesa prepare amazing dishes that her mother Charo passed down. Thank you for rocking Heritage Friday. We have the famous Paella with chicken, chicken croquetas, Tortillas made with egg, potatoes and onions, my favourite Churros with chocolate dipping sauce. The Churros is simple, made with One cup self raising flour, tbs olive oil, pinch of salt, cup of hot water. We also have Spanish olives and chorizo.
Did you know Gaudi was from Spain and has amazing unique creations, two of the worlds largest soccer (football) teams are Barcelona and Real Madrid! Which one do you follow? Every year in Valencia thousands of people throw tomatoes 🍅 at each other for the tomatoes festival.
The capital is Madrid and the population is just over 47 million people. Spain produces the most olive oil in the world. Did you know that the mop and the stapler were invented in Spain. Enjoy and learn through food and culture…
Heritage Friday and we have Mexico, Mexican food is always fun, make it yourself style today. We have Mexican Tortilla’s that I cut into smaller circles, fresh avocado that I mashed up with a touch of lime, 3 types of tomatoes 🍅 and 🌽corn, strawberries and banana’s are native to Mexico 🇲🇽. Instead of sour cream I use natural yoghurt as there’s minimal sugar and saturated fats. Plus we have grated 🧀cheese. I’ve gone Vegetarian Tortilla’s today.
Mexico has a population of just over 122 million people, 6 times more than Australia, the capital city is easy to remember as it’s called Mexico City. There are 68 official languages. Did you know the worlds largest pyramid is in Mexico!
Chocolate (cacao) was once used as currency by the Aztecs in Mexico! How cool, except I’d eat all my currency. Enjoy and educate through food and culture, it’s way 😎 cool.
It’s Heritage Friday and we have an Aboriginal Feast: We have a slow cooked Kangaroo and bush tomato chutney in a damper roll, fresh Berries, Finger Limes that are sour but tasty, bush Tomatoes with their flowers, Kakadu Plums, Warragul Greens, Salt Bush leaves that taste amazing and Macadamia Nuts. A massive thank you to Chef @hayden_verves for putting this together for me.
Aborigines were the first known astronomers in the world, the stars are one of the many Song Lines that act as a navigation system. The Dreaming (Stories) are the heart of the culture, amazing stories that are born from the land that effectively became the basis for many traditional laws. There are over 700 language groups with over 200 spoken today. The Indigenous visual art work is unique in the world with Dot (aerial perspective) painting being the most renowned. The Didgeridoo/Yidaki is the most famous musical instrument and the boomerang is world famous.
We are blessed to be living in a land that is full of culture and beauty, a massive shoutout to all Indigenous Australians everywhere. It was an honour to meet@nikaylairene whose own mother was part of the Stolen Generations, heartbreaking knowing she’s only 51! Please research and educate your children about the Aboriginal life and their struggles, all children should know the truths about this land. A big thank you to Steve Gumerungi Hodder Watt all the way in Mornington Island (NW Queensland) for inspiring this post to inspire change. Respect.
Heritage Friday and it’s Ukraine, big thank you to Cathy@cathharps, we have a traditional Ukrainian feast. Top left we have Varenyky (Pierogi or Perhe) which is a potato and cheese dumpling, right we have Poppy Seed Cake, bottom right Deruny which is a Ukrainian Potato Pancake with corn, Rye Bread sandwich with Beetroot, cheese and ham and gherkins plus strawberries, raspberries and blueberries popular in the Ukrainian forests. We have a sour cream and dill dip as well. Interesting information:@milakunis______ and Mila Jovovich are Ukrainian.
Ukraine just celebrated their 25th year of independence, it’s also the bread basket of Europe, the flag represents the sky and the wheat. The Easter eggs (Pysanky) are traditionally decorated with amazing detail. The capital is Kyiv.