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School Dinners

If the episodes of Porridge were anything to go by, school dinners had an awful lot in common with mealtime at British High-Security prisons . . .

What was it about School Dinners where they felt obliged to boil and squeeze every last ounce of taste and vitamins out of the food before it got to you?

Nothing looked like it should: cabbage was yellow, peas were yellow, carrots were yellow. The custard was often pink and always had a 2-inch rubbery skin that vibrated when you tapped it with a spoon!

The lumpy powdered mash was served with ice cream scoops and used to dry on the outside and form a sort of crust like a cowpat, but still be powdery on the inside.

Feeling hungry? Let’s take a gastronomic walk down memory lane . . .

  • Smash mashed potato Served with ice-cream scoops
  • Spam Fritters (Deep-fried Spam!)


  • Beef burgers (Guaranteed 50% gristle)
  • Fish (boiled) with a creamy sauce – usually square and tasted like s***t
  • Mashed Swede
  • Mint Peas
  • Shepherds Pie
  • Quiche Lorraine
  • Liver
  • Diced beetroot
  • Toad in the Hole
  • Strawberry blancmange with a finger of shortbread biscuit stuck in it
  • Jam Roly Poly – Made with Suet (mmm . . . nice and light!)
  • Rice pudding With the runniest, inedible strawberry jam with seeds or “bits” in it
  • Semolina
  • Spotted Dick
  • Pink custard (With skin on)
  • Blancmange