"How to Make Your Packed Lunch Look and Taste Amazing, According to a Food Stylist," the article's title teases. Alexander advocates for sprucing up your sad desk lunches by forgoing the Tupperware and sticking them in jars.
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She transforms the most prosaic of meals into jars of wonder: A Spanish frittata buried beneath a bed of nondescript greens becomes a layered “tapas jar.” A ham and cheese sandwich with an apple and bag of chips? Truly classic. Enliven that staid staple by making it into a “Proper Ploughman’s” lunch with vegetable focaccia, mozzarella di bufala, parma ham, spinach, slices of apples, and a drizzle of chips stacked atop one another.
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“We have to admit, we were pretty impressed with her creations,” writes The Independent’s Rachel Hosie. I’m afraid Twitter was not.
Too bad! Alexander’s method is quite the fanciful take on the Not Sad Desk Lunch movement, married to the desire to stick just about anything in a mason jar. I fear that Twitter isn't giving her enough credit. The appeal of putting your lunch in a jar isn't simply cosmetic, she argues; doing so creates a watertight seal that prevents food from dripping into the crevices of your dear bag.
If you extract some Not Sad Desk Lunch inspiration from Alexander's suggestions, be my guest, though some dishes may be more conducive to jars than others—a jar salad, for example, that you can pick at with your fork. A sandwich may be a step too far.
Do you put your lunch in a mason jar? How do you make your desk lunches not sad? Let us know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.