Back to School

It's All About the Package

January 28, 2014

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: If you want to eat a good lunch at work, it's got to get to your office in one piece. The right containers will help.

Work Lunches on Food52

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This may seem obvious, but the first step to eating a great work lunch is actually transporting your lunch from your kitchen to your office. When there is a container of wholesomeness (or, hey, leftover pizza) in the office refrigerator, you are less likely to do what I call the lunchtime walk of shame, which is of course the act of walking back into your office at 1 PM with a $15 salad in your grasp. 

Once you know what you'll be eating instead of said salad, it is important to choose the right vessel. Transport is essential, as you don't want to weigh down your backpack or your murse with too-heavy glassware or stain it with leaky plastic. You need the right stuff.

Sandwich Wraps on Provisions by Food52  Sandwich Box on Provisions by Food52

So, a few tips: 

I like to transport soups -- this one packs well -- in mason jars, and then bring some bread to toast and dip. 

Some super-efficient people I know carry their salads in jars, too: heavy stuff (grains, beans) goes at the bottom, light leafy greens on top. You can even slip your dressing in there, at the bottom, and shake everything together at the last minute -- this prevents sogginess and minimizes the number of things you have to wash when you get home. Or just pack an über-sturdy grain salad.

Sandwiches should be wrapped properly, lest they become pancakes. Consider upgrading from aluminum foil to a protective sandwich wrap or a sleek box.

Chocolate Chip Cookies on Food52

Most importantly: Don't forget to pack yourself a cookie, or a bit of chocolate. January is almost over, anyways.

Tell us: How do you wrap up your lunch for safe travel?

Cookie photo by Phyllis Grant; all other photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • HalfPint
  • Catherine Lamb
    Catherine Lamb
  • AntoniaJames
Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



HalfPint January 28, 2014
Pack a collar of sorts (homemade or storebought or a towel that can double as a napkin) for the soups in mason jars. Them jars get really hot.
Catherine L. January 28, 2014
Soup in a mason jar is genius!
AntoniaJames January 28, 2014
They hyperbole aside, it's an even better idea if you store the soup or stew in the same jar in your fridge, or freezer (leave space, and only use wide-mouth jars, of course)for that matter. Grab and go, it doesn't get any easier than that -- though I'd be sure to wrap it in a sturdy waterproof bag surrounded by a thick dishtowel to prevent breakage en route. ;o)