This summer, as the heat rises, why not take a break from hot meals and take a cue from the Ploughman’s Lunch (or Plowman’s Lunch), steeped in rich historical tradition? Originating in the United Kingdom, other European variations exist as well. The ploughman’s lunch is noted in historical documents in the 19th century, however, in more recent years, this pub fare was used to encourage patrons to eat more cheese and other food in pubs, rather than merely “having a pint” (or two!).
Served cold, this hearty lunch provides a substantial meal for the “plowman”, working hard in the fields. Although there are a few variations, the mainstays include crusty bread, a hunk of cheese, chutney and fruit, served traditionally with a pint of beer. Some versions also include a hardboiled egg, pickled onions and savory pie. In lieu of beer, other beverages to complement the meal may include cider, wine or water.
Our family’s favorite variation? Part of a baguette, Gouda with mustard seed cheese and grapes. Cost effective, no fuss, real food on the go, and the condiment is embedded in the cheese!
Does the Ploughman’s Lunch sound like a simple meal you and your family might enjoy? If so, what variations will you try?