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Schiscetta: all you need to know

whar is schiscetta in Italian

What is a Schiscetta?

Some call it a packed lunch, others prefer the term lunch box, but if you say “schiscetta”, everyone now knows what you’re talking about. The word comes from “schisciare”, a Lombard term that means pressing or squeezing food into a container to facilitate its transport.

What is the “schiscetta” in Milanese? The term schiscetta is dialectal and refers to a container used by workers and students to transport previously prepared food (that is pressed inside).

Instead, what is a schiscia? The schiscia is the diminutive of schiscetta, and it also refers to the container for food that workers and students bring from home and open during their lunch break. A dialectal term typical of Lombardy and Liguria, it has now become widely used almost everywhere!

So how do you say schiscetta in Italian? Although “schiscetta” is now recognized throughout Italy, the original term is “gavetta”, but “packed lunch” or “food carrier” are also correct.

When did the schiscetta originate? The term and the concept emerged in the time period between the 1950s and 1960s. During these years, metal containers were commonly used, which have since evolved into multi-level, multi-material options available today.

Whether you call it a schiscetta or a packed lunch, it has become an integral part of our daily lives: in fact, the internet is full of videos across social media and articles on the web giving advice on how to best prepare the schiscette, what to eat, and how to store them. In fact, preparing lunch at home offers both economic and health benefits, making it a popular choice for many.

When should you prepare the schiscetta? The best thing is to plan ahead: for this reason, it is increasingly common to dedicate the evening or free moments on the weekend to meal prep. Condensing several preparations together translates to much less time and energy spent on assembly. For example: cook several portions of rice, clean carrots and other raw vegetables, cook the various proteins, and then store everything in their dedicated containers in the fridge. The preparations will then be ready to go, only needing to be seasoned at the last minute!

Wondering what to prepare for packed lunch? Or what to do during your lunch break? If you find yourself walking through the magnificent streets of Florence, come and visit us in Borgo La Croce! Where the choice to order take away or sit inside our restaurant is yours.

Wondering what to eat during your lunch break or when you are in the office? You can choose from many healthy, fresh, and tasty alternatives: avocado toast, various poke salad and wrap proposals, and even the new fruit smoothie bowls, for those who want something sweet!

How to Say Schiscetta in Italy and in the World

There are many ways to say schiscetta. Italy, despite having a fairly restricted territory, is known for its thousand varieties of customs and sayings. And so every region has its own “schiscetta”

How to say schiscetta in the various regions of Italy?

  • In Veneto it is referred to as “tecietta”
  • In Naples it is called “marenna”, while in the rest of Campania it is called “caccavella” (the dialectal meaning of pot)
  • In Roman it is called “fagottaro”
  • In Turin the term is “la pietanziera”
  • In Piedmont a similar term is “barachin”
  • In Tuscany it is the “panierino”
  • In Sicily it is called “truscia”, “camella”, or the diminutive “camillinu”, which would be the local version of gamella (an alternative version of gavetta)
  • In Sardinia “portarrancio”

In some cases, we also talk about gavetta, a name with historical origins. The gavetta, also called “gamella”, is a metal container, mainly aluminum or stainless steel, used as a container for food, but also for cooking. It originally meant the container of soldiers’ meals. Then over the centuries, the word took on another meaning: military life at the lowest level, arriving at the saying “doing the gavetta” which indicates passing through the humblest ranks to then reach the highest of officer ranks.

What is a packed lunch called in other countries?

  • Lunch box in Anglo-Saxon countries and in America, where they also sell containers divided specifically for snacks and lunches for school children
  • Bento box in Japan
  • Tiffin carrier in India
  • Dosirak in Korea
  • Baon in the Philippeans (used especially among students)

Whether you are a pro at the packed lunch or are always used to buying it, come and visit us and discover the many healthy options perfect for a quick lunch.


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