• 75°

CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Time to pack lunches: for grownups

My metal lunch box was plaid and left over from my sister’s school days.

These days I see more fancy lunch bag options for adults, with built-in ice packs and such for salads. New design options come out each year, but I like my open-style insulated bag with handles, because sometimes I luck into bringing more delights home than I left with.

When I overheard some gentlemen at McDonald’s discussing how they also like an occasional can of sardines with crackers so they can soak up the oil with them, I  knew I wasn’t alone. I recently did that with cheese crackers. It’s easy to keep canned fish in the pantry, and oysters are my favorite.

Here are some more ideas on what to put in your lunch bag this season:

Coffee syrup is a two-in one

Retired News editor Roger Cowles always told me that people who “really like” coffee don’t go in for all that flavored stuff. This was before Starbucks was on every corner. I’ll bet he still feels the same way.

But, would he enjoy Runamok Maple Vermont Organic’s new coffee infused syrup. Possibly, but he’s not getting mine. I tested a small sample bottle on breakfast toast and all three recipients, myself included, truly appreciated this flavor-packed indulgence. It’s two-in-one flavor of the sweetness and the coffee. Mix some into cream cheese and pack it with sweet or salty crackers for a coffee-break snack.

Marie’s gives flavorful control

Salad is good for your body and some primo dressing makes it all worthwhile. Marie’s Market Reserve is a new line of smaller, tuck-in-your-tote, salad dressings that the label says are 50 calories a serving. I couldn’t pick a favorite from the Southwest Style Ranch, Carmelized Onion & Sesame Seed Dressing and Smoked Black Pepper Caesar Dressing. There’s a Mayer Lemon Basil and Wildflower Honey & Lime Vinaigrette as well. You’ve seen this brand in the refrigerated dressing area. Look for what’s new and low-cal. I suggest them as a dipping sauce for packable veggie wraps, too.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who packs a bag of goodies for lunch or… whatever. Share your lunch idea with her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com