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Very fashionable these days, especially in the office cubicles of Milan. As part of the Slow Food tendency, more and more Italians are bringing a packed lunch from home—cheaper and better than what they can pick up at the local trattoria.

In the old days, it was factory workers, who would bring lunch in metal pails. Now, it's yuppies buying special designer schiscette with microwaveable compartments; the first self-heating models, or elettro-schiscette, have already appeared. And naturally, food writers are contributing gourmet three-course schiscetta menus.

From schiacciato, 'squished'.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: missionecucina