I think it was just an anecdote as to how cooking skills have been lost in Poland since 1990.
But I was pretty much saying the opposite, as cooking skills have probably improved - people could easily afford canteens then, but can't afford restaurants on a daily basis now. Hence, they have to cook.
(a question : was it difficult to be self employed in those days?)
I became self-employed sometime around 1994 and it was very easy to set up and enjoyable to run :-)
Not a rant either, and I know you read English very well so it isn't as if you've missed a nuance.
I should have stuck an emoticon in there. I was just teasing you, sorry it didn't come out right ;-(
It's still sad though, that for so many people in Poland, chips mean frozen chips. have you seen how many are sold here?
I wouldn't say it's any different than in the UK. There are mound of different types of frozen chips in the shops, and I've never seen fresh potatoes being used in fish and chip shops either. They just open a plastic bag of the stuff and throw it in the fryer. Of course, some people in Poland, when they have the time and inclination, make their own chips from scratch; but I wouldn't say this was proof of any special culinary skills, as homemade chips and crepes were the first things I learnt to cook as a child. It's much more a question of being willing to sacrifice an hour or so of your time and fool around with boiling oil ;-)
they fell out of favour because (she was talking about school canteens) the cooks sometimes took the best ingredients home and served the worst.
This probably happened in some canteens, but I wouldn't say that canteens "fell out of favour" at all. Canteens were heavily subsidised by the State; you can probably guess what the happened after 1989. Some of the bigger companies, like FSO, kept their canteens for a bit longer, but AFAIK they just disappeared due to lack of funding. Schools and unis still tend to have them though. Some of the tastiest meals I have eaten were canteen meals. Unfortunately, so were some of the vilest. ;-)