I would like to know what "real food" means in the following sentences:

The next morning we stripped the sheets off our beds and packed our things. The boys were excited, talking about the disco, about the prettiest girls, about home and real food.

‘I can’t wait for a four-egg omelette,’ said one pudgy boy.

Someone else made a face at him. ‘You voracious hedgehog!’

In this novel which is set in the 1980's in Poland under the socialist regime, where homosexuality was socially unacceptable, the protagonist Ludwik (a university graduate) left Poland in 1981 to live in the United States of America. And he remembers what it was like back then in Poland, where he used to hang out with his friends including his first love Beniek in his hometown of Wrocław when he was nine years old. He also went to a trip for his First Communion. On the last morning of their stay, boys talked about home and "real food."

In this part, I would like to know the meaning of "real food." Does it mean perhaps nutritious food that parents made at home...? (This is just my wild guess.)

I am an English learner from South Korea. I would very much appreciate your help. :)

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    What did the boys eat during the First Communion trip? – verbose Dec 17 '20 at 8:38
  • Dear verbose, thank you very much for the comment. Actually, I am afraid there is no description as to them having whatsoever food during the excursion, but there is one sentence that they had "sugary fruit kompot and salt sticks" at the last night of their stay, during the party. – Pasta Addict Dec 17 '20 at 10:24

The boys have been on a First Communion trip. It isn't clear what they were given to eat during this trip, but they don't consider it real food. So presumably they were not given meals of the kind they would usually eat at home. Perhaps they ate food out of cans, or just bread and cheese, or snacks all the time. Now that they are going home, they are looking forward to eating "nutritious food that parents made at home", as you correctly speculate.


'The boys' don't consider the food they get to eat in USA as real food. Of course, they don't mean this in the literal sense. It's just that they consider the food they used to eat in Poland as being real.

Does it mean perhaps nutritious food that parents made at home...?

Maybe. Maybe not. The food they used to eat back in Poland may or may not be nutritious. Also it may not necessarily be cooked by their parents, or made at their homes.

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    The narrator has moved to the US as a university graduate and is remembering a trip taken during his childhood, when he still lived in Poland. He is not thinking about returning to Poland. – verbose Dec 17 '20 at 8:36
  • 1
    Their return home from the communion trip. This was a trip within Poland when the narrator still lived in Poland. Not the narrator's return to Poland from the US, as your answer says. – verbose Dec 17 '20 at 9:05

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