Some people are so rude. As in, mostly all of you.
Out to dinner in a party of six, four people have food and two are waiting; at home, you serve your guests as fast as you can, but some plates will arrive at least two minutes before the rest. The hungry guests eye up the food – and proceed to sit there, politely letting it go cold.
I’m on a mission to end this food and craic ruining tradition. “What are you waiting for?” I usually ask. “Just eat! It will go cold while you wait.”
“But it would be nice if we could all eat together…”
Of course, it’d be lovely. I’d be delighted if all the food arrived at once; indeed, in restaurants, it is very poor form to leave any customer waiting more than a minute or two for their food – but hey, sometimes it happens. And of course, when cooking for friends at home, it’s good form to get all the food out all at once – but sometimes it doesn’t happen.
So people sit politely, quietly accepting another pointless diktat of table manners, hungry and watching their hot meal cool. Not on my watch. It’s a well-meaning but wrong-headed approach to food – what could be ruder than demanding that your friend’s meals could be ruined because you haven’t got your food yet?
Table manners are very different in different countries: slurping is still so hot right now in Japan, you really ought to cleanse your palate with a loud burp in India, and my mother swears that it’s rude to finish your entire plate in a restaurant (answers on a plate with leftovers, please). So maybe a different culture lunges in when the food hits the table?
What table manners do you think should be thrown in the bin?