Many so-called "rules" are merely suggestions for a civil society and are more often than not based on sense and sensibility.
In an Italian restaurant recently, a friend noticed one of their group heaping dressed salad onto his linguine al fungi. Yes, he's allowed to but had it not occurred to him that he's placing cold onto hot, and that the dressing of the salad would blend nastily into the pasta's sauce and that there was ample time to savour the pasta then cleanse the palate by eating the salad? There's time - it's not the last supper.
We talked about food combos that make us cringe, cringe as cooks, cringe as defenders of food culture and cringe as eaters who think about how things work best.
Italians suggest, no grated cheese (be it Parmesan or Pecorino) on a seafood pasta.
Common sense suggests no side order of chips with a lasagne.
Common sense suggests that bread is not a pre-prandial nibble. (Nice words, 28 October, 2017)
My (French) mother suggested that soup was never served as part of a luncheon menu, unless it was a fish soup. (Whacky, but the concept has served me well.)
Taking more than you can eat and leaving it on the plate for "Mr Manners".
We could add to this list.
But of course, as a Rugged Individualist, you can plough ahead regardless, piling your plate high at a buffet, even though you can change your plate as often as you like. It's not the last supper. And you are free to eat as you choose.
My absolute cringe I witness often, unfortunately. A beautiful cake or the perfect pastry on a pie is slathered too often with pouring of cream, custard (or crème anglaise) all over the TOP. Uuuugh! Horror!
Now, I'm not for a moment suggesting you stint on the cream or custard. Pour on, Macduff. But try this; pour the accompanying sauce lavishly AROUND the cake or tart. As you cut into it, your spoon will scoop up some sauce and both will come together nicely in your mouth, leaving the top of the cake or tart looking still beautiful -not drowned.
What are your food combo cringes?
12/12/2017 08:29:04 am
Catherine - I am weak with embarrassment. As in the song, "Killing me softly", I feel you are writing about me.
Oh Rosa, is this some Italian Catholic guilt thing, being embarrassed about something you do right? The Swedes, who love a buffet (smorgasbord), gently guide guests to the preferable order of dishes e.g. herrings, followed probably by another sort of herring, followed by some smoked salmon, before going on to the meats, relishes and vegetables, all on a clean, fresh plate. Respect.
We will have to disagree on plates. I loathe tiny plates to eat from and this is possibly a throw back to our early Nouvelle Cuisine days and the freedom of the large plate. (It did get too silly but a basic dinner plate 25cm /10" plate is good.) All food on a dinner plate is so comfortable, like sleeping alone in a king-size bed with linen sheets.
12/12/2017 08:50:21 am
Catherine - will you add me to your email list. I am notified only through facebook. Ta.
12/12/2017 03:40:04 pm
Catherine - since I read your post "Respect" I have thought of nothing else. Groans of disapproval have inadvertently left my clenched teeth as I recall travesties I have encountered.
12/12/2017 08:40:37 pm
In some (most?) brasseries in France eating bread before the meal is more than OK especially with mustard.
Of course eating bread at any time of the day or night with anything else you want to is OK Roy. And we all love bread. But restaurants and bistros hand out bread immediately to give you something to do while you wait. Nice, but this fills you up. I'm suggesting that possibly it's not the best apéritif. How about an olive, even a pretzel?
14/12/2017 03:47:47 pm
Agree, soup is (was?) a no-no for lunch in France - unless perhaps the broth that is served before the meat-and-vegetables of the pot-au-feu (now, in all probability, part of another era). But a cold soup in summer - a gazpacho, or version of gazpacho - is considered appropriate for lunch in the twenty-first century.
4/7/2020 07:04:24 am
Hi, just discovered your blog. My pet dislikes are calling food by another name eg. for over 50 years we had tomato on toast or just toast suddenly it’s called bruschetta and charged for the privilege. Others are basil (basillico) and you mentioned custard (creme anglaise).
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