Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 18. Day 77. Spitting chips

I reckon there are more social rules relating to the consumption of food than just about anything else we do.
Some make sense. No-one wants to see you talk with your mouth full, for instance.
Some I still don't get despite half a century of reinforcement. I read somewhere that the reason we are not supposed to put elbows on the table relates to long Victorian benches where all the diners sat along one side. Too many elbows on the table would cause the whole lot to tip over and guests would wear their food. This may be true or it may be a great big lie but in any event it hardly applies now when chairs are on both sides of a table, just saying.
Some food rules are of course, cultural. Burping and belching a no-nos here but are signs of great appreciation in other cultures.
I am not sure what the etiquette for crow eating is but my guess is displays of spit are probably nowhere near as unacceptable in the avian world as in human circles. After all, if your diet comes from road kill and rubbish bins there isn't a lot of reason to stand on ceremony. Which in a way shines a light on how insane some of our eating rules are. Half the world is starving and we worry about which knife and fork to use and whether you should break or cut a bread roll. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate good manners and like the formality of fine dining but I don't think it's the end of the world if we get it wrong and sometimes people are too judgy. Yeah, I'm not the tidiest eater but I love me food and that has to count for something, right?

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