Clear your plate

An article in the Guardian the other day tackled the thorny subject of the sequence in which you eat the various ingredients of a dish. Which is to say, if you’re eating a selection of items on the same plate, as would be the case with a roast dinner, do you mix them and eat several things with each forkful, alternate between them, or work your way through them in a specific sequence? And if it’s the latter do you eat your favourite thing first, or save it until the end? We occasionally have this conversation with our kids as children are often fussier eaters (as the article notes there’s even a name – brumotactillophobia – for the fear of having different foods touch each other on your plate). Ours tend to eat each ingredient at one time and save their favourite for last. I prefer to mix things up so that I finish everything at more or less the same time. Surely if the ingredients belong together in the same dish they should be eaten together? Otherwise they’d be presented as different courses? The only exception to this rule is that when I have roast beef I save the Yorkshire pudding for last.

I guess this is not an issue (or less of an issue) in cultures where different foods arrive separately and on separate plates (mezze, tapas, etc). But in that case I prefer to finish each individual plate. Maybe it’s the psychological barrier of the separate plates rather than one big one which makes me think that those foods should be kept separate?




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