Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bulgur and blackbean pilaf, salmon carpaccio and curious table manners

Bulgur and blackbean pilaf
Today's Food Diary
Breakfast: Rolled oats sourdough toast with butter and jam
Lunch: Bulgur and blackbean pilaf
Dinner: Cauliflower in tomato sauce with rolled oat sourdough bread

An interesting paragraph I read today, it is interesting even though it has nothing to do with food.
I used to ask my kids, “Why do cars have brakes?” They’d say, “You’d have brakes so you can stop.” No you have brakes so you can drive fast! (Institutional Investor, Feb 2011, page 10)

The article is in relation to the banking crisis and the impending financial reforms. Now this discussion is getting even further away from food so I will stop now.

Talking about food, I made a bunch of tomato sauce. I usually freeze it in ice cube trays so good tasty sauce is just a defrost away!  

Today's Favourite Photo
Salmon carpaccio with poached quail's egg, beurre noisette, samphire, salmon roe, cucumber and dill

Today’s Favourite Blog
An interesting article on the worlds most curious manners. The ones I found most fascinating were:
·         Chile: do not answer the phone at the dinner table and eat only one helping of food, unless the host specifically encourages you to take seconds.
·         India: you must finish everything on your plate
·         Russia: It is polite to leave a little bit of food on your plate at the end of a meal, as a tribute to the host’s abundant hospitality.
·         Tanzania: Do not expose the soles of your feet if you are eating on a carpet or mat, and showing up early for dinner is considered rude; aim to arrive fifteen to thirty minutes late.
·         Japan: Before you commence a meal, wait for your host to tell you three times to begin eating. The youngest person at the table should pour alcohol for the other diners, beginning with the most senior person. A senior should then pour the server’s beverage.
·         Philippines: Always help your host clear the table.

Some of the rules are so contrasting. If you are late in Tanzania its good whereas in some countries this is considered rude. In some countries if you don’t take seconds, at least, its considered the guest is not satisfied whereas seconds may insult your Chilean host. 

And I wonder what happens when different nationalities eat together. The Indian will keep finishing everything while the Russian, as a show of abundant hospitality, will keep piling on more food to the Indians plate. The Chilean would look in dismay while the Japanese may get insulted because the guests did not wait long enough for the third signal.


  1. So learn about the different cultures..I am sure someone would be offended if all ate together! The bulgur and black beans and the salmon all look very good. Perhaps have the salmon with a side of black beans and bulgur. Well, have a wonderful day! Blessings, Catherine xo

  2. Completely agree with Filipinos helping clear the table! And offer with dish clean up! It's also a tradition in some parts of the Philippines that the youngest member of the family must take the first bite of food at the beginning of the meal.

  3. Nice to read about different table manners in different the innovative way of posting....

  4. Wow. I am SO angry whenever my guests are late so I guess I'd better not move to tanzania!

  5. Love this. Nb, there are plenty of my friends who would be seen as perfectly polite in Tanzania...

  6. Love the photo of that salmon- very pretty!
    I don't think I'd be very welcomed in Chile- a meal with only one portion & no phone?! India sounds more like my place to eat! :)


  7. How interesting about different cultures when dining. I think I agree with the Indians... I always love to finish everything on my plate... and everyone elses haha!

    Beautiful salmon carpaccio!!

  8. Hahaha- That is so interesting isn't it?! I love your final summary on the russian piling, the japanese third signal! Made me laugh.

    the salmon is so pretty, and you wouldn't think to call salmon pretty!

  9. Hahaha ... no wonder there are conflicts everywhere! Can't keep up with them rules!

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