The fear of sharing food, and the American standard of everyone getting their own plate is strange, yet this weird and selfish eating style is never addressed. Each plate is composed like a miniature meal. You go to a restaurant and order your meal, it’s meant for you and you only. You have to ask the person you are dining with for a bite of their plate. It’s ridiculous. You should decide what sounds good for the group, and the restaurant brings the food out as it is ready and you dig in.
The fear of sharing food permeates into the shared plate movement found at tapas places, where still we get it wrong. One large plate is brought out, yet people insist on putting a small portion on a small individual plate before bringing it to their mouths. Like setting it down momentarily somehow is polite. It’s like if you eat out of the serving bowl you are a barbarian. Instead people take tiny spoonful’s and place them on a lonely side plate, insuring that the food gets cold immediately. Really you are ruining the integrity of the dish. You are two people sitting next to each other, you might be on a date, you probably just had that persons tongue in your mouth 30 minutes ago, but god forbid you eat out of the same bowl. Horrifying. What are you so afraid of? Why we feel the need to create so much distance between ourselves and our food?
Eating is supposed to be unifying, to bring everyone closer together, to share something as a collective, to create a bond. Instead, we give everyone their own personalized plate that has no direct correlation to any other dishes. You can go out to a restaurant and everyone is eating something completely different from one another, inspired cuisine from all around the globe. Everyone pretends to like their plate, but really everyone is envious of what everyone else is eating. We need to get back to family style dining, where what’s for dinner is not a negotiated globally treaty.