Sunday, 3 June 2018

3rd June 2018 - Etiquette ? Ate it Right !!!!

Thought for the day:"People say nothing is impossible but I do nothing everyday."

I rarely fall into the social media habit of taking photographs of my food. I ask myself, "20 years ago would I have taken a photograph of my dinner and sent it off to the Chemist, taken the photos out of the package and then run around the street showing strangers and friends what I had consumed ?" The answer is "no" so why should I do so these days ??

I am already annoyed by people with their phones out at the dining table, unable to last more than 5 seconds without a quick glance to see why no-one has texted and check that it is still switched on. It IS still switched on!!! Honest!

But I succumbed last night ...  I had reasons! It was essential that we had the opportunity of being contacted by my daughter so I needed a phone "on", and a battery that is losing power far to quickly meant that it had to be switched on and the WiFi found.... 

I should explain - we were out for dinner in a favourite restaurant in Agios Nikolais, Crete - Patriko 

As it says upon their menu, the Tavern used to be called the Knossos but when the father retired from the main business, it was changed to Patriko or "My Father's Place" by Vassilis and his wife Irina.

There are many nice treats upon the menu but the dish that caught my eye a few years ago was the metal frame holding Souvlaki - a novel way of serving oodles of meat with pitta bread and chips and sauces.... A meal worth coming back for!

And so, as I thought about the best way of attacking this dish, and having switched the phone on for its 1/2 hour battery life - I decided to take a photo for reference with regard to methodology! Naturally, Irina - as the friendly and helpful staff -  immediately offered to take a photo of both of us - and I had to explain that the photo was for the purposes of experimentation and discussion only - but I thanked her kindly for the attentiveness and consideration.

The concern was regarding the etiquette!
Susie, being a gently lady removed the skewer and carefully used her fork to prize a couple of pieces of meat and assorted veg onto a plate ready for eating with her knife and fork....

Nothing wrong with that - other than the fact that I realised that I had attacked my own dinner by picking up the skewer and biting the meat from the skewer, the juicy meat was fresh and lean and came from the skewer with no problems. I could of course have pierced the chips with a fork but it seemed to me that as I was already taking the pitta bread with my fingers, it was just as suitable to pick up the chips with fingers and dip them into the sauces....

This seemed a far more economic method of of eating this dish. After all it had been presented at eye height - and there was hardly the room for the side dishes once the construction was placed in front of you....

It was more efficient, more practical, tasty and gave a certain animal satisfaction as the meal was reduced to its skeletal frame washed down by the local white wine - but was it etiquette?
I watched my wife as she demurely transferred her delicacies from skewer to plate to mouth...  Which was the right thing to do ?

Having shared the reason for the photograph with Irina - this obviously became a subject of conversation in the kitchen and bar, as when he next came passed the table he confided in me that the way I was eating was the "Cretan way to do it"    

So I am now satisfied that when in Rome - be a Roman Candle, when in Crete - eat with your fingers...

Either way it was with heavy heart and full tummy that we made our way from the restaurant...
But I promised that I would copy them into this analysis of local habits ... 

I am sure that there are no calories in holiday food - I am right aren't I !!!

And if you are in Crete - go visit Patriko


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