Why are New Zealanders bad at sharing?
Being an old hand at hospo means there is probably very few types of people in the world I haven’t met. I’ve had em all, but the ones who continue to irk me are the virtuous lot who don’t know how to share food.
If the word tapas doesn’t ring a bell, read the fuck on mate because this is all for you.
New Zealanders are pretty down to earth people, we would do anything for anyone – you name it, we’ll do it, or know a guy who can. But this is something I don’t see reflected in the way we eat. “Sharing style” meals are quickly becoming the flavour of the month – or year but most of you don’t know how to do it effectively (or at all).
You order a meal, you then wait for it to arrive and will be disappointed when it doesn’t come out at the same time as the other dishes. You’ll wait there hungry and frustrated until it comes while everyone else snacks down on ‘their’ food and when it finally does arrive it will be either too big or small and you will once again feel a little hanger boil up.
This feeling of resentment and meal regret is because no matter how eloquent the waitress breaks it down for you, you haven’t grasped the out of reach concept of sharing food.
I’m not really sure why that is, there are plenty of arguments for and against.
If you’re a fussy eater ain’t nobody gonna wanna get in on your Keto diet, but the vast majority of you go all fucking Joey Tribbiani on me and claim your stake in the dish and feel a bit cross when someone else sticks their fork in.
We haven’t been brought up to share, mum would have plated you up a good serving of meat and veges – making sure you got less of the vegetable that you didn’t like (bless her). You would have eaten until you needed to swap into a pair of trackies and lay around like you’ve eaten half the ham at Christmas. Maybe you just don’t like running the risk of dirty paws getting all up in your sweet and sour pork or the dangerous little double dip. Maybe you’re a slow eater and end up having less than a small mouse while fellow diners are shovelling it down quicker than me drinking a red wine on a Friday arvo.
There is a time and a place to have a dirty big feed to yourself, but if the waitress (or menu) suggests you dine to share, I can tell ya they are probably the expert on how to eat the food to have the best experience so don’t come whining to me when your still hungry.
Sharing food or tapas style is the way food is meant to be eaten, to feast, to share, to experiment. Food is something we all love, it creates an open space for dialogue, communication and a sharing of ideas.
Us New Zealanders have a lot to learn from those Spaniards who share and use food and the way they eat it as an extension of themselves (they also siesta). So break away from the ‘3 meals a day’ and stick your fork into someone else’s food. Give ol’ lazy Susan a call up and get her to the party.