I was out for lunch with some friends yesterday and out of the five of us only two had meals served on china plates. This prompted a lively discussion and my friend Janet suggested that the topic would be a good one to cover in my blog. So here it is!
I don’t know if this has happened in other parts of the world, and I look forward to hearing from readers on this, but in the last decade or so there has been a bit of a trend in certain eating places to serve food on other things besides plates. This will not normally happen in higher end restaurants but more in the slightly up-market cafes and bistros. The sort of place you would go to do what I did yesterday and meet friends for lunch. At least, that’s my impression – others might think differently.
- The commonest one is food served on a lump of wood or what I would use as a chopping board or bread board. This doesn’t feel particularly odd for a sandwich/ ploughman’s sort of meal, but some of the others are definitely peculiar!
Meal served on a wooden board.
- Pieces of slate are also spotted in these sort of places.
A piece of slate serves as a plate.
- Yesterday one of us had food presented in a basket. This reminded us all that the very first cases of this sort of food presentation happened in the late 60s/ early 70s when pubs (it was only pubs doing this) started serving bar snacks in a basket. The three usual choices were steak, chicken or scampi with chips. This was the first time steak and chicken had been served in small bite-sized pieces which you could spear with just a fork. Basket meals were SO new and SO trendy! My first one ever was when I was a student in a pub in the centre of Nottingham called the Blue Bell.
Other things which turn up on tables are:
- Chips or side dishes served in small metal buckets.
Three buckets in a wooden crate. Side dishes in a bucket and a wheelbarrow.
- Milk for tea and coffee in a mini milk churn.
A wooden board and a milk churn.
- Meals served on a flat cap – yes, I have really heard of this one although it hasn’t happened to me yet! I assume there is always a plate or a washable layer inside the cap – and that the cap is unworn.
- Food presented on a fireman’s shovel – another one I have heard about but not experienced.
- I have had a meal served in a frying pan before and it was obvious that it wasn’t even one used for cooking the meal but a decorative one used as a plate.
Here are a few others I have yet to experience. Some I’m not in a hurry to try.
Pictures all sourced from Google Images. If anyone sees one which they object to me using for any reason, please contact me through the blog and I will happily remove it.