Have you ever broken a plate? On purpose? I have……. and it felt good! I’m not Greek, although, a small part of me wish I was. I had a flatmate at Varsity who is Greek, and I used to live for sunday evenings – she used to rock-up at the flat with left-over Moussaka, and some insanely sweet Batklava – which we would use to eat in one sitting with 3 spoons – Gaedry, Michelle & myself. Heaven. Who on earth could say no to Souvlaki, Moussaka, a good generous chunk of feta with a glass of wine or a mean salad, peppered with olives, sun-ripened tomatoes and a kick-ass dressing….. a simple one – preferred. Definitely not me. I simply love food to much.
Fame is a fickle food upon a shifting plate.
But… so is the presentation thereof……. don’t give me food slapped on a plate with no love. I can sense it. And I don’t like it. It is right up there with you handing me a gift that was not wrapped – for God’s sake, take the time to wrap it – even if it’s a box of chocolates, it will escalate in value ten fold, just because of its presentation……..
So, in short, please take the time to set the table (even if done in a simple way) and for God’s sake, please set a plate. I’m not one to straddle my food on a stick, wine glass in hand and trying to sound intelligent (I talk with my hands).
It seems that evolution has clearly left its mark – plates are required to at least look civilised, not even bordering posh…….. unlike the Greeks, who smashed them once they where done, we tend to seek out really nice looking ones – even wash them and keep them – to admire behind glass-fronted cabinets. According to Wikipedia, the custom probably derives from an ancient practice of ritually “killing” plates on mourning occasions, as a means of dealing with loss. Breaking plates may also be related to the ancient practise of conspicuous consumption, a display of one’s wealth, as plates or glasses are thrown into a fireplace following a banquet instead of being washed and reused. I think I might just get use to that. I should have married a Greek I guess, but I settled for a Scot, so washing plates are in my near & far future.
It is thought that the earliest plates used by people would have been large leaves, gourd halves, or perhaps sea shells which would be used as simple bowls for holding food. Food items would be placed upon the large leaves or on other containers in the centre of the eating area then eaten communally by all members of a tribe, family, or group.
People discovered early on though the uses of clay and made for themselves simple bowls, cups, jugs, and storage jars. Examples of the pottery dinnerware made by these early people can be seen in museums around the world.
The idea of individuals having their own plate to eat from is a fairly new idea. Originally in Europe food would have been brought to the table on platters and carved. People would then use their fingers to take what they wanted from the platters to eat. Breads and fruit would be placed in baskets on the floor for diners to help themselves.
In order to help you with some side plate issues, I’ve rounded-up the nicest looking ones – perfect to place next to your standard white crockery. What you think? No need breaking these beauties. I’ll hang onto my Scot.