Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I want a bowl, please.

At a recent family get together everyone was eating out of a bowl instead of a plate.  When it came my turn, I wanted a bowl, too.  The salad and main dish got pushed together but we were happy with our bowls.  Lately, when I go to eat my food, I reach for a bowl.  My favorite eating bowl is medium sized and without embellishments. 
I’ve seen a lot of bowl eating in the past year. The ambiance is different when people are eating out of bowls.  They tend to hold it in their hands and lean down.  They turn into themselves and eat in a private little cell.  They might even be in a meditative state as they eat.  There’s not a lot of conversation until they’re done and suddenly look up as if they’ve been away.
Bowls are associated with children but these days they have to share. The traditional foods for bowl eating used to be cereal, soup, ice cream.  Now people are using the bowl for everything.  
The more upheaval in the world, the more bowl eating we are likely to see. In poorer cultures. bowls are the norm.   If the economy becomes robust and wasteful days are here again, plate eating will come thundering back.  I hope not.  My minimalist leanings will vote for the bowl every time.  

A bowl is a round, open-top container used in many cultures to serve food, and is also used for drinking and storing other items.


  1. Big communal bowls do away with the introspective eating. You can't be in your own private world when there are a dozen hands (right hands only, of course) fighting for the one chicken leg of the week.

    Eating by hand from a big communal bowl is great for whoever gets lumbered with the dish-washing afterwards, too.

    1. Oh, I do know what you are talking about. My Palestinian background is full of communal bowl eating. In most cases, it's not about poverty but tradition and conviviality.