Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Apr 30, 2008 10:40 AM

What are your food sharing rules?

When I go to an Asian restaurant i am happy to share my dishes with others. At other types of restaurants I typically offer small bites of my choices to my friends. We often share desserts. However, I get quite irritated if my DH "steals" a french fry off my plate or hangs over me obviously as interested in my plate as he was in his. And if anyone takes a lick of my ice cream I can't eat the rest. How do you share your food?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Unless its red meat, which my wife doesn't eat, we will share any/everything either of us are eating if 1) the other wants to try it or 2) whoever has it thinks the other must try it because its really good.

    French fries are communal food in my world and I expect I won't get to eat all of the fries on my plate (though I wouldn't take one off a plate without asking if it wasn't my wife's plate).

    With friends, I often share dishes, bites and tastes.....though I can't recall sharing an ice cream cone with anyone I wasn't in a serious relationship with.

    1. With my husband, everything's fair game. We always share and don't get bothered if we reach over and grab things (of course, we don't do this at higher end restaurants). At higher end places, we generally trade plates midway through the course. May seem a bit tacky, but we don't care. And DH is the only person who can lick my ice cream..

      With friends, I don't get bothered if people try some of my food or I try some of theirs. But we always ask beforehand. I think I would be miffed if somebody just grabbed something off of my plate without asking.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        "I think I would be miffed if somebody just grabbed something off of my plate without asking."

        heh. ever since we were kids, my sister has insisted that my food always tastes better than hers, even if we're eating the exact same thing, from the same source. unfortunately she thinks this entitles her to snatch food off my plate [e.g. pick the mushrooms & tomatoes out of my salad]...with her fingers, no less.

        i've learned that the only way to protect the integrity of my food if she even so much as eyeballs it is to be proactive about it - i pick out the things i know she'll go for, and give them to her before she can attack the dish.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Ha. I was the pain in the ass sister who would grab food from my sister's plate when we were kids. She prevented me from doing it by sprinkling pickle juice on her food -- I hate the stuff but she used to drink it straight from the jar.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            actually i have my own strategy for deterring her now....i cook with a lot of herbs, and also love my food spicy, but she doesn't like ANY sort of herbs or pepper/heat. the only condiment she'll tolerate is ketchup, or the occasional dab of mustard [seriously makes me question whether we really are related], if i season it to my liking before she gets to it, she doesn't want it anyway. of course then she blames me for preparing it that way on purpose so that she can't eat it.

            brat :)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              odd that she'd drink pickle juice, but doesn't like spicy foods! i find that people who like mustards, pickles, salty snacks, tend to like spicier food. they prefer an appetizer to a dessert -- if they have to choose. ok, that's my generalization for today! ;-)

              btw, any luck finding your pro kitchen in nyc?

              to keep on topic: even mr. alka and i ask if the other wants to try, or before we take from each other. well, maybe hot fresh fries are a tiiiiny exception. with non-mr. alka, i usually don't offer or ask to share -- unless it is family or a close friend.

              1. re: alkapal

                It's Miss Needles sister that uses the pickle juice, not ghg. But I agree with your generalization.

                1. re: danhole

                  ah, you are correct, madam. ;-) free apologies all around! esp. to miss needle and goodhealthgourmet.

                  okay, second generalization: i need to sleep more!
                  }-O (what? me snoring?)

                2. re: alkapal

                  actually, the generalization makes sense for my sis. her condiment of choice is heinz ketchup [some tomato with your sugar, perhaps?], and the only foods you'll ever find in her fridge or pantry are sugary cereal, 100-calorie cookie snack packs, containers of pre-cut fruit, chocolate, ice cream/fro yo, fruit-flavored yogurt, skippy PB, diet soda & snapple, and white wine. she's never cooked a day in her life, and doesn't even own salt & pepper...and she's in her mid-30's.

                  really, i don't understand how we're related.

                  alk, to answer your question, the hunt continues, but thanks for asking!

                  and re: snatching hot, fresh fries off someone's plate...feel free to help yourself to the lighter, less-cooked ones off mine, but if you go near the dark & crispy well-done tidbits [the only ones i have any interest in eating] you're getting slapped :)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    i like them extra crispy, too! food fight! ;-)

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Uh-oh. The "only" <g> reason I get along with my sister is the french-fry differential. She: potato-y and light, me: crisp and dark.

                      As much as I like goodhealthgourmet's and alkapal's posts, I think there would be a hand slappin'!

                      Enjoy those crispy bits! (Funny how we are, huh?)


        2. My DH and I often order different things and when the food arrives I offer him a taste as he does to me. Then we place a bit on each others plate. At an asian restaurant it's anything and everything shared. BUT do not reach over and take something off my plate or you will get speared with a fork! Also I don't eat ice cream cones for the "lick" reason. I get the ice cream in a cup so you have to use a spoon if you want a taste.

          1 Reply
          1. re: danhole

            Everything is fair game, to friends or hubby, except for ice cream. All desserts, for that matter. Desserts are hands off.

          2. I must admit that I am willing to share anything with anyone at any time. I try to keep things vaguely sanitary by using separate cutlery if available, but I am not really bound by rules. Except: If I know I have a cold, or if someone has a cold, then I will be quite strict about the sanitary rules. But if everyone is well, I take my risks, and offer to share bites with anyone who wants to try whatever I am eating. That being said, I have not yet stooped to sharing a small hard candy with anyone (even my hubbie). I have taken a bite out of other people's ice cream cones (a bite seems somehow better than a lick. I realize this is really arbitrary, and not backed by science).

            I also take into account the preferences of whomever I am eating with. If it is clear that I am with someone who feels uncomfortable sharing food, I won't offer, and I won't ask. That is fine with me, everyone has their own way of eating! I don't want someone to feel compelled to share food if that will make the meal more unpleasant for them. I will also be much more discreet and proper at work functions.

            But my personal preference is for communal eating. If I invite you to eat with me, it is because I like you and want to eat together! I'd like to think I am pretty fun to eat with. But I concede, it can get messy... I am reminded of a fine poem/song by Jonathan Richman: "I eat with GUSTO, DAMN, YOU BET"

            (gosh, re-reading my post slightly horrifies me. Please don't feel I am a complete slob, I'm actually not! I can be taken to fancy places, and I can behave!)

            15 Replies
            1. re: moh

              Moh, I think you and I have the same rules, though I refuse to even eat with people who have colds. :)

              1. re: marmite

                I have a lot of friends with young children, and if I refused to eat with people who have colds, it is possible I would never see them! So I do it, but if I am sharing food, I will use new cutlery, and put pieces of food on their plates, avoid contact, etc. etc. Whatever I can do to avoid the cold. But sometimes you can't. C'est la vie!

                1. re: moh

                  You are clearly a better and more forgiving person than I. I have avoided people for months due to colds. :)

                  1. re: marmite

                    Marmite, I wouldn't say better and more forgiving - perhaps foolhardy and reckless!

                    That being said, for what it's worth, I do not recall more than 1 or 2 instances where I have eaten with someone who has a cold and thought "uh oh, gonna get a cold in a few days" and then gone on to get a cold. Most of the times I have gotten a cold, it usually arises without obvious reason. Oh those door handles... Sigh....

              2. re: moh

                Moh, I think your husband is right about us -- we'd make perfect eating partners! After we're done, we'll have crumbs and smears of chocolate all over our faces and bodies. But I also can tone it down if the situation arises (ie. work, etc.). If I'm more comfortable, I'm more prone to let it loose. My sister is like me, but a lot worse. When she started seeing this guy, she was the most dainty thing ever. Then she invited that guy home to meet our parents. The guy was shocked to see her picking up food with her hands, her non-stop eating, food flying all over the place -- you get the pic. After my sister got to know my husband, he was shocked too -- he thought I was the messiest person around until he witnessed her eat.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  Miss Needle, I am envisioning Blackout cake... Big Grin!!

                2. re: moh

                  watching someone bite into an ice cream cone makes me shudder to my core.

                  problem is with colds and such, alot of things are contagious before symptoms rear their ugly heads. I have to say though, i was once at a christmas party where we were all sitting around a dip and one little girl was eating away long before her mother bothered to mention that just the night before she was still up all night with the Norwalk virus. Needless to say, the little girl had all the dip she could want after that one .

                  1. re: im_nomad

                    Im_nomad, sorry to disturb you about the ice cream cone bite.... I'm assuming it is because of the ice cream headache/cold temperature thing?

                    Re: Norwalk virus - yuck. I think I'm kind of lucky, my friends with kids would not bring their kid if they had recently been sick. Or they would be very careful, and warn everyone, and take extra precautions. Between your story and the thread on "Entertaining bad guests", I'm beginning to think I have a lot of very nice thoughtful polite friends! Some of these stories are horrific!

                    1. re: moh

                      yes, it hurts just to look...icecream doesn't seem like something that should be bitten.

                      re:norwalk...sadly that was the season i was being extra vigilant becuase my father was due to have surgery in a month or so, and hospitals would not allow anyone in if they'd been sick at all, and i managed to avoid it for two months...and i literally got sick the night before i flew home for his surgery, and couldn't even see the rest of the family, never mind my Dad, until well after the surgery. It was definitly not a "picky eater" situation !!! That being said, i don't think it was the little girl :)

                      1. re: im_nomad

                        re Norwalk: What person in their right mind brings someone to a party that as a virus that has taken down whole cruise ships full of people? I have to wonder if people leave their common sense in a drawer somewhere? geesh

                  2. re: moh

                    you said : << re-reading my post slightly horrifies me >>

                    oh no, this is my approach. Eat with those you are happy to share with. Laugh often.

                    1. re: moh

                      Ah moh, if you can get down and dirty, you sound like someone I'd love to eat with. Reminds me of that other post about taking your leftover bones from a restaurant home and gnawing them in private. We should really start scheduling Chowhound post-meal gnaw-outs!

                      1. re: cimui

                        "We should really start scheduling Chowhound post-meal gnaw-outs!"

                        Cimui, I suspect we could get quite a turnout! Wonder if we could find a resto that would host us ;) It might come down to meeting at a steakhouse, pretending to eat dinner there, then going to park bench somewhere close by to get to the real meat of the matter...

                        I thought very fondly of all the wonderful Chowhounds out there as a small group of us ripped into some fresh snow crabs from Rimouski last night. Very visceral eating! Lots of crab shell everywhere! I was so intent on eating that I didn't notice that one of the muscles in my leg had tensed up into an awkward position. When I tried to stand up to get more wine and butter, my leg went into spasm and I fell over, much to the amusement of my friends. What a great evening!!!!

                        1. re: moh

                          Last Friday we stopped for lunch on the highway between Matagalpa and Managua. One of the party was a young American who really hadn't traveled outside the US before and whose mother had taught her to eat chicken with a fork and knife. Her plate came with two fair sized slightly gloopy BBQ chicken legs (2 x drumstick and thigh). She was about to leave most of her picked at meat on the plate. So, con su permiso, I grabbed the bones and meat and ate all by hand, sucking the last of the good bits along the way. Sure she went back to Vermont a bit shocked; but I had a good time and we didn't waste food in front of our Nico companions.

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            Bravo Sam! You're my hero!

                            Re: eating chicken thighs with a fork and knife: I find that people who eat chicken thighs this way often leave the second best part of the chicken, that little cheek of meat at the top of the thigh bone in the little bone pocket. So flavourful. When in polite company, I silently wriggle in agony to see so many of those little morsels go to waste...

                            (The best part of the chicken is the chicken butt, or Pope's nose. Gotta go to a whole carcass for that. So rarely served in polite company.)

                    2. If you ask, I'll gladly share.

                      Don't ask and I'll stab you in the a warning.

                      For some reason the entitlement that even friends think they have to my food makes me go primal. Only my wife gets away with impunity.