Friday, 7 April 2017

When I order in Spain

Waiters have seen it all. Petulant customers. Hungry customers. Customers with the firm belief they are to be treated as members of a royal family.

And then comes this Russian-Swedish girl (me) and orders dessert before the main course.
"I beg your pardon?"
The waiter looks at my company. They confirm nodding; he got it right. The waiter is still in shock and decides, after yet a confirmation, to serve the dessert with an apology - so that I cannot accuse the kitchen of bad behaviour.

My explanation is: why wait for the best till the end?

Or, as I don't always like waiting, I order dessert and main course simultaneously. The only "issue" I see is that the table might be too small for both dishes at once. Friends and I of course could tell the restaurant in advance if needed, but otherwise, who is to decide in what order I should eat my food? Food might be the thing people are most picky about, with diets, allergies and taste, so carrying on with the restaurant traditions which are in order to give the kitchen time to prepare the warm courses doesn't have to set your food agenda. I also sometimes take time to ask about the ingredients, the preparation methods, the origin of some products. A friend used to complain about this: to him, ordering should be a quick process to not keep people in the line waiting. He has a point - but remember that when you shop a sauce at the store, it is labeled with details. At a restaurant, all sauces are anonymous unless the restaurant's concept is to underline how great the ingredients are.

This morning I ordered hot milk at a bar/café, instead of a tea or a coffee as the other customers (sometimes with stong drops of alcohol in the latter). The owner and the other lady behind the counter took a moment to melt the news and then agreed. (Hot milk in France is so common that it's served at McDonald's.)

I know: food traditions unite people. But should all traditions be kept strictly?

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