Category Archives: taste

A look on multi cultural diner customs

There are a few features which we use to compare- and analyse multiple cultures. One of them is the difference between a collective- or individualistic cultures. 
It’s about preceding needs; the collective needs (the needs of the family, clan or group) or the individual needs (personal needs).
When you are aware of these distinctions, it’s great to see how these show in daily live and how they can cause some awkward situations.

Let’s go for diner.
Untill recently, in restaurants, I always made my own choice and ordered my own food. That’s how it works in most western restaurants but in restaurants with a collective culture you order multiple dishes to share and there’s one person who orders all, after decided what everybody would like to eat.

Knowing this, it makes sense why the chinese restaurants always have such big portions; A portion is to share and not for one person alone.
I always thought it was cheap to give more rice than anything else at the chinese, but now I understand that the rice is in portions to share with everybody, just like all the several other dishes.
There is less distinction between appetizers and main coarse but a choice between meats, vegetables, rice and different sorts of food.
In the individual orientated restaurants, the different coarses give a diversity in the food you order, in collective orientated restaurants it’s the selection of the dishes that gives the diversity.
Collective eaters will take more time to eat from the different dishes, as they don’t have more coarses with time between to wait and digest for the next dish.

I thought that my ‘bonus’ son was picky and didn’t like my food, he on the other hand was nervous because we eat so fast. 
We acknowledged that we had different customs and talked about it.
It’s so much easier to accept different behaviour when you understand.
And we found ways to mix and match our diner cultures. Buffet style diners works for everybody.
It’s so nice to be able to combine those cultures. It makes my live so much more divers and interesting, just because I can appreciate and choose between the advantages of diversity





One of the best moments of my day is the first cup of coffee, drank in peace, just before the hussle of the day starts. The stilmulating coffaine in my blood makes me ready to face the new day, the warm comforting liquid makes it easy to say goodbye to the warmth and unconsiousness of the sleep. 
At that moment I preffer ‘filter coffee’, not that strong that my stomach get’s a shock.
Later on the morning I need the stimulating effect of an espresso, or the sugar shock from a skinny-caramel-white chocolate-latte machiatto.
In the late afternoon I like a strong espresso coffee for It’s appetite suppressants, to still my sugar cravings.
The word coffee might come from the word ‘quwwah’ (meaning ‘strength’) There are a lot of theories where the word might come from but I like this one best as it fits me the best.

The way coffee is been drunken is very depending on the culture and traditions.
In the Netherlands people used to drink coffee at 11.00 a.m., the coffee break, and 8.00 p.m. and always two cups (“one can’t live on one leg”). In Italy I saw people in the morning having a shot esspresso while standing. I France cafe au lait with a croissant. In England instant coffee with milk. In America on the go. In Qatar the show of hospitality in desert tents and with a lot of sugar.

As coffee has become so common lots of the traditions around the making, serving and drinking coffee have been lost.
In the Netherlands, nowadays, people do drink coffee all day and the typical coffee break or gathering of family at 8 p.m. for coffee is past. Of coarse that saves time you can be ‘productive’ but it also tells that ‘productivity’ is been preffered above some socializing and human contact.