A piece of wood is not a plate

08 Jan

Hear, hear!

I’m glad to learn that there are others like me who are sick of being served stuff on wooden planks, and worse, as detailed here:

and at their main site:

Damn right we want plates!

We are civilized; we ought to act civilized.

Will S.' Sunny Side Blog

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Posted by on January 8, 2018 in Uncategorized


11 responses to “A piece of wood is not a plate

  1. Will S.

    January 8, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    A piece of wood is not a plate
    James Morrow
    January 7, 2018 6:49pm

    IN the market for a good news story? Look no further.

    In Birmingham, England, local restaurant Ibrahim’s Grill and Steakhouse was slapped with a GBP50,000 fine last week for — wait for it — serving their food not on plates but those awful wooden boards.

    As someone who dines out pretty regularly and is still all too often confronted with a dish costing north of the $30 mark that comes plated (boarded?) up on something that could have come from the timber section of Bunnings, I think I speak for plenty when I say this comes not a moment too soon.

    But while the local council used hygiene as an excuse to take Ibrahim’s to court — wooden boards are apparently hard to clean properly and Lord knows what sort of nasties might grow in and on them, particularly when damaged — I like to think that the magistrate who handed down the fine was also, on some level, striking a blow for civility and civilisation.

    Because here’s the thing: For almost all of human history, eating off a plank of wood was a sign that something was wrong. That you and your tribe were not economically or technologically developed, or that you’d lost a war and the other guys carried off or smashed up your dinnerware.

    To put it another way, plates were for winners. Planks? Not so much.

    Yet as a quick visit to Twitter feeds like “We Want Plates” will tell you, actual plates are too often hard to come by.

    It’s hard to say exactly when the plate was first developed, but it’s pretty obvious it was done with a good reason in mind.

    The Chinese developed porcelain around 600AD, inventing what we in the West would a thousand years later call “china”. In 1759 Josiah Wedgwood, a British potter and entrepreneur, imitating the Chinese method, produced on a far larger scale for an increasingly prosperous England.

    Long before that, as a quick pass through the antiquities wing of any large museum will attest, Ancient Greeks and other Mediterranean civilisations were making a variety of ceramic serving platters, bowls, and jugs.

    The point is, for thousands of years, we human beings have been trying our damnedest to have something hard, clean, and pretty off of which to eat. Slapping a hunk of meat on a piece of wood and calling it dinner is positively Neolithic.

    To carry the thought through to its natural conclusion, we’d forget all the recent battles over male versus female versus unisex loos and instead see an on-point trend where all the hippest places send you out the back with a trowel and a pile of leaves.

    And all this is before we get into the practical horrors of food on boards and other too-clever-by-half presentations.

    A few years ago, at a trendy cafe in Sydney’s inner-west, I ordered a stack of pancakes with maple syrup.

    They came served up on a slab of wood without a rim to speak of, and my drycleaners got the privilege of trying to get a healthy splash of Vermont’s finest out of my pants.

    And talk to anyone unfortunate enough to work in a place where the food comes out on boards: Imagine spending an entire shift trying to awkwardly clear timber from tables when there’s nothing to grab on to. They should get some sort of special hazard pay tacked on to their award wage.

    Because when it comes right down to it, the whole food-on-boards thing is nothing more than an affectation, a pre-civilisational pretense reminiscent of what the French call the nostalgie de la boue — politely translated as a longing for the mud, a desire to throw off the shackles of society and return to a more degraded state. People who want to do that sort of thing should go camping.

    So let us all take a moment to rejoice at the wisdom of Birmingham Magistrate’s Court at striking a much needed blow for diners everywhere.

    Burn the boards. Keep the plates.

    James Morrow is Opinion Editor of the Daily Telegraph.

  2. junque

    January 8, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    goldfish in a blender? i’d be first to mash the purée button.

  3. Carnivore

    January 8, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Here’s a twist for you. A brew pub in the far NW Chicago suburb of South Barrington (good beer and food, BTW) serves the food on plates but burgers are served on a wooden hockey puck on a plate. At least, it looks like a hockey puck. At this link, scroll down a tad.

    • Will S.

      January 8, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      What the puck? I don’t see the point, other than to make the burgers look taller than they are…


  4. Sigma Frame

    January 8, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    I don’t mind being served a loaf of freshly baked bread on a cutting board, complete with a bread knife.

    • Will S.

      January 8, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      I don’t mind a small garlic bread loaf served that way. 🙂

  5. feeriker

    January 9, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Symptomatic of our society’s ongoing degeneracy. We live in an age where laziness, political correctness, ignorance, and just plain nihilistic hatred for all of mankind’s civilizational achievements has combined into a toxic sludge that yields inexcusable nonsense like the features above (and a special shout-out to the Millennial tuckfards who think that this shit is cute, “trendy,” and represents a middle-finger salute to their Boomer parents: No, you worthless little dickheads, it is none of the above. It is merely you demonstrating why the rest of us are so justifiably terrified of the future in which you will be the majority).

    On a more general note, it seems that fewer and fewer restaurants deserve anybody’s business. Overpriced, mediocre food and rude service serve as a message that more people need to rediscover their own kitchens and learn how to start using them again.


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