Margaret Visser in her wonderful book "The Rituals of Dinner ", points out that one of the things that makes us different from animals is that we share our food. We do not eat it on the spot .We carry it home and apportion it out between family members.
We have slowly made the sharing of food into an art form. refining rules and adding aesthetic. The mark of a civilized man is the manner in which he "breaks bread"; customs of preparing and eating food that brought pleasure ,culture and even sophistication to the daily meal.
In the era of fast food, these forms are fading. Ingesting a meal in the shortest possible time with the least effort minus any decorum , communion or civility cannot be doing us much good.
When we go to a restaurant we try to recreate the those practices of service and conversation but the experience has become ubiquitous as has the food. It is not possible to create excellent food with fresh, locally procured ingedients for large numbers of people without losing out on quality and taste.
Luckily there are many people out there who share the love of convivality that goes especially well with food and who are willing to put in the effort to make great meals to share . As Margaret Visser said people who "remember that breaking bread and sharing it with friends "means" friendship"... and that the word "companion " means literally " a person with whom we share bread."
To meet those people take a look at a new site called MealTango.
It brings together hosts and guests who share a love of food and company. It promises to make meals unusual and sociable anywhere in the world.
So if you are a traveller who would like an authentic taste of the place as well as meet a local family you can log in as a guest and find yourself an experience just up your street.
This experience is open to residents as well. Say I want to try appams and stew made in typical Kerala style and meet new people in the process I can find what I need in a few minutes.
is also a wonderful opportunity to anyone who has ever dreamed of opening a restaurant but does not have the financial backing or management skills . Its like having an informal restaurant in your own home where the host and guest sit at the same table . Its a perfect showcase for culinary talent and skills in an informal setting. And a chance to earn a little or a lot for that proficiency.
What I like are the options open for all. Vegetarian , Non Vegetarian, Indian, International, Diabetic, Gluten free, Satvik Jain and Kosher meals are some of the choices available.
MealTango sounds like a blessing for the foodie, always on the look out for different tastes with a guarantee that only the best, freshest ingredients will be used . The site offers a hearty meal , breakfast , lunch , tea or dinner that can be had in the company of affable people with similar interests.
I have already booked up for several meals in the next week and will following up with feedback and reviews of the same.
Meanwhile if you want to be a guest or host log in to MealTango.com
and sign up. It takes all of five minutes.