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Do You Prefer to Eat Family-Style or Have Your Own Plate?

This past weekend I went camping and all the meals were family style with massive food spreads laid out for everyone to share. The only rules? No stealing the plate, no sitting, and no double dipping.

Since I grew up eating Chinese food, I'm accustomed to sharing food on a lazy Susan, so this setup didn't bother me. I've learned that you have to be aggressive about getting the best stuff first! Still, I can see how some might dislike family-style dining, especially picky eaters or those concerned about sanitation.

How do you feel about the matter?


Join The Conversation
laceyc laceyc 7 years
I definitely prefer to eat family style. I like to have a lot of different foods to choose from. It is very important to have the right dinnerware out as well when you have supper. I have great oneida dinnerware for my family. We always eat family style, and it works out great for us.
NAI NAI 8 years
I grew up with ' family-style ', but I'd love having my own plate sometimes.
ShePirate2010 ShePirate2010 8 years
i want my own plate!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I'm fine with either as long as people are aware of being sanitary. Otherwise I'd rather my own plate...
FoxyJo FoxyJo 8 years
I usually depends on who I am going to eat with. I don't mind family style but if it gets too complicated on what to order then it's best to just order your own dish.
Glitter650 Glitter650 8 years
Depends, eating out unless it's chinese food I usually expect to eat what I order, and maybe have one bite of someone else's if it's at home, or camping, or whatever.... I expect it to be family style... I have no problem with either...
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it really depends on what kind of food we're eating. i think that in a lot of cases it's ok, but sometimes i just like to have my own plate and eat my own thing, and others i'm ok with sharing. my fiance and i share a lot - so that's better for me. i can get away with eating less since i know that he'll always take a larger portion than me.
mominator mominator 8 years
When I cook it is family style dining but it really doesn't matter to me when I go out to eat.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
I grew up with family style (Chinese), but I hate it because people dip their own utensils in (they either forget or refuse to use serving utensils). Also, there's the tradition of showing you care about someone by shoving food on their plate with your nasty used utensil that's still running rampant today. And you just have to politely eat the germs because people would be offended if you refuse to ingest their saliva. What's worse is when people shove food on you that you don't even like, but you have to eat it anyway. Family style meals were less nasty during and not too long after the SARS epidemic. People were too scared to share their saliva. But the memories of those days are fading and people are slipping into old habits. It's probably high time for another wave of pestilence. "placing the "the best stuff" on young children's plates." I guess you're from a different culture than I, but what I've been taught is that the oldest person at the table gets first dibs. Youngest last. But sometimes none of the older people wants to admit to being old, so I'd just go ahead and get some if everyone's just sitting around telling everyone else to go ahead and not making a move while the food is getting cold. I like it when I can get first dibs this way, 'cause once everyone starts digging in, some of them might use dirty utensils, and some of them talk over the food with lovely flying spittle. All bets are off.
LilyLyra LilyLyra 8 years
There are times which I don't mind eating family style, but most of the time I'd much rather have my own plate of whatever I feel like eating, not whatever everyone else feel's like eating.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
I'm from a Chinese home: what is this "individual plates" concept of which you speak? Even when my family is out to dinner and ostensibly order our own food, bread plates get passed around with tidbits of each others' food. I think my father's secretly mortified by it, but it doesn't stop him from eating what's passed his way.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I'm not a good sharer when it comes to food, especially at restaurants. I ordered what I want to eat because I want to eat it, not because I wanted to watch someone else eat it! But I suppose at an informal get-together it's ok, as long as there's plenty to go around.
princess325 princess325 8 years
I'm fine with both.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
My husband's family is the same way, they take whatever they want and if you snooze you lose. It sucks!
Da-Ly Da-Ly 8 years
Family style is best.. unless all the dishes are crap except for one.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
I prefer family style, that's what I grew up with. But our dining table is so small and I usually make so many dishes that we wouldn't have the surface area to do family style. So I tend to plate everything in the kitchen.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
Eating and sharing must go hand in hand or what's the fun!
Frika Frika 8 years
glowingmoon, I agree! I know in my family my brother (who is a beast at eating) always is cautious and makes sure everyone has had some of everything before going back for seconds, sometimes he even waits to serve until last to be sure, and none of us finish a dish without asking first if anyone wants more or wants to split up what is left. But I know in my sister's husband's family they just take, and if there's nothing left for someone, oh well! which to me is crazy!
burningphoenix burningphoenix 8 years
I'm used to family style. :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I'm comfortable with both. "I've learned that you have to be aggressive about getting the best stuff first!" Yumsug, are you serious?? Isn't that called being rude? :) I'm very familiar with your style of eating, and I've been taught to show grace and generosity, like moving the lazy susan to invite the parents to pick the choice dishes, and placing the "the best stuff" on young children's plates. I must confess I was appalled by your statement. If I didn't know better, I would have thought you were raised by wolves. :)
Frika Frika 8 years
I love family style. though my husband isn't used to it, except at big family gatherings, but we're working on it. When we (my family) go out to dinner we always end up sharing our dishes even if it's not a traditional family style place, we pass our plates around, or if we're lucky and have those little plates we pass those to put bites of food on for everyone! It used to be with my sister that we weren't even allowed to order the same thing, but she's grown out of it, I was never allowed to be her "copy-cat"
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
I'm very flexible, makes not difference to me.
soapbox soapbox 8 years
Family style :) I've been visiting Egypt and Sudan since I was little and they eat every meal family style. I really don't think much of it. The only thing is that you can't really tell how much you're eating.
partysugar partysugar 8 years
Family Style! I always want to taste everything.
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