Food Mania

What I have been writing about in my Sunday column must have led most of you to believe that I am solely interested in technology and its impacts on society. This time round I want to look at an altogether different topic but with the same view of informing our society.

What I have been writing about in my Sunday column must have led most of you to believe that I am solely interested in technology and its impacts on society. This time round I want to look at an altogether different topic but with the same view of informing our society.

This is none other than what keeps our bodies strong and healthy: food. People who openly confess their love for food or talk about it in detail (like I am going to) are sometimes wrongly perceived as gluttons. Well, young men have to eat well to maintain their physical form and energy.

Actually, the old saying that ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ holds water. For example one of a woman’s special qualities that men have always been particular about is how good she is in the kitchen.

Ladies, even if you cannot cook you better make sure a man gets his favourite dish when he wants it!

I have always wondered how our grandmothers sustained their husbands in marriage for over 5 decades, something that they beat their granddaughters of today in; it was by catering for the man’s wellbeing especially his stomach.

If you do not buy what I am saying, just ask around why women did not eat the gizzard part of a chicken or its eggs for that matter! These special delicacies were reserved for the head of the house; women and children would take the rest.

I wish to differ, being a man myself but I think it was totally despicable and quite unmanly in my opinion.

However some women who held more power in their homes (these matters are not exposed), would be more malicious in the food area as they would practically starve their husbands.

We would like to think that we have done away with such barbaric traditional traits but this is not the case. Such gluttonous men or women are still rampant in society today.

When they get their income they do not look out for the general nutrition of the family but will spend it in bars on roasted meat or ‘brochette’  and other accompaniments while their families starve or eat boiled potatoes, beans and kaunga (maize meal) for lunch.

These gluttons’ frequent expensive restaurants where a single meal costs an average family’s dinner while their kids or spouses do not know the inside of a restaurant.

Personally, I have always wondered whether the size of one’s stomach has anything to do with their physical size. This has continued to baffle me as I visit more self-service or ‘buffet’ restaurants where people of various sizes openly display their uncontrolled eating habits.

There are terms that most of us (especially boarding school students) are familiar with and this is ‘heaping’ or ‘piling’. If you have worked anywhere near a construction site you know what I am talking about.

Restaurants offer very small plates and display varieties of mouth-watering dishes expecting customers to serve small amounts that will fit on the plates.

However, most of their clients do not entertain this especially since they pay a hefty amount for such a meal. They end up piling food on the plate and endure the embarrassment of walking back to their seats with some of it spilling all over the place not to mention the ‘bad’ attention they attract.

A colleague recently told me a story that I found appalling. While at school, with his then meagre earnings, he once felt generous and took a friend out for lunch at a self-service restaurant.

What he did not know was that the meat was priced separately per piece and different types of meat had varying prices.

They queued at the serving table. He was wondering why everyone was not going for chicken and fish at the meat section.

As I suspected, my colleague (name withheld) took advantage of the self-service to satisfy his amazing love for meat, in his words he told me “We decorated our plates with all kinds of meat from beef to chicken to fish and in great quantities too.”

They carnivorously feasted on their ravishing meals and ordered for expensive drinks. When the bill came he realized that he had to part with all the 10 thousand francs he had in his pocket while he had budgeted for less.

Well, he was a man about it and quietly paid up, lucky enough school was just next to the restaurant and they walked back having learnt the lesson of their lives!

I told him that they should have expected what was coming and he replied, “I admit that we were quite adventurous with the meat but why in the world would the restaurant charge food items separately if it is was really ‘buffet’?”

Well, I am not the tour guide when it comes to restaurants but I think affordable restaurants like ‘chez  John’ and ‘Karibu’ make a fine profit without taxing clients for every item on the ‘buffet’ menu.

There is no limit to the things one can do to maximize profit but at times, I support some restaurants’ tactics what with the heavy appetites at large!

I actually witnessed one fellow being thrown out of a restaurant for ‘piling’. I am sure you now know the meaning of that word.

Contact: dedantos2002@yahoo.com

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