10 principles of eating Mangia! Mangia!
1. No One Eats Alone.
The more the merrier. Two is acceptable but only for an extraordinary occasion where three or thirty-three would be inappropriate such as a romantic dinner for two where someone intends to propose marriage. Even then a celebratory Mangia! Mangia! dinner must be arranged soon after the proposal.
2. Plates are served full.
Servings are generous – it’s all about generosity of spirit! Resist using the modern trendy super sized plates.
What nonsense! It has corrupted the function of ‘the plate’ and distorted the focus of the meal.
3. No adults only rule.
Children should be heard and seen and the elderly are revered. There is zero tolerance for ‘age apartheid’ at the Mangia! Mangia! table.
4. Plan for leftovers
This is definitely not a ‘portion controlled’ cuisine. Cooking more rather than ‘just enough’ allows the host to experience peace of mind and the diner to feel at home which is essential to the overall enjoyment of the meal.
5. Lots of bread, good bread on the table.
A meal cannot proceed without bread. Whether it is eaten or not is to miss the point. As a famous Italian proverb suggests, ‘an Angel will bless the table with its presence only when bread is served.’
6. Two courses and a salad constitute a meal.
No ten course degustation; Mangia! Mangia! is not about gluttony but simplicity and satisfaction.
7. Always invite a second serve as the diner dictates.
Don’t assume to know when the diner is full, this is the height of arrogance and shows a complete lack of respect for ‘the appetite’.
8. Loyalty to tradition and respect for culture - no fusion.
Keep it simple and pure. One culture at a time denotes confidence. More than one can lead to an identity crisis.
9. Meals celebrate the seasons.
Remember the natural order of things, first we have the season then we have the ingredients. Mother Nature authors the menu. Preserves obviously operate independent of this rule.
10. Always present a small token of appreciation to your host.
It should not include any item that is to be consumed during the meal, otherwise the host is sure to be offended. When welcomed into someone’s home, a promise is made by the host, that is, to serve a complete meal. It’s about grateful acknowledgement of this generosity. Examples of a small token of appreciation include a box of chocolates, a panettone, biscotti or a bottle of liqueur.