All people need to eat in order to live, but some take the experience of fueling their bodies to a different level by living to eat, or truly appreciating the pleasure that food provides on an emotional level.
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The process of preparing and eating food with friends and loved ones can involve genuine opportunities for bonding and connecting, particularly if certain small rituals are established. If you have a great love for food and wish to enhance that appreciation through sharing meals with others, learn how integrating these 11 rituals and gestures into your daily life can make all the difference.
1. Eat Without Distraction From Electronic Devices
Invest all of your energy into enjoying your food by removing any potential distractions from the vicinity of your table, including television sets, cell phones and laptop computers. Devices such as these draw your focus away from the presentation of each dish and discussion about tastes and flavors.
2. Create A Peaceful Atmosphere For Enjoying Food
Dining rituals are highly appealing when the atmosphere is conducive to allowing your meal to take center stage. Use well-made table linens, plates and flatware, and keep the lighting soft enough to evoke a relaxing mood where people can eat, talk and engage with one another.
3. Demonstrate Gratitude For Your Meal
The regular gesture of expressing thanks for your food adds greatly to your overall appreciation of the meal set before you and your companions. Pause before indulging in your meal to say a few words of thanks to a spiritual provider and to those who prepared each recipe.
4. Serve Meals Family-Style In A Group Setting
Consider passing large bowls of food around the table family-style rather than plating each person’s food individually, or having everyone serve themselves from stationary platters. This way, everyone in your group gets involved in presenting and sharing delicious meal components with one another.
5. Be Mannerly At the Table
Practice good manners while partaking in your food – this small gesture goes a long way in enhancing your companions’ dining experience. Chew with your mouth closed, refrain from talking with your mouth full and take reasonable portions so that everyone has enough to eat.
6. Engage In Lighthearted Conversation While Eating
Heated discussions or arguments at the table are certain to take the attention away from the wonderful food that should be appreciated and celebrated. Keep conversation steered toward lighthearted topics that encourage connecting with one another emotionally over a delicious meal.
7. Make Meal Preparation A Team Effort
Just as consuming food serves as a pleasant ritual, cooking and preparing a multi-course meal also provides excellent opportunities for creating special memories. Work with several close friends or family members as a team in making a routine meal, such as Sunday dinner.
8. Savor Each Bite Slowly And Deliberately
No matter how hungry you are, eating your food so quickly that you do not have a chance to experience its flavors and textures causes you to miss out on a true dining experience. Chew each bite of your meal carefully, allowing yourself to taste the combination of ingredients.
9. Try New Foods Together
Develop an appreciation for new foods by routinely adding something that you and your companions have not tasted previously to your menu. The bonding experience involved in discovering new tastes as a group boosts your appreciation level, even if certain foods do not end up appealing to you.
10. Cook Extra Portions For Tomorrow’s Meals
Prolong the satisfaction that you derive from food rituals by preparing additional portions of your meal components to enjoy over the next several days. You can relive your initial appreciation for your favorite dishes and the memory of your prior dining session all over again.
11. Establish Special Holiday Menus
Holidays are examples of celebratory times that often include traditional food-related gestures and rituals. Make each holiday more special in its own right by crafting an individual menu tailored to guests’ favorite foods, using the time of year as a guiding theme.