All-Things-ScribeSlice

Group: All Things ScribeSlice

Taking the last item on the plate.

I was wondering, for the sake of research, about the varying views and customes around the world regarding taking the last item from a plate at a dinner party.

Imagine you have been invited to a dinner party where everyone contributes a plate of food to,and are seated around a table with a number of other guests. In the middle of the table sits the different dishes that people have brought. For the sake of argument one of the plates contains a chocolate cake cut into equal slices. All but one slice remains and it appears obvious that no one else seems to want it.

Is it bad form to help yourself to the last peice of cake or do you think you are showing whoever brought the cake to the party, that you really appreciate and enjoy what they have cooked.

Personally I have always been hesitant about taking such liberties. Perhaps other cultures may have a difference of opinion. If so I would like to hear them.


Leslie Blackwell

4th June 2013


Leslie...I think it differs on personal perspective and upbringing.

When I was young and our family visited another family, my mother always made sure that we didn't leave home hungry, so as not to attack the offered food. If offered, then you could accept.

About the last piece! Most people do not like taking the last piece of what is left, however, on many occasions, because I just LOVED my food, for it was scarce in our family, and we even licked our plate at the end, well I would look so longingly at the last piece and the host would see my desire and tell me to 'take it' for which I did and gobbled down, pronto!
My own children always looked at me before I gave them the okay to take what was offered.

However the times have changed, children have more freedom to choose. Food is so plentiful and parents want them to eat as much as they can. In fact children are picky, for their choices are overwhelming, for no-one in the Western world, are really starving. At our home, we wasted not a drop. Even now, I use leftover meals in different ways, weather in soups or other ways.

We were taught, 'Waste not, want not!' and 'Think of the poor starving children in Africa.'

Was this what you wanted to hear Leslie?


Davide Castel

4th June 2013


Thankyou for your input Lucy. Your input is appreciated


Leslie Blackwell

4th June 2013


Chocolate cake, Wow! I'll be very hesitant to take it as my mother told me that people will think you greedy, without someone offering you. I think in every culture, everyone will hesitate and try not to look at it.


Indira Mukherjee

4th June 2013


I don't take the last piece in the plate when in company. I trained my kids to also leave it alone. Of course it's a different matter when the hosts insist you partake it. It get's difficult sometimes to refuse it.

In my culture, if observed properly, the etiquettes for eating are so many that sometimes I have a hard time remembering them. From the way you sit at the table to the point where you finish eating, and offer a silent prayer of thanks, eating with family is an exercise on its own. In my home, the eldest person gets the first serving and the last piece on the dish is also offered to them first. I follow a culture that is very strict on how to conduct yourself at the dinner table, if observed properly.


Asma Ahsan

4th June 2013


It was never an issue. I had two brothers and one of them always had the last piece of whatever unless it was vegetables but I agree with Lucy. Waste not, want not. It's always an annoyance to store the last piece of something. Eat it up so I can clean up the dishes.


Cindy Beitinger

3rd June 2013


If it is obvious that no one else desires this final slice of cake, and you do, all you need to do is ask those standing nearby "Does anyone want this?" If the response is 'No, you take it" then take it. it is not rude or greedy or a breach of etiquette. It is a slice of cake, or cheese or a cookie or the last slice of pizza, not a world issue. I agree with Cindy. Why either throw away or wrap up a tiny portion?


Warren Gates

3rd June 2013


Correct Warren...When I see my husband take the last piece of food or whatever from our meal, I used to tell him, 'Have you asked me if I wanted it?' So now he ALWAYS asks me! When we have visitors, he always offers the guests any food before he takes it. He's a good boy.


Davide Castel

4th June 2013


Husbands generally know that life is nicer when they are good! :)


Warren Gates

6th June 2013


Amen to that Warren. :)


Asma Ahsan

7th June 2013


And...they love being told, 'You're a good boy!'


Davide Castel

7th June 2013


Random info on customs from my end.

In my family we can't deal with the men like that. Even the way we adress them is different. In urdu we have 'tum' for 'you' when adressing a person your age or less, and 'aap' meaning 'you' when adressing an older person or someone with formality. I call my husband 'aap' meaning he is the elder I must respect, Respect has to be observed so much that even in a fight, I have to watch my words. My husband is the elder so I can't even treat him like my equal. It's a sad custom. I can't throw stuff at his head either.


Asma Ahsan

8th June 2013


I never take the last on the plate, pantry or fridge. It's just in me to not do that. If there 2 cookies left and I go to reach for one, I put it back because I rather someone else have it. That goes for everything! Even if I really want it, I always offer it to someone else.

My always taught us to always eat all our food and not waste it. I would sit on the table for hours whining because my mother would make me finish my meal. Up to this day, even if I don't like the persons cooking, I will finish the meal. I hate when people waste food or leave a ridiculous small amount left over. I am not a picky eater at all because I was taught to appreciate and value what I am given. I never complain if they get my food wrong at a restaurant; to be honest picky eaters just get on my last nerve and I'm quite embarrassed when I go out with them.

My bestfriend is one of the pickiest eaters and she also always takes the last item, I think God is testing me!


Daniela Bustamante

11th June 2013


You need a new best friend. Apply in my mail in spanish. :P


Asma Ahsan

11th June 2013


Si señora!


Daniela Bustamante

11th June 2013


Ok - so 'good girl!' would be which of the following?

Buena chica!

niña buena!

or - niña buena!

I like the niña version. It sounds pretty.

Please accept one of the above(the correct version) as my reply. Also, do you use '!' too in spanish?


Asma Ahsan

11th June 2013


The correct way would be "niña buena!" But before the nina there is an upside down exclamation point.


Daniela Bustamante

11th June 2013


Ok - interesting! how do you write it?


Asma Ahsan

12th June 2013


We are going off topic!!


Daniela Bustamante

11th June 2013


I know! It's your fault. :)


Asma Ahsan

12th June 2013


Please Login or Signup to continue this discussion.


Next discussion: A ScribeSlice Project