The waiter looks at us confused, as always. Again we need to explain that we share every plate between the two of us. Straight to the point, we are not big fans of the ”Joey doesn’t share food” mindset and see only positive outcomes when you do share. It allows you to taste and enjoy multiple dishes, but even more importantly, it becomes a shared experience that creates a connection between the eaters.
In Cyprus they know the Meze through and through and there is no surprise or confusion even if we share something else. We usually even get an (unnecessary) extra set of plates to make it easier to share.
The Cypriot Meze is a beautiful thing and in our weeks of travel we have seen our fair share of them. Our own first experience was an unexpected surprise on our second day in Cyprus. In broken English the cook asked us if we wanted to eat. Well, we were in their restaurant for a reason. Beside it being one of the few places to eat around the small village, all local residents highly recommended the place. The next question was: ”Good food? Full?” We nodded and she disappeared.
This time it was our turn to be confused. Unsure if the woman had understood what we wanted we waited, expecting her to return with a menu of some sort. Empty plates were brought to the table, indicating that there was food on the way. Shortly after a young waitress came with three small plates with different dishes. Both thinking that we were brought a starter, we dug in. Were we wrong! Soon more plates came in. And more and more. The entire six seat table was filled for just the two of us sharing.
As we ate our way through a large group came in, cyclists we heard later. They seemed to know what to expect. Plate after plate came to the table as they shared and laughed. No menu was ever seen. But even more beautiful: the host joined their table, where the cook joined ours.
Talking about food suddenly became as easy as talking about the weather. Everyone ate the same, tasted the same. With this simple example we were shown yet again how easy it is to connect with one another over a shared experience.
This of course is true for every shared experience. All teambuilding works for a large part on this simple principle. As long as it’s new or different than usual, it’s enough to connect over. It doesn’t matter if you just met someone or have been married for a hundred years, every new shared experience is an opportunity to (re)connect.
Sharing and tasting the same food, doing a yoga practice together or even partner yoga with actual physical contact may be some of the most pleasant and easiest ways to make such a connection. Mostly because all these things bring forth an important second aspect: being in the moment. Almost every moment of the day we are working on either our future or our past. Therefore it’s easy to meet with someone but not connect, even if you see each other every single day. In order to connect both minds need to arrive in the present moment.
In Dutch restaurants it’s simple to take the easy route and order a separate plate for each of you. Perhaps taking a small bite from the other’s plate to “taste” it. But many people are afraid the other will empty “their” plate and protect it as if their lives depended on it. Keeping their experiences separate. I wonder if this is why we spot many people in restaurants staring at their phones while sharing their table with another person. They are together, yet not connected.
Maybe next time when you go out with a friend, date, spouse, sibling or parent, choose your plates together (this is where the connecting starts) and choose dishes you both like. When the waiter asks you where to place the plates tell them to “just put it down. We’re sharing.” and watch the confusion. Try switching the plates around as you’re eating and discuss the set of flavours. Or bring the experience to your own kitchen and try out new recipes together (here are some of our own surprising recipes!). Not only will you have tasted more at the end of the evening, most likely you will have connected better with the person you’ve been eating with.
About Primal Beings:
Mark is a passionate cook through and through with great affection for using the freshest produce. He studied Western science and Eastern philosophy, in relation to the effect food has on the physical and emotional systems, and brought these together in the kitchen. Mark is a grounded nutrition specialist, personal coach and trainer.
Kimi is a well traveled woman in search of flavors and inspiration while learning about cultures, customs, and mindfulness. Always sharing knowledge from her own experiences in different corners of the world. She is a movement artist with a big appetite for not only knowledge and personal growth, but also for what Mark conjures up in his kitchen.
Together we are the Heart and Mind of Primal Beings.
Our Mission is to bring people closer in connection to themselves through movement, nutrition, and relaxation. These are the three pillars of Primal Beings.
Educating others to become more aware of our subconscious decisions to subsequently improve the quality and understanding of life.