Do you eat from a plate or a bowl?

I grew up eating from a plate where only the ‘proper’ things could be mixed. You did not mix up everything. You ate each thing separately with its accompaniments. Later as I grew up, I realized that in contrast to the eating-from-the-plate variety, there were another set of human beings who loved eating from a bowl. One of my best friends and one of my nieces in my life always prefer to eat from the bowl. Their modus operandi is to put everything that has been cooked into a bowl mix it up and eat it. The rice, sambhar, curry, papad, the salad will all go into the bowl. 
In the beginning, I was horrified. How can anyone eat this way? Don’t they want to taste the dishes individually? Their argument was that they could still taste the dish individually but in a wonderful combination. They said their choice was like listening to a symphony where different instruments played together at the same time, whereas mine was like listening to a solo instrument. 
Gathering courage I bravely decided to try their method too, one day. I found it was not as horrible as I thought. And actually, it did not make much difference to the taste. The only people who complained against the ‘bowl-eaters’ were the ones who spent time cooking different dishes. They would often say, “Why do we bother to cook each dish separately? We will put everything into one dish and cook for you.” The bowl-eaters had no objection to it either. They said, “Whether you add curry to sambar rice separately or mix it with it, does it really make a difference?”
To give credit to where it is due, the ‘bowl-eaters’ don’t mix stuff indiscriminately. For instance, they don’t add the curds and pickle and any sweet too to the bowl. Thank god, for tender mercies. 
I am still a plate eater but there are times when I adopt the bowl. Especially when I have a cup of curds, I add a lot of eclectic stuff to that like dry fruits, honey, roasted sesame seeds etc and enjoy that combination. Bowl eating makes you a little less picky and more accommodative in eating, or does it?

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019 By Sreedhar Mandyam

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