Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Grapes With No Wrath: How to Eat Them in Company

It's okay if you like your grapes peeled. What you do with your own bunch of grapes is your own business. But what you do in the company of others with grapes on a tray of fruit or in a bowl, is something else. I learned the right way one evening at a friend's apartment in Milan.

We were sitting at her table in the kitchen with wine and some fruit. As we were talking, I was plucking one grape after another off the bunch on in a bowl. When she couldn't stand it anymore, she said, "Yvonne, let me do something here." She took a pair of food scissors from a drawer and furiously cut away the vines I'd left bare and looking like a deer had been at the table. Then she cut the remaining grapes in small clusters so that instead of my grabbing a grape, I picked up four or five grapes in one neat bunch at a time - a much more elegant and sanitary way to eat vitis.

When I serve grapes to guests, I do what I learned that evening in Milan. Not everyone I know was sitting at the table with me so if I'm close enough to the host, I'll ask where are the scissors and offer to help with the grapes. These days with germ phobia in full swing, I am usually thanked. If I'm not a close friend of the host, I say nothing and touch nothing - maybe a strawberry, if not, I'll take my grapes in a glass.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I am eating grapes, or any food that a host serves for that matter, I will usually sneak some into the small ziplock bag I brought with me so I have something to snack on later. This is an old trick my father taught me.