For some reason another travel memory popped up in my head today, not sure what triggered it, perhaps a combination of my grocery shopping and the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately. This time the memory was about eating lunch / dinner in Nepal and the differences I experienced.
I remembered the really big portion sizes that people in Nepal seem to eat. When I was eating together with our friends I thought they put a mountain of rice on their plates and then added some lentil soup, vegetables, chutney, meat etc. I’m not kidding about it being a mountain, to me it looked like a portion for maybe three people instead of one.
I was wondering how they would ever be able to finish all that food, but they did and often went for seconds as well. It was really surprising for me to see people eat so big portions. Sure I have seen people eat a lot here in Sweden too sometimes, but that’s more an exception than the norm and unusual to see. Here even the girls ate a lot, and how they could stay so thin even though they ate so much is a mystery to me.
I’ve been thinking about what this portion size difference might come from, but don’t have any answer really. Does anyone out there know this? My current theories are that because people in Nepal eat less meat they need to eat bigger portions of other types of food to get enough calories, or that it’s because they don’t eat a big breakfast and don’t seem to have a lot of meals in between lunch and dinner and therefore eat more but fewer times.
How ever it is, I have a very difficult time eating such big portions. Even if I love the food (and I usually do), I simply don’t have enough room in my stomach for that much at once. It can feel a bit difficult and I often get worried that it might seem like I didn’t like the food even though I really did. I really don’t want to be seen as rude when the hosts are so generous with lots of delicious food.
To tackle this dilemma I developed some tactics for lunch and dinner time. I learned that it’s expected to take food a second time and it seems impossible to say no to so I tried to make sure I got quite little food the first time so I could finish it and still manage to eat a little more. I also started to eat more slowly than I usually do at home. Since the others usually ate fast we would finish around the same time but I could get away with eating a smaller portion.