Garnishes: Are They Food?

While many people think its rude or improper to eat those decorative garnishes commonly found alongside meals today, I feel that anything put on a plate is fair game to be eaten. I am fed up with etiquette police saying not to eat the umbrella skewered fruit served with a drink, or the decorative vegetables placed next to the main. If a waiter places a dish in front of you, it sholud be competely knosher to eat anything on that dish, even if it is soely included for aethestic reasons rather than taste.

Screw you, if I can get my money’s worth from the restaurant by enjoying each and every last edible item I paid for. In fact, the Fed Up team has even gone to get Sushi and seen people consume entire piles of the pickled ginger, much like a pre-game snack (or free appetizer). Other times we have witnessed people requesting extra oranges, cherries, kiwis, or other fruit to thrown in with their cocktail. Mr. Fed Up has seen the Misses eat the the decorative-carrots-cut-like-flowers served next to fancy asian dishes. There really is nothing wrong with this.

Ok…if you are eating the curley leaf parsley served with your meat…then thats screwed up (only the flat-leaf parsley actually taste good, and that is rarely served solely as a garnish).

Extreme "garnish"; Thai stir-fry served in pineapple.

But in general, eat the garnish if you want. If you don’t believe is proper, just shut up.

In a day and age when competition is only increasing, restaurants are having to try even harder to bring their A-game and really impress their customers. “Plating” a meal is no longer just about throwing stuff straight out of the oven onto plate.  Careful thought is involved in how an item is presented, and this now often includes elaborate garnishes. One of the more extremes that Mr. Fed Up has seen was a Thai restaurant where a stirfry was actually served in a shelled out pinapple. Yes, this is still a “garnish” of sorts and should not go to waste simply because of some awkward stares from neighboring diners. If you like pineapple, and there is one sitting in front of you, then eat the damn pineapple.

It’s your “garnish.” If it looks good, eat it. if not, leave it. Just don’t be a snobby ass who looks down upon others for FULLY enjoying their meal.

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Categories: Rants

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out; www.FedUpFood.com

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10 Comments on “Garnishes: Are They Food?”

  1. February 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    After working in a kitchen for some years, I can personally say, people much more enjoy edible garnish. Our restaurant began leaning toward the edible garnishes, and also, took the mindset of trying to ENHANCE the dish with said garnish. Example: Serving crawfish etouffee over rice and sprinkle fresh scallions. It enhances the dish. Similar to how sushi restaurants do it: Order a crunchy roll and get extra crunchy sprinkled over it! Personally, I’m on the same page as you… if it’s on the plate it’s fair game. Everythime I order sashimi, it seems to come over a bed of sprouts and fresh carrots…. I always eat that (I’ve never seen anyone else eat it)

    • February 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

      Hi Yuesor, Thats awesome you have gotten to work in a kitchen…I would love the experience, except I don’t think I would have the patients to put up with people not eating perfectly good garnishes.

      I am glad to see I am not the only garnish eater out there. I too eat everything served with a sushi roll, especially things like shredded jicama or carrots, And I always end up grabbing the last bit of extra smelt roe or green onions that garnish a sushi roll, and use them to top off every sushi or sashimi piece possible.

      Eating garnishes take a key role in my eating habits at fancy joints where the dishes can often be so small that its hard to differentiate between entree and garnish.

      Remember: Stay fed up, stay few well.

  2. Catherine
    May 3, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Hi. Having worked in several restaurants I should point out that the elaborate garnishes are often re-used to death (if not eaten of course). If everyone ate their garnish a new chef would be needed to keep making them! Having said that, I always eat my garnishes and have lived to tell the tale.

    • May 3, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      Hi, I had NO IDEA that they RE-used garnishes. That sounds kind of gross.

      • October 2, 2012 at 9:11 am #

        Not only is that gross, but it seems like that would be some kind of health code violation! Re-using edible garnishes (even elaborate ones) seems akin to me as the restaurant collecting all of the half eaten bread baskets and “assembling” new loaves from pieces that the diners leave behind and feeding it to new people.

      • October 2, 2012 at 11:31 am #

        Crazy world we live in…and things are getting even more acceptable because of the hurting economy…

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