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07 January 2015

Boodle fight

'We're going to have a boodle fight,' my friends said as a matter of factly while they busied themselves with covering the dining table with banana leaves.  There was also a lot of activity in the kitchen, so I knew food was involved.  Was there going to be a food fight?  Close, but not quite.

A boodle fight, I learned later on, is a dining style inspired by the Philippine military as the men share a meal on a table with the food all spread out on banana leaves.  They eat together regardless of rank, with their bare hands.  It is a sign of camaraderie.  The 'fight' part is not really an exchange of punches, but rather the staking your territory on the table where you place your share of the meal, and getting those bits that you really want lest you get left out.

I have eaten with my bare hands before, and I have also dined using banana leaves as my plate (think Binalot) multiple times, but I have never been to a boodle fight so my interest was piqued.

I helped out with arranging the banana leaves onto the dining table while the ladies prepared and laid out the food.  The meal looked sumptious.

We also had dishes with sauce, so obviously this could not go with the rest of the spread so they stayed in their own bowls.

And then it was time to eat! (remember to wash your hands first!)

Eating with her bare hands came naturally to this wee one.

It was loads of fun sharing a meal this way with friends.  You should try it some time!

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