It’s not always just a childhood thing to want to munch your way through a bland/tasteless Main course in order to earn your “just dessert” – pudding.

Have you ever asked why? What is the convention that the bulk of the western world is a slave to? A dinner party would be far more relaxed if people could immediately delve into a warm and comforting banoffee pie. Sure, most available advice including that from the Wiki website on this issue is against this course of action. Although, a Daily Mail article was swift to point out that a dessert first option can help with portion control and helps to keep appetites in check, tucking into your favourite sweet treat at the start, would probably be more acceptable, every now and then if there were cultural justifications for this course of action.

South India to the rescue

Of course, for every logical argument like the (empty) calorie-based reasons for the above-stated meal, you can always find a counter-argument.

In Maharashtra, India, the idea of a dessert is an alien one. Dessert, main course and anything in-between is consumed harmoniously in one meal/dessert, or perhaps a new word is needed if a craze like it is to take off in other places -- how about meassert? You never know - it could well be the next big thing.

If the Indians can enjoy eating anything at any time, this beggars the question; why the habit of eating savoury before sweet? Why is it so enshrined in popular culture/convention that practically all of the Western World over follows it?

Granted in the theIndian example, dishes like jalevi; a sweet dish that looks a little like spaghetti and is deep fried batter in pretzel form and vada: a mouthwatering pancake featuring semolina and fermented rice, are eaten as part of the meal. Therefore, it does not exactly support the idea of dessert first, but it does however, erode the idea that the sweet stuff must come last.

Questioning convention

This article and the brief summary of some arguments, facts, and opinions are not, in any sense, meant to tell you when/what to eat first. The Raison d'être for this article is to remind you of your own empowerment. If you have a hankering for nectarine and raspberry pavlova first – then have it, what is really stopping you?

Sometimes, it seems that we have been doing things like the starter-main-dessert routine for so long that the logic and reasons for this are not questioned or kept up to date, as the plethora of nutritious advice and knowledge seems to grow exponentially.

Even on buffets, when desserts are served at the same time, albeit, often put at the end of the table, we still follow the same convention and knowing glances are given to few daring people who head to the dessert table first and work their way back. But why?

Give yourself your just dessert

The reasoning above provides food for thought, pardon the expression, so when you next have a meal or do something routine that you’ve always done the same way, just consider whether or not you are minimizing your enjoyment just to follow convention? A dessert first restaurant trend could be on its way. Are we bold enough to embrace it?