Family-style dining has been an ongoing tradition for centuries and emphasizes the importance of coming together to share thanks for the people and food around you. With busy schedules, it's easy to push family time and meals to the back burner.
Studies show that family-style dining is extremely valuable in the social and emotional development of children. Some childcare and educational programs even incorporate family-style dining with classmates into their school culture.
Although the importance of this tradition has been proven in how it forces us to consider others when dining, it is still not implemented enough in western culture. Karen Wu, an assistant psychology professor at California State University, explains this further.
"As trivial as they may seem, our food sharing habits can be traced to our deep-seated cultural values. In collectivistic societies, such as many Asian countries, sharing food from one plate is the norm and an expression of this dynamic. In individualistic societies, such as many Western countries, we tend to have our own plates with all the portions carefully rationed out, or, we may have a buffet. As a result, we rarely have to consider others when we eat."
In Armenian culture, family-style dining is highly valued. With the holidays approaching, we want to share a few fall-inspired tablescape tips so that you can continue this tradition. Whether it's gathering with extended family for the holidays or cherishing little moments at home, here is how we can all show a bit more care for each other by simply sharing our food!
Adjustable Elongated Tables
Family-style meals might not fit into your everyday schedule, so having a table that can adapt to the occasion can make this an easier for when you are ready to add it into your routine. Adjustable wood tables will give you options to curate your gatherings properly while also maximizing the space you have.
Stock Up On Small Plates
One of the biggest keys to a perfect family-style tablescape is adding small plates. Serving your food on a variety of smaller-sized dishes makes the dishes more sharable at a larger gathering, and gives the table more room for a mix of food options. Whether you are sharing your homemade stuffed grape leaves or a tasty couscous salad, small plates are the way to go.
Pitchers For Basic Beverages
We understand the memo of sharing by now when it comes to family-style dining. What makes this type of gathering special is the true time you spend together at the moment while creating long-lasting memories. To avoid people leaving the table often, having a drink pitcher for a universal beverage like water or fresh juice is ideal.
Large Serving Trays For Complimentary Proteins
The more we stick together, the happier we'll be! It is a tried and true saying. For your next dinner, look into a large serving tray to present similar proteins or other complimentary dishes. Not only will it act as the statement piece of the gathering, but it also makes it easier to serve multiple larger dishes.
Whether you are adding to your collection or looking for new ways to create meaningful moments, Michael Aram has a wide assortment of tabletop pieces for every type of gathering. Whether you are looking for formal dinnerware settings or a more casual family-style setup, look no further than dining and entertaining.