This is the 7th post in series called Finnish Fooddities and it is about Finnish food oddities. Hopefully you'll enjoy it! Check out the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th posts too!
On St. Stephen's Day I met my friend Mari, her Scottish spouse Ronald and their lovely kids and we exchanged stories. One of the things we talked about was the unsual dinner time we Finns tend to have.
For example my mother and father, they enjoy dinner about 5 PM. In my household the dinner time is later, near 7 PM - since I don't have any interest to make and bake right after work. When talking with Mari and Ronald, they told about even later dinner time in Scotland: 8 PM and perhaps the tiniest members of the family are already sleeping at that point. And probably everyone has heard about French and Italian dinner times, much later and longer than ours. That would be highly unsual in Finland, the main meal is eaten hours earlier and the eating is snap and fast!
Most families probably do have regular dining times, we Finns think it is important to eat regularly. But we probably have forgotten the social aspect, we are all about the regular rhytm and forget the being together part. On the good old days even Finns respected the social interaction and family time ;) Nowadays it's all about our work, hobbies etc. Sadly there is quite a little time to spend at the dinner table and talk about our days while eating wholesome meals.
Naturally there are recommendations! Of course institutions like hospitals have schedules which include dining, school lunches have short strict timetables and if I remember correctly, I've seen a recommendation of meal times somewhere for all the people - perhaps it was home economics class at 7th grade. Probably it had some information of health things too, maybe something about "it's not good to eat heavy meals just before bedtime" or something.
Don't get me wrong, I support cycles! But it is odd to eat the main meal of the day hours earlier than one is used to. Healthy snacks are part of those cycles, I do eat something small after work... And if we did have later dining time, maybe kids and everyone could be home from hobbies and actually have some time to spend with the family? Just thinking... naturally this would reschedule the hobbies too :P
What's the time at your house when the main meal is consumed? And do you take your time or just hurry through the meal? Have you had interesting moment with Finns and dinner times?