Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kids menu

Meals are an essential part of any travel experience. I wonder why it’s often considered an “adults only” experience.
Think about it: You’re in a foreign city, it’s lunch time and you will be looking for a restaurant, trattoria or brasserie. You’re attracted by a very descriptive English menu or by an enthusiastic guidebook review, get excited about tasting local specialties or fine cuisine. You also enquire about a specific menu for your kids. Oh great, they have one and here it is: chicken nuggets with fries. Or pasta with tomato sauce.
Honestly, if you spend a day in Sienna, will you enjoy eating pasta with tomato sauce? If you spend a week in Tuscany, will you look forward to the same pasta every day in a row? Why is it that children are often implicitly denied the rights to appreciate the same delicatessen as we do?
Children are often picky about food. Isn’t it part of their education to get to love different cultures, different manners and different tastes? How will they learn it when they’re offered exclusively pasta with tomato sauce?
The best restaurants I know propose terrific options for children: tapa-sized portions of dishes “a-la-carte” or imaginative 3-course menus. I wish more chefs would strive to delight all their guests, even the youngest ones.