Boodle Fight is a term used to depict a style of dining mostly popularized in the Military, where a long table is setup and laid over with banana leaves. These leaves will serve as a clean blanket to put foods for the entire group. No chairs and utensils used while eating, one eats standing up and using only his bare hands. This style of eating symbolizes camaraderie, brotherhood and equality, and the word “fight” may signify the act of grabbing and securing your food on the table, because in a large group and where food maybe scarce and can run out easily, one needs to make sure he has sufficient eaten to keep his energy for combat.
In the Philippines, boodle fight style of eating is a very common practice in family and friend get together events as it’s more fun and easy to setup. Banana leaves are almost everywhere, and people are welcoming to the idea of eating together with bare hands, elbow to elbow, using the table as your plate while standing up. Although, one cannot argue that at some point it may be unhygienic, but maybe the fellowship and the joy from the experience is worth it. Some local restaurants offers boodle fight packaged meals served in a “bilao”. Bilao is like a pizza pan but made of bamboo. And the foods can be a combination of grilled seafoods, meat and vegetables that all placed together on the bilao and arranged in a fancy way to be more appetizing.
If you’re hosting the next event for the family or some friends, and got interested on Boodle Fighting below are some pointers that can help you guarantee a success:
- There is saying that “the more the merrier”, and a minimum of 6 people in the group is a good start.
- If possible do it outdoors, eating with your bare hands can be messy and can leave some foods on the floor.
- Before putting on the table the banana leaves put some click wrap first, so that cleaning the table later can be a breeze.
- Serve foods that are easy to eat with your bare hands, like grilled fish, meat or vegetables, slices of fresh fruits.
- If you after the authentic Boodle Fight experience, Asian menu are always the best choice.
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