Letter: A meeting place of minds

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your correspondents defending the family meal may like to know that Jane Jakeman ('How food snobs guard the right to scoff,' 28 July) appears also to be completely ignorant of other cultures other than Anglo-Tuscan Islingtonia.

While in the US, we invited a Nigerian colleague to supper at home; she was delighted - she found the US custom of entertaining in restaurants quite alien and inhospitable.

In Chinese Food, Kenneth Lo writes that '. . .eating became a major pastime . . .I have yet to see a Chinese lady who does not present her culinary creations beaming with pride and her face wreathed in smiles - completely confident of her guests' appreciation'.

So much for the notion of the 'dinner party' as a bourgeois British creation.

Finally, I can produce a splendid meal at a cost per capita less than the price of a Big Mac, fries, apple pie and coffee - and the seats are more comfortable]

Yours faithfully,

FRANCESCA WEAL

Welwyn, Hertfordshire

2 August

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