I'll have my dessert first, then my salad and main course...

Just by coincidence, I recently ran into the same gentleman eating at the bar in two different restaurants. In each case he requested a piece of cheesecake to start his meal, then had his salad and entrée. I knew a fellow years ago that would start his meal with dessert.
Who wrote the rules anyway, right?


At home, I do that too. Ate the dessert around 7pm when I get a bit hungry and then starting cooking for the night. Especially true when I baked some cakes or bought some pastries that I wanted to eat instantly.

I think we crave more for salt when we are very hungry.

1 Like

Kinda like cold Pizza for breakfast… :joy:

I’m kind of surprised that both restaurants where you ran into this guy had cheesecake by the slice on the dessert menu!

Why, Andrea? It’s not like cheesecake is an exotic item. Many restaurants carry cheesecake…

Far from exotic, but not something I think of as ubiquitous in restaurants here.

Cheesecake is a good winter dessert and if they are carrying it rather than making it, one that freezes and keeps well and decent wholesale versions can be found. So lots of pluses for the restaurant if they don’t have a pastry chef on staff.

It would be surprising to me if both restaurants had dedicated pastry chefs who were both doing the same thing.

In the UK we always had afternoon tea at about 4:00pm. A pot of tea and a slice of cake. We would then have dinner at 7:30 or so. In effect a sweet course before the savoury, not unlike your gentleman.

That said its a bit odd to have a sweet dish just before a savoury course as I believe the sugar saturates the palette and thus masks the taste of the man course. Think of having a sweet dessert wine followed by a nice dry white - you would struggle to taste the latter.

So the rules tend to come from the way we taste rather than some etiquette book.

That said in the UK cheese is traditionally served after dessert - which is odd for the palette, whilst in France its served after the main and before dessert which is far more logical (especially for the flow of wines).

I suspect he English tradition comes from the days when women retired to the (with)drawing room after dessert leaving the men to serious conversation over port and cheese.


When my grandmother hit 90, she started having dessert first. Because, she said, you never know.


We do this at home all the time. One reason: I had far too many visits to the dentist as a kid. So my theory is savory food will scrub the sugar off our teeth. Not sure if that’s a real thing.

1 Like


1 Like

Would one typically have dessert after dinner as well, even after having sweets mid afternoon, prior to dinner?

I didn’t know there is a cheesecake season. I’ll eat it anytime.

1 Like

Yes, beautifully said…

I really only see cheescake by the slice at, well, Cheesecake Factory and diners.

1 Like