Hey Sidney, The Great Debate Starts Now
For some it's not a big deal. For others, it can be. The question was asked yesterday, and the great debate is now underway here at the radio station. Is it supper or dinner?
Would you believe there is great discussion about this topic all over the internet?
Historically, supper has been a secondary, lighter evening meal. Dinner used to be served closer to what is now known as midday, in the middle of the day, but over the centuries, primarily during the 19th century, it has shifted later. Eating a lighter supper in the evening was highly popular when dinner was still served early. It was not always the final meal of the day because there might be a tea afterwards. Louis XIV followed the norm of the elite of the 17th century, dining at midday and having supper at ten o'clock. Even if dinner was provided in the early evening, supper was typically offered at balls, upon returning from them, or following other evening activities. Dinner was served to 140 guests at an English ball in 1791 around 1:00 a.m. Before leaving the house, they would all have eaten dinner many hours ago. Other, more lavish balls served dinner even longer, until 3:30 in the morning. How could a party last that long with all that eating going on? I would have had to work in a nap!
Dinner typically refers to the evening meal, which is typically the largest and most formal meal of the day in many Western countries. The main meal was traditionally called dinner and was served around noon. Over the 16th to the 19th centuries, it steadily shifted to later in the day, especially among the elite. Depending on the culture, the term can refer to a meal of any quantity eaten at any hour of the day. On exceptional occasions, like as Christmas supper, it is still occasionally utilized for a meal at noon or in the early afternoon. In warmer areas, the evening, when the temperature has dropped, is more likely to be when the main meal is consumed.
Both the meal pictures included in this article could pass as a great supper or dinner. So, what do you call it?