Nugget of Knowledge: Doggy bags

A doggy bag is mainly an American custom

Nugget of Knowledge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The doggy bag goes back to the ancient Romans. They took their own napkins to dinners, and they started using napkins to take leftovers home.

The modern doggy bag as we know it began in the 1940s with World War II and food shortages on the home front. The government told pet owners to go ahead and feed their pets table scraps.

In 1943, a San Francisco café started offering patrons cartons to take their leftovers home for their pets. Then, hotels in Seattle, Washington gave diners wax paper bags with the label “Bones for Bowser,” and soon the practice spread.

People began to ask for these doggy bags to take home food for themselves, and etiquette experts were horrified.

But today, given the portions we get in restaurants, doggy bags make sense for anyone, pet or human.

Most people in England are reluctant to ask for a bag, but they do, and it’s starting to catch on in Sweden. In Italy or France, restaurants frown upon it.

Did you miss an episode of Daybreak or want to re-visit a previous ‘Nugget’? View previous ‘Nugget of Knowledge’ entries on WYTV.com.

If you have an idea for a ‘Nugget of Knowledge,’ send your idea in an email to Len.Rome@wytv.com.