It would appear to be all about the sharing in this part of the world. For the first few meals Becky and I would happily go and order our own food, get a few odd looks from the waiter and be presented with a maaassive plate of food each, which was kinda odd as the brasilians aren´t known for their obesity. After a bit of people watching most of our fellow diners would only order one dish between them and share the food out, a far more social way of doing things and a good way of halving our food budget in one foul swoop. A bitch if you don´t like the same thing but you can´t have everything.
I´ve noticed that the same sort of thing happens with the drinks - beer usually comes in the large 600ml bottles but then comes with tiny little 1/4 pint glasses and the beer is usually shared out with friends - again an approach I like, gets everyone together more and far less people seem to end up trashed. For some reason it works here, in the UK you would always get some greedy bastard taking more than their fair share, or people shirking it as it doesn´t allow for the competative drinking style that we seem to have adopted in our green and pleasent isle. One of the other things that I have noticed here is that although poeple like to party, and blimey they like to party, they don´t seem to get that wasted - in the four nights partying in Lapa during carnival, the centre of the action, I didn´t see a single person throw up in the street or generally become a slobbering liability. There was a couple of people even told me I was going to to crazy as I tucked in to my 4th caprianha, but hey, what do they know...?