Tiny napkins are the norm at restaurants in Baja Sur. (Images: Kathryn Reed)

Cocktail napkins should not be used as a dinner (or lunch or breakfast) napkin. They are too dang small.

That’s not the belief in Mexico, though. Well, at least throughout the Baja peninsula.

Restaurants in Baja are known for their penchant to provide napkins that can’t do the job. Well, they can, it just takes multiple napkins to get through an entire meal.

I’m not really sure how this is efficient. It seems like a waste of paper and a waste of money. It seems like an environmental nightmare.

These servilletas, which in reality are probably a hair bigger than cocktail napkins, are also usually thin. This contributes to needing more than one or two or three to get through a meal—even if you aren’t a messy eater or even eating something messy. It’s not like I’m eating barbecue or the like where more than one of any size napkin is necessary.

The worst is when the napkin is wrapped around eating utensils. Inevitably the napkin is ripped because it’s been secured by a wrapper that doesn’t want to come undone.

While many times a container of napkins is on the table, you can’t be guaranteed that is going to be the case. To me, this arsenal of additional napkins is evidence the original napkin is not enough to get through the meal. So, it’s not like restaurateurs don’t know there is an issue with the napkins.

I realize the size of a napkin is not usually something worthy of a rant. I just think if these restaurants in Baja would be helping the environment and customers if they would provide guests with a better, bigger napkin.

All of this makes me wonder what Mexicans do in their homes. What size napkins are they using? How many do they use in one meal?

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