I think this thread is so interesting! I've only been to Spain once about six years ago, and I'm just now realizing that there were so many cultural nuances I was unaware of. My first day in Barcelona, I was feeling ill and went out to lunch. I ordered a plate of spaghetti, ate about two bites, and felt nauseous, so I politely asked for the check. When the waitress cleared my plate, I politely asked her if she could wrap it for me because I wasn't feeling well. She smiled and said yes, and then threw it away in front of me! (There was a garbage can in eyesight.) I figured she hadn't heard me or maybe I said it wrong (I always said "¿me lo puede poner para llevar?" in Mexico and wondered if that didn't make sense in Spain) . . . now after reading your post, I wonder if she did hear me correctly, but didn't believe what I was asking. Perhaps the request was incomprehensible (?????) I really never had any idea that asking to take home uneaten food that you paid for (and tipped very well, mind you!) was frowned upon. I didn't say anything to her. I just paid and left, but if that had happened to me in America, I would have demanded a refund or a new meal. I have a very small appetite (not to mention that portion size is out of control in a lot of American restaurants), and I've never felt embarrassed or awkward about asking for a container, but I don't call it a "doggie bag" either (and I also don't feed the food to my dog!) I don't think anyone should have to feel ashamed about taking home the food they paid for. I've also done this in fancy restaurants (by fancy I mean coat and tie required and about $100 per person . . . that's as fancy as I have ever experienced) and the waiter has always offered to wrap what was left on the plate, and I didn't feel tacky about taking it home. Maybe I'm classless in that sense, but I actually think it's quite snobbish to scoff at someone for taking a home a very large, uneaten portion of a $65.00 steak. I also think it's a little pretentious to not take home food that you would otherwise eat just because you are dining at a fancy restaurant . . . I think (at least within my culture) that people who prefer to discard food that they would otherwise eat in an effort to look extravagant or wealthy have self-esteem issues and are too image-conscious.