As the weather warms up eating outdoors is such a treat ( except when it rains but that is another story). My family frequently eats outside this time of year, surrounded my mother's beautiful garden and at work we tend to gravitate to the tables outdoors at the campus canteen. So of course this interesting post on NPR food blog, The Salt, on the history of picnicking was well timed!
What was perhaps most interesting part of the article was learning that picnic starts as something the wealthy indulged in. These early picnics required servants and nice linen, a "movable feast" more than roughing it out in nature and eating out of sandwiches out of plastic containers.
In fact they sound an awful lot like modern Bhutanese picnics where people tend to bring their pots and pans and actually cook out in the open. And the food is always special occasion food made for a large number of people. I was once told by a group of students horrified by my suggestion that we save money by making sandwiches, that there was no point going on a picnic if there wasn't meat and if it wasn't grand. Here is a picture of me at that picnic where my students cooked up the most delicious feast.