Have you ever wondered who sets the criteria for which foods are acceptable to eat with your hands? Grilled corn, artichokes and an occasional asparagus spear are okay, but why not tomatoes or string beans? We're coming up on the season of summery food, and I'm anxious to fire up the patio grill. I don't know about you, but I happen to be a hands on kind of eater. I love the whole gloriously tactile experience of eating hand to mouth, so to speak. Fries just don't taste the same eaten with a fork. They must be hand dipped in a large puddle of ketchup and slowly brought to the mouth. And if ketchup gets on the fingers, the fries taste all the more delicious. The same goes for all kinds of grilled foods and dips.
I am known, to cut a large sandwich or burger in half, before picking it up with my hands, but I never eat a taco, ribs or fish and chips with a knife and fork. It's too remote. Finger licking, on the other hand, is right out. I don't care if it is fried chicken. By the way, do Europeans always eat everything with a knife and fork, or is this perception just urban legend?
When eating out, I usually take on the conversational eating style of the dining companion. Personally, I am very good at gleefully diving into both food and conversation at once, speaking gracefully out of the side of my mouth, even when it's full. One dear friend, in particular, not only refuses to use her hands for anything, she only speaks after she has chewed each bite 50 times, and will daintily raise up her index finger in front of her mouth, as a signal for me to wait for her food free response. Needless to say, conversation is slow and lunch goes on for hours. She probably thinks I eat like a pig. However, I do savor every bite, especially if I use my hands. And not to worry. I always use a napkin.
It's so beautifully arranged on the plate -
you know someone's fingers have been all over it.
photo from google images