This is an interesting topic only insofar as it reinforces something I’ve believed for a long time:
‘Eating with your hands is scientifically proven to improve texture and the flavour of food, as well as a whole host of health benefits. It’s something more people should know about and get to grips with.
‘Many of the world’s most popular foods are eaten with the hands – think burgers, tacos, tortilla, wraps, and wings, so why can’t other foods be as well?
‘Eating with our hands helps to make us more mindful about what we are eating and heighten our dining experience, rather than just thoughtlessly using cutlery like we always do.
‘The fork gets in the way and separates you from your senses.’
Like many South African kids of my vintage, I had a Black “mommy” — technically a live-in housemaid, but in reality much, much more than that. When I was little more than a baby, while doing the housework Mary would carry me around on her back, held there by a blanket wrapped around herself, thus:
Put a White face on that kid, and you’d have me. (My feet still point outwards when I walk, a common trait among people carried in this fashion.)
Anyway, I remember asking Mary why Blacks didn’t use knives and forks when they ate. Her response was interesting: “How do White people taste their food?”
And she was right. It really does make a difference.
Now, I’m not going to follow the thing to its illogical conclusion like the guy does in the linked article; some foods should only be eaten with a utensil — I draw the line when it comes to eating slushy foods like pasta and soup, for instance. (And forget eating with mouth open, as he proposes — that’s just disgusting.)
But as he points out, we do eat many solid foods with our hands: pizza, hamburgers and assorted sandwiches are all eaten by hand — and this extends to foods best eaten by hand, such as ribs, sausages and similar delicacies.
As much as I enjoy eating with my hands, I do draw the line at doing so in a restaurant setting (unless at a BBQ or picnic, where anything goes, as it should). But at home?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make my normal breakfast of boerewors, a boiled egg and cheese chunks.
All to be eaten by hand.
And by the way, Charles Spence is a psychologist, not a scientist.