How to eat with your hands: A gourmet’s guide | The Gourmand & Gourmet

How to eat with your hands: A gourmet’s guide

We’ve all sat in the midst of a table of friends, perhaps even next to a first date, looked at the pulled pork tacos or spicy wings with blue cheese in front of us, down at our white shirt and thought, ‘this is going to end badly.’ Home, on the couch, in your comfy yoga pants, it’s fine to leave the knife and fork in the kitchen with no fear of anyone watching you with judging eyes as you dribble sauce all down your face and wipe your hands on your pants (we know you do). But dining out? It’s a whole world of red-faced (and sauce covered) embarrassment. So we’ve curated some tips to help make sure you avoid turning a feed into a faux pas. Do: Eat with enthusiasm (who wouldn’t?) but not by gleefully shoving handfuls of food in your mouth. You are not marooned on a desert island, in fact, you probably ate less than three hours ago. Stick to using your fingertips and for heaven’s sake, slow it down. Don’t: Stuff so much food in your mouth that when someone asks you how your meal is all you can do is dribble aioli. Do: Ask your waitperson or hit up the counter for some extra napkins before you wrap your hands around the pulled pork burger you ordered. You don’t want to be left trying to Instagram that bad boy with your elbows once you’ve finished before wandering off to find a bathroom with your hands in the air and guacamole dripping down your elbows. Don’t: Lick your fingers clean. Or use your neighbour’s flannel shirt to clean yourself up. Do: Carry on a conversation while you eat, by all means. Just be sure to use those extra napkins to clean any crumbs off your face and hands before you launch into a story about your last trip to Mexico. Don’t: Wave a chicken wing around as you talk. Talking with your hands is fine, flinging buffalo sauce at your audience is not. Put it down, please. Do: If you’re introduced to someone midway through a bowl of loaded cheese fries and can’t shake hands, offer to touch elbows or something equally ridiculous to deflect from the fact that you’ve got cheese covered fingers. Don’t: Freeze up and awkwardly offer up the half eaten chip you’re holding as an ice-breaker. Social. Suicide. Do: Use a fork to finish off any leftover morsels on your plate/basket/board (what is wrong with plates these days anyway?). Don’t: Scoop up all the crumbs and sauce that are left on your plate and shovel them into your mouth, head tilted back and all. Of course, some of the usual rules still apply: Don’t put your elbows on the table, talk with your mouth full, lick the plate (we’re sad about that one too) or hunch over your food like your worried someone’s going to steal it out from under you. And for those out there who, like us, have dug into a big pile of ribs with gusto and gotten halfway through only to look around and see everyone else delicately cutting off mouth-sized portions – don’t change. Own it. Who the hell eats ribs with a knife and fork anyway? Words by Ranyhyn Akui