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They say that the eyes are the window to the stomach. When you look at food, you just instantly know whether you want to devour it, or avoid it. But what about your hands? Why isn't that part of the human anatomy regularly highlighted when discussing our reactions to food?
Oh I know that in North American society we've been totally conditioned to not even think about eating with our hands. "It's rude," they scream. "It's disgusting," they vomit. "It's fun!" says no one. Well, almost no one. I mean half the world does it, so why can't we? As it turns out, we can. So today, I'm about to advocate breaking free from the no-fun cutlery-only pack, and declare it perfectly acceptable for an occasional, hands-on eating experience.
Here's my challenge to the brave folks who like to buck convention, and for those who wouldn't dream of doing such a thing. Go on, I say, try it. Make or order in that dish that you'd never thought would work just using your hands. Not pizza or wings or burgers. Instead, grab some rice (any kind of rice is good, but sticky rice always seems to work best with this method), add your favourite meat, or veg ,or both, put it on a plate or in a bowl. Then wash your hands, grab a napkin or two, sit at the table and chow down. No forks, no knives, no muss, no fuss.
Your fingers are grabbing everything now aren't they? Scrapping the bottom of the bowl or plate, ensuring that you don't miss the food scraps that are often difficult to grab with a knife or fork. Sure it's messy, but that's what your tongue is for. Clean your fingers and dive back in. Look at you now, thoroughly enjoying the experience as you mentally revisit the last time you could eat food with your hand with such wild and enjoyable abandon (that would have been when you were a baby). Feels awesome, doesn't it. I knew it would.
Now I know that I'm not really starting an eating revolution here, nor am I advocating anyone give up basic table manners or even cutlery. But, all that I'm saying is give hands a chance. Let your fingers do the eating. Think about it the next time you sit down to eat.