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Eating with Fingers: When it’s Okay and when it’s not Okay

The best oranges I have ever eaten in my life are those that my grandmother gave me for picnics, unpeeled, simply halved. I ate sweet and juicy fruit roaming the quiet countryside of my childhood. I remember it with fondness and nostalgia and it’s a sure sign that everyone has enjoyed more than once – eating with your fingers not only seafood but also green salads.

However, both for social behavior and mere cleanliness and hygiene reasons, we are usually advised to follow these guidelines:

The following types of food is okay to eat with fingers:

Eating with fingers Eating with fingers

Bread: You could even tear it with your fingers.
Asparagus: Although some manuals clearly express quite a contrary opinion.
In cocktails or snacks: olives, canapés, cheese tacos, etc.
Small fruit: grapes, cherries, etc.
Nougat and shortbread cookies.
Nuts.
Chestnuts.
Chocolates.

You must not eat with your fingers:

No eating with fingers

No eating with fingers

Most of the food we serve at our tables have to be eaten without soiling your fingers. Although at home we would like to take chops, chicken wings, etc with fingers, we cannot do in a restaurant or in any minimally educated environment. Therefore, use silverware, cutlery, if required, to eat the following foods:

Escargots: there are special pliers to grip and a skewer to remove them from the shell.

Chicken: Many people claim that it is okay to eat chicken meat with your fingers as it’s more convenient this way. It is not correct, especially since tissues can be unavailable.

Seafood: by type, we can use traditional fish cutlery (crayfish and shrimps) or special one (crabs) to break the shell and extract the meat with a special flatware (with blade on one end, spike on the other).

Any meat with many bones: If you are skilled with the silverware you can fully separate the edible parts from the rest of it.

Fresh fruit: If you are not used to it, let’s get to work. Oranges, apples, pears – they need some skill to go to so you don’t feel desperate at the table. You should hold them and peel the skin with a knife. Kiwi can be split in half and scooped with a spoon.

Dipping bread

Dipping bread

Dipping bread

Although sometimes it is difficult to resist temptation, we should not dip bread in any kind of sauce. Less acceptable is to puncture bread with a fork and scrape the plate; it doesn’t look good to onlookers. You can only dip bread in a fried egg or a boiled egg. In both cases, it should be grasped with fingers.

One of the foundations of coexistence is respect for others and, at the table, this also means cleanliness. It is understandable, therefore, that the skillful management of all kinds of flatware makes life easier for us and helps we stay clean throughout the entire meal. Have no doubt – thus you get more pleasure from your food and it makes you look good to your company.

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