No, I’m not referring to the old “What’s your sign baby?” routine, I’m referring to picking up your food and eating it with your hands.
When I was growing up, my parents made sure I knew the proper way to set the table, the proper way to behave at the table and how to politely excuse myself from the table. The outdoor summer table was a place where we could forgo those niceties and grab up the corn and ribs. It was then I discovered something for myself; food tastes better to me when I use my hands.
I was unable to dig up any serious research on this subject outside of cultural differences. However, since I have altered my diet for health reasons, I find that when I sit down to enjoy my own home-cooked food I inevitably use my fingers for at least some of my eating. Nice big leafy greens in my soup? Oh yeah, dig them up and grab ’em! Slurping while I do it? Yep. And a grilled steak, or piece of chicken? I just have to get down to the bones for those tasty bits.
If you’re reconsidering your invitation for me to join you at a four star restaurant (on your dime please), rest assured, I do recall every rule of deportment in regard to table manners, I promise not to embarrass you. But you might notice me longingly gazing at the bones on the plate, wistfully imagining how good those nibbles would taste; if I could just use my fingers!