I was half listening to the radio this morning and became aware there was a discussion about eating with your hands. Many people in other countries eat with their hands, I remember going to Singapore and staying with friends and they gave me a fork and spoon while they all tucked in with their hands – I abandoned the cutlery and joined in, but I wasn’t very good at eating rice, which made them all laugh! Sometimes though, using cutlery or tools can also enhance the flavour – a really beautiful cake, eaten with a cake fork tastes wonderful and is more appreciated than holding it in your hand and taking great big bites… although that is a great experience too!
On the programme they were of the opinion that eating with your hands somehow enhances the flavour by enhancing the experience… there were a few jokes about eating something like shepherd’s pie for example… one panellist suggested using the thumb and three finger rice eating method… but you couldn’t do that with food as hot as we customarily eat it!
The discussion moved onto food temperatures, one person saying that hands would bring food to the ‘correct’ temperature and gave an example of ham which is often served straight from the fridge. In our home there are some things we never put in the fridge except in extremely hot weather, eggs, tomatoes and other similar vegetables, butter, cheese, for example… and any meat we are going to cook we bring out of the fridge an hour early so it can come to ‘room’ temperature.
Another thing which was mentioned was using hands in cooking, tossing salad for example… I’ve found when making cakes etc, that fingers (well-washed of course) are much better than spatulas or scrapers for getting the last bits of cake mix into the tin or filling into a pie!
If you want to listen to the programme, it was Jay Rayner’s ‘Kitchen Cabinet’, with Tim Anderson, Sophie Wright, Henry Dimbleby, and Zoe Laughlin: