In Praise of Eating with Your Hands

Eating Well

We touch food with our hands all the time when we cook, but how about when we eat? In the most recent issue of Eating Well, writer Monica Bhide lays out a beautiful argument for why it is so important to touch our food, both in the kitchen and at the table.

When a friend of Indian descent came over for a meal and scolded Bhide for eating with her hands, it sparked this heartfelt treatise. Bhide, who was raised in India, points out that her mother cooked completely by feel, using her hands instead of measuring cups, pinched fingers instead of teaspoons. She thinks all this contact between cook and food has a profound effect on the finished dish.

Don't get me wrong, I use electrical appliances, but there is a widely held belief in India that good food is the result of "good hands." The energy of the hands is transferred to the foods that are being prepared. Two perfectly capable cooks can use the same ingredients to prepare the same dishes and yet, one may taste better than the other. You may think it is because of cooking technique. I beg to differ. Food prepared with the energy of love tastes better.

Eating with our hands, she says, makes us more aware of what we are eating, and keeps eating from being a mindless chore.

This thought-provoking and passionate essay is highly recommended!

Read the article: Finger Food at Eating Well

What do you think? Does touching food with your hands change your experience of eating it?

Related: Five Unexpected Foods to Try Eating With Your Fingers

(Image: Flickr member oar4me licensed under Creative Commons)

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