Good Food with Evan Kleiman: When Do You Eat With Your Hands?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Sure, we’ll eat a sandwich or a slice of pizza without a knife and fork, but what about something like a Caesar salad? Manners expert Helena Echlin was on Good Food this past week talking about the etiquette of eating with your hands, and she actually advises giving salad a try!

Echlin feels that eating with our fingers actually gives us a better appreciation for the food. Not only are we tasting it, but we’re feeling its texture and interacting with it in a different way. Fingers can also be a more effective and elegant “utensil” for eating particular foods.

Echlin also makes the argument that eating with your fingers can be a bonding experience. As she says, “It’s hard to stand on ceremony with people once you’ve all been sitting around eating with your fingers.”

Our opinion? We’re not entirely convinced.

We think that there’s definitely a time and a place for eating with your hands. There are certain foods that we can all agree can be eaten with your hands no matter the context. Hamburgers, whole-cooked lobsters, and curry scooped with naan come to mind.

It also depends on context. If we’re at home with a group of close friends, we don’t have a problem with anyone using their fingers to nibble on green beans or snag the last sushi roll. But when we’re at restaurants, we’ll generally stick with whatever utensils the restaurant provides unless eating with your hands is clearly a part of the meal we’ve ordered.

What do you think? Are there foods that you will – or will not – eat with your fingers?

• Listen to the full interview and hear the rest of the past week’s program of Good Food on the Good Food website via

(Image: Flickr member wan fauzan licensed under Creative Commons)