Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Shah of Iran is reported to have said "Eating with a knife and fork is like making love through an interpreter."
I know what he means. Fish and chips and a haggis supper just don't taste the same on a plate with a knife and fork.
Reading the Australian Sunday Magazine last week, there was an article on the increasing popularity of eating food with your hands by Maeve OMeara, SBS Food Safari Specialist. Obviously a lot of fast food, fruit and breakfast food is served up that way and indeed in many parts of the world eating with your hands is the way to go. She was talking more about restaurant food and is it the next big thing?
When we lived in Singapore I used to like to go to the Fish Head Curry Restaurants and eat off a banana leaf. I didn't ever eat any fish head curry, but the other curries were very tasty. The whole experience was very tactile and messy and me, being a natural slob used to come out looking like a six month old with their first meals. My friend Richard, who worked for the Australian Foreign Service had a great picture of him with Bob Hawke at one of those restaurants. I didn't know who he was at the time, but it doesn't really compute now that I know who he is (was??).
That said, you can get a lot more food down your throat faster than this alternative.
As a society we became very used to chopsticks over two decades ago. I didn't become completely comfortable until my years in Singapore. Now it is just one of those things. It is a little like skiing. Tricky until you get the hand of it.
But are we ready for mainstream hand eating in restaurants?
Maeve predicts that this will be the next big thing with many restaurants only offering cutlery on demand. A good washing up bowl in the restaurant will become an essential item and based on my own experience, expect to spend more on dry cleaning and laundry. That and you are going to have to relax and drop that feeling of self consciousness as you dive into a large pile of food. Just think, you wont have to worry about what that pesky third spoon from the right is to be used for. That and is it ok to use the left hand and how do you get all those curry smells off your hand will be minor details as you tuck in.
Interesting idea since our kids started off using their hands and it was considered a graduation into a new adult world when they started to use eating implements. Other than additional clothes and floor washing, perhaps it has some merit. That and you could save a lot of time, power and water from reduced dishwashing. You could get ETS credits. How could that be bad?
But how would you eat porridge?
Thanks Mottekaero jDonuts