The majority of people are eating with their hands. Is it because they are too ill-bred, too uncultivated, or even too poor to buy cutlery and eat properly? Far from it. What all these people who use their fingers and hands as cutlery know is now also known in the science of culinary seduction: culinary pleasure begins with our sense of touch!
Eating is a complex process that involves all our senses. Only when all our senses are satisfied do we reach the state of well-being. Accordingly, it is an interplay of the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. The sense of touch is not immediately accessible to us, at least not to the people who were educated to eat only with cutlery. But the sense of touch is one of the most important senses that man has developed. Only the touch of the food gives the brain the comprehensive information about the food, which it ingests. It is important to determine the temperature of the food and the degree of maturity. No cutlery can perform this task for us.
Ayurvedic medicine, which is thousands of years old, also attributes an extremely important role to the hands. According to Ayurveda, the hands are the most important natural sensor we are equipped with. But also modern empiricism comes to exciting results when it comes to eating with and without cutlery: In 1938 a broad-based study took place, which was repeated on a larger scale in 2009 under the auspices of the WHO. It analyzed the number of bacteria taken during a meal in 18,000 people from 92 countries. It was found that there were significantly more bacteria on the hands, but they were not a problem because our digestive system know them and were resistant to it. More problematic, on the other hand, are the bacteria that adhere to poorly cleaned dishes. A proof for bacterially contaminated cutlery and dirty kitchens in restaurants in the western countries is the stomach flu epidemic which recurs every 7 years.
That’s why: dare to eat with your hands and fingers in public. The trend is in this direction anyway, because more and more finger food is offered. You don’t have to sabotage a pizza with a blunt knife. Just cut them into a few pieces and enjoy eating them with your fingers.