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Finger Food

on July 1, 2011

As I was getting some banana bread for breakfast the other day, I was debating about eating it with a fork, or with my fingers.  I started to wonder, “Just what makes “finger” food, finger food?”  I recalled when I was working at Perkins School for the Blind.  The student in my charge that day, was having trouble getting the cake with the cake and I said “you could just pick it up”.  Her Occupational Therapist heard me and said “As her OT I have to disagree”.  Other people in the cottage also agreed with her.  But when I said “what if it had been a cupcake” they all said, “well, THEN it would be okay to just pick it up!”  I didn’t win the argument, and I have always been bothered by that.  Why is it okay to use your fingers, to pick up a cupcake, but not a piece of cake?  Why is Chicken on a BONE okay to use fingers, but not without a bone?

I have been to a few Medieval dinner theater shows, and one of the “fun” things, is that they don’t give you any utensils.  While, I would agree on average that is not the way to go, how did utensils come into play at all?  I did a Google Search (oh, if only Lycos had taken off when I was working there, then the world would be saying “I Lycosed it” instead of “I Googled it”)

Here is a bit from Wikipedia:

Before the fork was introduced, Westerners were reliant on the spoon and knife as the only eating utensils. Thus, people would largely eat food with their hands, calling for a common spoon when required. Members of the aristocracy would sometimes be accustomed to manners considered more proper and hold two knives at meals and use them both to cut and transfer food to the mouth, using the spoon for soups and broth.


So I ask again – how is food chosen to be “finger food” or not?   Steak – no, ground steak – AKA hamburgers FINGERS. French Fries FINGERS, Baked Potato no.  Brownie FINGERS,  Brownie sundaes no (well, okay, that one you really DO need a spoon for! but you know what I mean!)

Yes, these are the things I ponder late at night when I can not sleep!  Any thoughts, suggestions are welcome!


4 responses to “Finger Food

  1. jane says:

    I like utensils and plates

  2. Kim says:

    Using utensils, or not, is still cultural norm today. Many people still eat with their fingers, using a common bowl with friends and family. They might use bread or crackers to scoop up their meal. As for Americans, we generally do what other people like us do. We are also more germaphobic than our friends across the sea. If it is messy to eat without a utensil, we consider it bad manners to do so.
    But it seems to be acceptable to eat with our fingers as long as we are neat.
    I personally use both fingers and utensils, depending on the food, the situation, and whether or not I have clean utensils to eat with.

  3. Cathie says:

    I have eaten many fingers, for food and with my fingers…lol.

  4. cloakeynotes says:

    I use my fingers when we have asparagus. It is just easier for me! LOL

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