General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Which foods are okay to eat with your hands?

Asked by tinyfaery (43848points) December 9th, 2008 from iPhone

I pick at my food with my hands all the time, even in restaurants. Not all food, mind you. I know this act varies by culture, but, in your opinion, what determines whether or not it is suitable to eat a certain food with your hands?y

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20 Answers

dalepetrie's avatar

Generally my rule is that it won’t mess up my hands. Mostly dry I guess would be the rule…if it’s too wet, you should probably use a fork. If it’s liable to come apart in your hands you should use a utensil.

forestGeek's avatar


bythebay's avatar

Bread, olives, artichoke leaves (not the hearts), sandwiches, sushi (if you are chop-stick impaired) & cocktail shrimp. Also, very small lamb-chops and passed asparagus at cocktail parties.

Les's avatar

@bythebay: What about fried chicken, hamburgers, ice cream cones, doughnuts, bagels…etc.?

bythebay's avatar

Les, those things seemed so obvious I forgot them. Some things are meant to be eaten by hand and aren’t questionable.

Les's avatar

Ok, sweet.

bythebay's avatar

Changed my mind, I insist you eat your ice cream cone with a fork & knife, napkin in your lap, too!!

jsc3791's avatar

I think as long as you do it in a tasteful and polite way (when in public), it should be left up to each person’s personal preference.

I have seen people take globs of sushi rice (for example) and slosh it around in soy sauce before sucking it down, with sauce dripping down into their beard hair, and it was less than appetizing!

But, had that person been eating in a more refined manner I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.


augustlan's avatar

I can’t stand to get my hands messy (unless I’m building or crafting for some reason). I even eat pizza with a fork and knife! I’ll eat french fries and sandwiches (most of them…not meatball subs, though) with my hands, and the usual chips and such but that’s about it. I don’t see it as rude when other people do it though…as long as they’re neat about it, I don’t see a problem.

dalepetrie's avatar

There are some foods it depends on how they’re served. Bananas for example. If they are in the peel, hands are OK, if they are mixed with mashed strawberries, or in bananas foster or something like that, I’d prefer a fork. Or soup, I don’t mind if you drink the broth out of the bowl, but digging the noodles out with your fingers is another story! There are SOME exceptions to my “anything as long as it’s not messy rule”, like buffalo wings, that’s what the wet naps are for. Pizza I’ll usually eat w/ my hands unless it’s really sloppy pizza that’s just gonna fall apart, then I’ll use a fork. Or olives, if I want to take them out of the jar and they’re in brine, I’ll probably use a spoon to dig it out, but I’ll probably pick it off the spoon with my fingers and eat it. I’m thinking the liquid to solid ratio is the most important factor, and the only exceptions are if the item is contained in something (like the soup in a bowl or cup where you’re not actually putting your fingers in the liquid). Sliced cheese = fingers, spray cheese = cracker. Just basically I think the real defining line is common sense.

bythebay's avatar

@dalepetrie: what the hell is spray cheese?

dalepetrie's avatar

That cheese that comes in an aerosol can. Or more accurately “cheeslike substance”. About 2 steps below Velveeta on the white trash cheese ladder.

bythebay's avatar

Wow, ok then! Thanks for the link.

dalepetrie's avatar

Yes, I believe aerosol cheese is at the bottom of the white trash cheese ladder. Next would be Cheez Whiz, then Velveeta, then spreadable/cold pack cheese, then American slices, then cream cheese, and at the top of the white trash cheese ladder would be string cheese. Almost everything else actually qualifies as “real” cheese. Oddly enough, most of these are not meant to be eaten by hand (or some would say at all). But alas, I must confess, I have enjoyed them all…sigh.

bythebay's avatar

You’re quite the cheesy guy, dalepetrie! ;P

pathfinder's avatar

A bread is the safety one.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

grapes but not grape juice
olives but not olive oil
and bread but not bread pudding

SeventhSense's avatar

All of them in Thailand.

Lisbeth's avatar

Tacos, sandwiches, ribs,

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