The President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan once met the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as they occasioned for a lunch. Before dining, Dr. Radhakrishnan washed his hands and as the meal was served, he used his hands in eating. Churchill asked the Indian President, “Why are you using your hands? Use spoon and fork, they are more hygienic”.
Dr. Radhakrishnan’s reply being, “Since nobody has used my hands to eat before, my hands are more hygienic than any spoon you can find.”
The much debated ‘western influence’ on the Indian culture finds its prominence in the mindset of a major fraction of the population which today considers eating even the native recipes with bare hands as an unnatural act. This misconception can be debated by quite a few arguments, below mentioned are a few of them.
1. Get a heightened nutritional value to your food.
We approach this world through our five senses, touch being one of them. The sensation of touch helps our body get ready to ingest calories. One can say, our body ‘gets to know’ that we’re eating when we touch the food, allowing better secretion of enzymes, better digestion and absorption.
2. Protect yourself from volcanic foods.
Logically speaking, you cannot scald your mouth while eating with hands. Why? I believe that statement explains itself. Something too hot to hold can’t be cool enough to be eaten.
3. Help maintain hygiene.
Consuming a meal using your bare hands implies you have to wash them properly before and after the meal. This maintains a proper sanitation of your hands and keeps you healthy. Provided you do wash your hands.
4. Aaaand, because you just CANNOT have some foods without putting in your hands!
Can you imagine having a taco with a fork or a cheeseburger with chopsticks? You got to respect the cuisine the food belongs to and cherish the taste it has to offer. How can you even imagine eating the Hyderabadi dum biryani without having your hands being spoiled by the heavenly oils of the delicacy! No way.
Food is all about the feels and what fun is it any way to do it the normal way? Shedding the cape of sophistication is often relieving. It’s not about just filling the food in, it’s about getting lost in the aroma and feeling the texture with your own hands, it’s about letting your hands be dirty when it’s for a good cause, food! After all, ‘apne hath hi jagannath’.
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