NO spoons and NO forks please!
Eating with bare hands
Have you experienced eating without spoons and/or fork? In Philippines, there are certain dishes that just beg to be eaten with our bare hands. Actually, it is really wrong to say "eating with your hands", it is actually done by just using your fingers. You use them to push over or to pick up your food and scoop it up, not in your palms, but on the very tips of your fingers. Take a small amount that equals to a spoonful of rice and use your fingers to compact it into a mound on your plate. When eating, you have to keep one hand clean meaning not using for eating but for holding serving spoons to scoop for other dishes on the table or do something else like to shoo away your uninvited guests(flies). Most people who doesn't know about the culture would say, this is so disgusting and is so against the "table manners" code. They can think that way but it is our culture so let's just enjoy. First and foremost, before eating, hands are washed very well with soap and water. Ideally, you shouldn’t have terribly long finger nails either. Seafoods, especially if they are grilled, even deep fried, fresh seaweed salads, roasted eggplant salads, tomato salad with chopped onions, cilantro, green mangoes, and anything with coconut milk dishes. Oh Boy! I can go on and on and on! Now I'm salivating! LOL! In picnics, excursions, camping, or just plain eating at home, it is fun! This is best when you use the banana leaf to eat on or to use as your plate. There is nothing to ask for more especially when you're sharing it with your whole family and friends.
Just make sure that you do not smack your food while eating, no matter how great you think the food is! No talking/singing either when your mouth is full. Burp if you have to, but with discretion and remember to cover your mouth. To some people around the globe, they would think that this is a savage practice of uncivilized people. No, it's not but it is one of the many filipino customs that we enjoy and cherish just like other countries have their own weird customs that they follow onto. When people eat with their hands, they like to mix their food altogether on their plate. Not me. I like to eat my rice, separate from my viand, as I like to savor the taste and texture of plain, steamed rice.
I also try not to drink water as much as I can during the process of eating. I want to really enjoy the food unless I am being choked or really feel the urge to drink. LOL! Some people just feel hesitant to drink their water because they don't want to touch/hold their glasses with their messy hand. Whatever way it is, as long as you are having fun doing it, go for it! HANDS UP!!! ;P
More by this Author
Celebrating 18th birthday for young women in the Philippines is a very special event every family looks forward to. If a girl comes from a middle-class or affluent family, most of the time, they do a lot of preparations...