Some accept other culture’s way of eating and some are still prisoners of “the way I do it is the best way of doing it”. I do not get upset with the people who believe that western way of eating i.e. eating with fork and knife and other rules and regulations is the most civilized way of eating, I just pity their narrow perspective. It might be the most civilized way of eating but only for one part of the world, there is a big world beyond this world and has their best practices too. Further I strongly feel it’s a matter of food design or the matter of eating tools design Over the 1000s years of food evolution, foods are designed to be suitable for the particular way of eating and vice a versa. Think dim-sums, chopsticks are the best. Think nan, it’s best to be broken by fingers.
Chinese were the first people to use any kind of equipments to eat food. Today Chinese say it’s easier to use fork than chopsticks. I say easier it might me healthier it’s not, small bites and slower eating is the way to better health and of course food appreciation. However being a Global Chef I love the acceptance of other culture and habits. And it’s nice to see after 5000 years of habit they are ready to accept new.
Recently there was an uproar in India regarding her comment “I heard Indian people eat with their hands still” She was just ignorant, not insensitive. After telling her about cultural importance of eating with hand, she did try.
So what is the best practice for eating etiquette? In the globalized world it is “when in Rome …”, little shrunken though. If you are in chinese restaurant, eat with chopsticks, in Indian, eat with hands …. till the time more flexible and all accepted best practices are not formed. And I hope they are never formed, it’s our differences that make us special.