People in the west do not like to eat with their hands, not even after washing. Specifically wet foods that can get their fingers wet or greasy. They prefer spoons. They are however comfortable with dry ones, atleast the parts they touch, such as burgers or burriotes or the like. Was it always like this even before the industrial era? A person I know was disgusted that I used to eat with my hands back home. It made me feel bad and ashamed even though I know I shouldn’t be feeling like that


No, it wasn’t. In fact, most people didn’t have any kind of utensils. In fact, it was common practice to eat with the tip of a knife, even at a rich table. Later, some spoons became popular. A knife was invented with a prong on the end. We used to eat off of something called a trencher. I’ve talked about it before. A trencher is a platelike bread loaf. The loaf soaked up the juices and then was either eaten or tossed to the poor or dogs. Pies were invented as an edible utensil, the crusts being very hard and thick. People even ate custard with their hands. All cups were communal, as were any utensils. If you used one, you gave it back immediately, when it was rinsed and put back on the cup board (where the word originates). It was customary to rinse or wash hands between dishes, and napkins used to be quite expensive, so you brought your own, or wore an apron for such a purpose. 

Westerners ate everything with their hands. 

Then again, they also died a lot faster. 

Perhaps there’s a middle ground? And since today you know about washing your hands, I don’t see a reason to be annoyed at eating with your fingers.

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