We were born with five senses. Research has dictated that sight accounts for more than 50% of the five senses we use (see previous blog). But when it comes to food, I'm not quite so sure.
Let's take French Fries for instance. First, they must be hot, crispy and fresh out of the fryer (hey, if you are going to splurge, there must be rules). So smell has a big bearing here because hot crispy fries smell good. Sight is also important because we like large portions of fries when we indulge and the way they are served counts too (I love them in paper cones).
I can't say I'm a purist when it comes to devouring fries. I must dip into ketchup so the hot crispiness of the fry attracts the cool sweetness of the ketchup that combined makes the taste sense explode (much like sushi with soy and wasabi).
But hands-down (no pun intended), my favorite sense is touch when it comes to eating fries. Sure Miss Manners and others before her invented forks and knives. But really, we eat fries with our hands. Communal plates don't come with tongs either. We dig in and start with one. Then comes the two-some and then we indulge with three at once. And we must lick off the salt and excess ketchup off our fingers in-between while maintaining a steady pace so others don't eat more than you.
I think we love to eat with our fingers because of our heritage. Isn't that why chicken fingers, pizza, nachos, chips & salsa, hot dogs and burgers are perennial favorites? No wonder everyone hates veggies-who eats broccoli with their fingers (although corn on the cob is a favorite)?
We love bagels and doughnuts for this reason. Can you imagine using your fingers to eat cereal with skim milk? Even I have to resort to using a spoon.
We look cookies and brownies; ice cream cones and snack bars for this reason. I think pie is no longer popular because you need to use a fork.
So forget the utensils and be happy. No wonder McDonald's sales are on a tear (even they tried salads you can eat using your fingers!). Hey, one more reason to make sure your nails look good.....