Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

African Dining Etiquette | How to eat with your hands

The Secret to Eating with Your Hands



African Dining Etiquette
Let's face it, hand food is fun, in Africa, they traditionally do not use knives or forks but before you get your hands dirty, there are some etiquette rules.


The Secret to Eating with Your Hands




Well technically eating with your hands means eating with small pieces of bread.


Enjoy Your Food Eat With Your Hands



Eating food with your hands in today’s society is observed as being unsanitary, unclean, bad mannered and even gross. Today as we adopt more customs of the western world, it is common to see people using spoons, forks and knifes. Eating with your hand instead of using silverware is a skill that can be gratifying when done in the approved manner. 


Etiquette should be observed when dining in any culture that eating with your hand is a tradition. The hands must be thoroughly washed; hands are washed before and after eating. Typically you eat with your right hand since bodily functions are taken care of with your left hand. Therefore, obviously it is considered rude and improper to use your left hand. 


Eating with your hand makes your food taste better. You may think you are reaching into the plate of food with your naked hand however; you will actually use a small piece of bread to scoop up the food. Just think of it as you are replacing utensils for pieces bread the same way some recipes replace a bowl for a large loaf of hollowed out bread. 


You will reach for food with your bread in hand from the side of the bowl that is facing you, not across the bowl. This is your space in which you eat but please don’t lick your fingers. 


Eating is a physical and social act and you should enjoy eating with your hands as much as possible. Eating with your hands enables you to feel closer to people you are dining with because you are sitting around the same table sitting close together eating from the same plate. Eating with your hand also makes your food taste better.


Share this page

Trending Now

Did you know?

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

A tree without roots cannot survive the wind

A tree without roots cannot survive the wind
African Proverb