Throughout the United States and other western cultures, it's not incredibly common for people to
eat with their hands. We usually dive into breakfast, lunch, and dinner with forks and spoons blazing, all in the name of maintaining our well-established table manners — and as a way of keeping our fingers clean.
Of course, we'll happily throw caution to the wind when it comes to the likes of pizza, fries, tacos, and other foods that are meant to be picked up. While it does happen, it's rare to see someone eating a burrito with a fork. And even rarer to spot fellow diners using cutlery to ferry fries into their mouths.
But when it comes to things like pasta, stews, veggies, and other dishes that traditionally require silverware,
choosing to eat with your hands can say a lot about you. If you like to lick your finger to get every last drop of salad dressing, you may have a certain zest for life. And if you're someone who happily drops noodles into your mouth from a sauce-covered claw, it may indicate you're more adventurous than most. Here are a few other things eating with your hands might say about your personality , according to experts.
You May Be More Adventurous Than Most
If you were raised in a culture that viewed silverware as a dinnertime requirement, throwing tradition aside in favor of eating with your hands may mean you're an open-minded individual,
therapist Rebecca Capps, MA, MFT, tells Bustle. This is also true if you're always down to try to new cuisines, as "this indicates that you are someone who is adventurous." Being adventurous, and being an adventurous eater, often go hand-in-hand. Pun intended.
You're Likely Someone Who Relishes Life
If you wouldn't dare let a fork get between you and the sensory experience that is eating, you're definitely not alone. In an article for Epicurious, writer Emily Johnson noted that she was often allowed to eat without cutlery when she was growing up — for this very reason.
Eating is sensory," Johnson said. "And, in using your hands, you take the sensory experience to another level. You add another whole sense — touch. Since so much of taste and enjoyment of food is about texture, your hands function as another way of exploring the feel, the consistency, the make-up of your food [...] I'm convinced that people prone to swiping bites with their hands, to tasting with their hands, and dipping fingers into sauces and dressings, taste it better, enjoy it more, have an overall enhanced eating experience."
This sentiment is echoed by Capps who says, "If you eat with your hands and are a slow eater, this means that you take time to be in the moment and to enjoy every morsel of your food." You're all about savoring what's in front of you.
You May Be More Creative
Are you someone who rarely thinks twice before dipping your fingers into food? "If this is you, this [might mean] that you’re someone who is innovative," Capps says. But it also may mean
you're a rule breaker, which is a common trait among creatives.
In fact, several high-profile chefs have begun encouraging diners to dig into meals with their hands, according to
The New York Times, stating that it increases the sensual connection to food and softens the formality of fine dining .
Without even really thinking about it, you might naturally eat with your hands simply because it's healthier.
According to a study, published in the journal
Clinical Nutrition, people with type 2 diabetes were more likely to be faster eaters that used cutlery, as compared to people without the condition. It was shown that eating with forks and spoons correlates with faster eating, which has been linked to blood-sugar imbalances in the body, and to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Of course, it's always possible to use silverware, and make a concerted effort to eat slower. But if you feel better when you eat with your hands go ahead and stick with it, as you may very well be onto something.
You Don't Always Put Yourself First
Again, eating with your hands may not always be a conscious choice, but one that comes from necessity. If you're super busy and always putting others first, for example, you may catch yourself eating this way more often than not.
"If you eat standing up with no silverware and are always multi-tasking, this suggests that you do not take time to focus in on your own needs," Capps says. If you can relate, it may be time to slow down, and
focus on your own needs for a change.
You Tend To Speak Your Mind
On the flip side, Capps says eating with your hands might also mean you're not the type of person to focus on the opinions of others. Instead, you tend to zero in on what you want — and aren't afraid to speak your mind. This may stem from the rule breaking mentioned above, as well as the individuality that comes around as a result.
Of course, it's tough to say exactly what eating with your hands might say about you, especially since there are so many reasons to do so. By tuning in with yourself, and getting in
touch with the emotions you have while eating, you'll be better able to infer why you have this habit — and what it might say about you.