The primitive people had it really easy, no one judged them on how they eat their food, they were probably only judged when they didn’t share it with the rest of their group. It is ridiculous how nowadays even when you don’t eat in a fancy restaurant, people give you these weird looks when you don’t eat your food “as you should.” Who says I should eat like I’m having dinner with the Queen? It’s my food and I’ll eat it the way I want to.
But honestly I don’t see what it wrong with picking up your food, at least for bread and pastries and things like pizza, with your hands (assuming that you’ve washed them before you sat down to eat). A pizza is cut in slices and given to you that way because it tastes much better when you eat like that – I lose appetite if I’m supposed to use a knife and fork to chop it down into tiny pieces and use the fork to eat those. It’s not a piece of meat, it’s basically bread with additions on it. You want to know what can be considered bad during eating?
Your mouth being open while you chew your food. I definitely don’t want to see how you process your food, and while I could probably stand it, I find it rude.
Throwing food across the table (unless you’re a kid or you have a state that justifies it). This might have been fun when you were younger, but it’s not something an grown up person should do. I just don’t like seeing food going to waste – some people starve for a bite of bread, and you find it interesting to throw away high quality food?
Not having the courtesy to apologize when you burp. It’s basic manners, and while I don’t mind there are people who find it disturbingly wrong and disgusting so you might as well as apologize. People seem to have a hard time apologizing these days about anything, but more on that in another post.
Not using your napkin or using it for the nose. It’s used to get rid of the extra food that ended on your face, not to clear germs in front of everyone. Again, I’m not a person who easily gets disgusted, but it still seems rude. Just like leaving food on your face because you didn’t use the napkin – one may feel uncomfortable to ‘point it out’ to you.
Staring at other people while they eat, especially if you’re not on the same table. If someone already feels uncomfortable, then your unwanted attention will only add to that. Mind your own business, look at your own food, be cool. If you people are on the same time then you might as well add something to the conversation rather than making it more awkward. And if you’re on another table, then I have no words to tell. If you’ve reached a point when it’s more interesting to watch what people 4 tables away from you do than listen or contribute to your own table’s conversation, it might not be a bad idea to leave the place.
But in no none of those aspects does eating pizza with your hands seem rude. If it is some fancy dinner then obviously the food would be much more fancier than simply a pizza, hence there is no issue there. If however, one eats at a place or dinner where pizza is served, then it’s probably not that bad if you use your hands. It probably means you’re a small group of very close friends or just in some small pizza shop, so it is automatically considered informal.
However if someone does mind it, then I don’t see why they can’t just say it nicely and ask me not to do it – would be more than glad to grab the knife and fork, from respect if nothing else. It would be a much better approach then giving me weird looks, anyway. In that case I might even use my hands more, just to let you know that this is my food and I’ll eat is as I want to. I paid for it, after all.
And this, is why I often prefer to eat at home, even when with friends, rather than go to some place where other people can ruin the lovely act that is eating.