Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Will Miss #455 - cut-up food

Among the many failings that American's possess in the eyes of their European and Euro-centric neighbors is the manner in which they cut their food up. We fail in one of two ways. The primary way is that we swap hands to use the knife and fork so that we are eating with the dominant hand. This is apparently inferior to the European manner in which one keeps the knife attached in one hand and the fork in the other throughout the meal. The secondary, and apparently far more reprehensible way, is that some people (horror or horrors) cut up all of their food before tucking in so that they can simply eat without pausing to slice each bite one at a time. When an American cuts everything up before eating, they are behaving like incompetent infants who lack proper eating skills. In Japan, well, they also cut up all of their food before they eat it and that is just fine because they're doing it in the service of eating with two sticks. The Japanese, unsurprisingly, don't look down on Americans based on how they use a knife and fork.

The fact that all of the food in Japan is served cut into pieces that can be easily manipulated with chopsticks not only makes the experience of eating easier, but it also takes the tiresome and petty judgment of how one cuts ones food as an indication of cultural superiority off the table, and I will miss it.