Firstly, let’s get one thing straight about Indian foods being eating by hand, Many think Indians are not as close to Spoons to use them in everyday life.
Well, tough to break it to you, but we use spoon in almost all our religious activities and that too some stunning ones.
Let’s have fun now and debunk another myth:
Are we too poor to afford a spoon?
I guess no because most of the rich people of our country use their hands to eat too.
Indians from ancient times were well aware of different culture how they behaved, their protocols, they traded goods as far off as Egypt, Rome and China so they knew how non Indians used to eat food.
So, what was the reason behind them eating with hands?
Can there be any scientific reason? Interestingly enough there is:
You see, our hands they are a major portion for tactile(touching) sensations which is analysed by the most powerful portion of our brain- The Cortex. Now, to talk about tactile sensation we all know it is more powerful than verbal or any visual sensation. Tactile sensation literally helps brain in projecting a 3-D map of what we are touching. So we realized way back that Food tasted much better if it’s eaten with hands because of this
So eating with hands involves more use of brain than eating with any utensil.
You can imagine it like the process of painting where we mix two completely different colors together to produce a wonderful mixture.
Similarly here, Like a palette of flavours and textures, we touch our food, we mix our foods which involves different way of mixing different items together in your plate, in different proportions for different people which gives a peculiar taste to everyone who eats it.
We mix solid and liquid with our hands, mush them together, every time we do all these our brain is analyzing the food textures, combinations and permutations of your favorite thali. Our hand is creating a multidimensional tactile images of these foods in our mind, anticipating the deliciousness (hopefully) to come.
Indian foods are usually served in a thali similar to a palette of different stunning flavors and textures which we can mix in various proportion and get a different experience every time.