This is a very sensitive topic to some people. I’ve had people say “Is it not to put the food inside mouth?” and that is a very wrong perception. You should eat without making a mess of the entire process or making yourself uncomfortable.
I used to be guilty of not caring about how I ate wherever I was. A few knocks on my head from my mum and correction from friends helped me a lot. I have a few rules I follow now and here they are:
- Don’t eat very large portions ever even if you’re allowed to. If you’re in a public place, the last thing you want to be is very full. You’ll be very uncomfortable and you won’t have control of whatever you do.
- Be careful about food that will spill: You don’t want to make a mess of anything and you can’t go too far with serviettes.
- Make very minimal use of your fingers when you have the option of cutlery and even if you have to use your hands or fingers, be neat and wipe or wash your hands right after.
- Do not put fingers in your mouth: This includes licking your fingers or sucking on them or using them to pick your teeth. It’s a very dirty image and you don’t want anyone watching you do that.
- Don’t rush your food: Take small pieces of food in small bites. You’ll be able to maneuver the food properly in your mouth.
- Don’t talk with food in your mouth: Food will fly right out and it will be very noticeable. Its best to just wait till you’re done chewing and swallowing before you start talking. Even if you must talk, try doing so very discreetly.
- Don’t make sounds when you eat: Do not make any of those sucking or slurping sounds. If the food tastes really good, appreciate it in silence.
- Don’t eat while you walk: This applies to everything that isn’t candy or bottled drinks or ice-cream or yoghurt (basically anything that can fit in one hand, one mouthful or can be picked at with a little spoon).
Eating in public is a lot of fun, you get to try new things and enjoy new experiences especially if you do it the right way.
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