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How to Eat with Your Hands in Public without Making a Mess

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Many restaurants have a particular dish that they're known for. Maybe they make the best fried chicken or they have the most sought-after cheeseburgers in the local area. But if you're like many people, you might not enjoy eating those foods in the restaurants that serve them. Eating with your hands is messy, and getting messy while eating in public isn't a fun activity for most people. However, with a little effort, you can enjoy your favorite messy foods without making a mess of yourself. Take a look at some foods you can eat with your hands in public without making a spectacle.


Sure, it's easy enough to cut up a chicken breast with a knife and fork. But what about fried chicken drumsticks that can leave you covered in grease and bits of fried batter? Or the sauce-covered flats in a basket of Buffalo wings that are so difficult to eat without gnawing?

For fried drumsticks, you can eliminate a lot of grease on your hands by simply wrapping a napkin around the bone at the bottom. Taking small bites can reduce the amount of fried batter that drops off of your drumstick while you're eating, and if you make sure to lean over your plate while you eat, the crumbs that do fall won't make a mess at all.

As for the flats in the basket of buffalo wings, you may be surprised to learn that these can be easily deboned for neat, easy eating. Remove the smaller bone first, followed by the large one, and then you're free to eat the meat without needing to gnaw. This will also tell you how well the chicken is cooked. With a little wiggling, the bones should slide out cleanly if the chicken is cooked enough. If they don't, then you may want to send the basket back.


Different people have different definitions of what makes a burger great, but the common thread is usually that great burgers have some distinctive toppings and condiments. But have you ever taken a bite of a great burger and had all those toppings and sauces slide right out of the other end?

If so, you're not the only one. In fact, some Japanese researchers went to the extreme of spending four months trying to figure out how to stop this from happening. And after examining 3-D scans of burgers and testing various methods of burger holding, they came up with a solution. You should hold your burger with your thumbs and pinkies on the bottom of the burger and your middle three fingers on top, spread in a way that divides the burger into equal sections. Don't hold too tightly, or you'll crush the bun. This method of holding a burger allows you to eat it without spilling the burger toppings all over your lap.

Chips and Cheese Puffs

It's one thing to get your hands covered in grease, salt, or cheese dust when you're home in your sweats binge watching the latest season of your favorite show. That's almost expected. But it's quite another thing to be served a side dish of chips at the local barbecue restaurant or a bag of cheese puffs at the sandwich shop. What if you're having a lunch or dinner meeting and you want to shake hands at the end of it?

Never fear: there's a trick that will allow you to have these snacks with your lunch and keep your hands perfectly clean. The only catch is, you will have to learn how to use chopsticks, if you don't already know. That may sound funny at first, but the idea of using chopsticks to eat messy snacks is catching on. Chopsticks can also be used for things like French fries or popcorn, if you like. Of course, not all restaurants offer chopsticks, but you can always bring your own. Keep a few disposable sets of chopsticks in your purse or the glove box of your car, and you'll never have to worry about cheese- or grease-stained hands.

Eating with your hands doesn't have to be untidy. With these tips, you can enjoy your favorites no matter which lunch or dinner restaurant you eat at and avoid the embarrassment of making a mess in public.