Actually I don’t. Or so my husband pointed out. I have yet to master eating a taco with one hand without having half the contents drip out the back. I had, at the time, tucked in the back end and I was discreetly holding it with my pinky finger. Not Kosher I was told. Clearly my Mexican had been in New York long enough.
I’ve mastered Spaghetti. As a kid, I was very proud that I could eat it like a true Italian…or so I thought. Apparently the fork and spoon method isn’t Kosher either. I learned that the hard way. I spent my 15th birthday at a little restaurant in Bonassola, Italy with my best friend’s family. My parents dropped me off the afternoon of my birthday. That evening, I had my first ever authentic bowl of spaghetti. As I proudly reached for my fork and spoon, my friend’s father raised his eyebrows at me and then said “you can’t eat spaghetti like that.” He then proceeded to show me how to pick a few strands with the prongs of the fork, twirl and if the bobbin of pasta was too big for my mouth, to gently slip out the fork and use a prong to carefully pry a strand or two and commence twirling again.
Everyone had finished their plates in 10 minutes. It took me about an hour. I didn’t realise it at the time, but he gave me a wonderful gift that night. (We won’t discuss what I thought while my stomach rumbled, desperate to stick my face in the bowl and just inhale the whole lot.)
Growing up in New York, we generally took our Chinese, like everyone else as take out in a cardboard box with chopsticks. But when I was very young, we would visit the actual restaurant on occasion. The owners would pull out some yellow pages to prop me up. You see, many moons ago, before the internet and google, most restaurants didn’t need high chairs as they always had a ready supply of phonebooks stick under kids bums.
After a few visits, the wife decided it was time I learned how to use chopsticks. She came to the table and spent a few minutes giving me a tutorial. Another wonderful gift which came in very useful -thought not so much in Singapore and Thailand since contrary to NY thai takeaways, everyone here seems to eat with a fork and spoon.
But back to my taco eating, after two months in Mexico, I can now eat tacos like a Mexican; It’s just that I chose not too. Conformity is the death of innovation & exploration. That said, my kids will learn how to properly fork their spaghetti. And to think I used to wield my spoon proudly. Then again, we knew people who wielded knives -no shame folks, no shame.
And now I am left to hope that I won’t get the same pervs for posting about taco eating than I did with my potty training posts. #whatupsickos!