I’ve always been very physical with my food. As a child, I would dig into my plate with my hands. My mother would always raise a disturbed eyebrow and wag a finger at me for failing to use my fork or my chopsticks. But I loved pushing my fingers into a bag of rice, my small hand surrounded by hundreds of little grains, each cool and smooth to the touch. I enjoyed feeling the rice, cooked, sticky, the ultimate comfort food, as I portioned each round bite-ful, all without the use of an intermediary utensil.
Although the relationship between my fingers and my food has matured, I let myself revert back to my tendencies as I dip my finger into a freshly made batch of whipped cream, delicate, cloud-like, a trace of sweetness dissolving onto my tongue. Or run the pad of my fingertip across a wooden spoon coated with perfectly balanced homemade mayonnaise, chunky cookie dough, rich molten chocolate, a delectable complex pan sauce, tangy key lime pie filling. Exquisite. The initial taste from my fingertip is almost more enjoyable than the finished product as it is a small but significant part to my cooking process. When a satisfied mmm escapes from my pursed lips, I am pleased. My food is ready, my finger told me so.