Do you ever forget your manners at home? All greedy gourmets will know what I’m talking about. Imagine that you’re coming to the end of a lipsmackingly good meal. In denial that it’s about to end, you start mining the last dribbles of sauce from the seams of your plate. Perhaps you’ll surreptitiously lick your knife clean. You might even brush a cheeky finger along the edge of the plate and bring it to your lips to capture any errant drops and make the pleasure linger. Suddenly, you’re snatched from your reverie by your mother, who slaps your hand sharply and gives you a dark look, or your partner, who grimaces at you pointedly and asks what’s for dessert. It’s happened to us all.
The same scene unfolds, for me at least, when I’m eating tricky foods alone and hidden away in my flat. Here, in privacy, received etiquette goes out the window and jars of peanut butter are treated as single servings to save on washing up, while visitors might find me hunched over the sink with peach juice dribbling down my chin and arm, or sitting in front of the TV with a plastic bag in my lap to catch the run-off from a particularly effusive orange.
All well and good, right? But I wouldn’t do this sort of thing in public – at least not sober. So why do other people?