I wanted to write this from a long time but finally got chance to write about it today. This story is very personal and may be irrelevant for many readers. To start, let me tell you that we in India generally use our hands to eat foods or may be spoon some time. Coming to Denmark and trying knife and fork was completely new way of eating food and it took me lot of time and patience to learn it.
My first experience came at the time of eating pasta and pizza. It took me around 1,5 hour to eat pizza which I could easily eat in 20 minutes using my hands. I could see my international friends were so accustomed in cutting it properly, holding it in fork and then putting in mouth. To make decorum of the table, I tried to do the same thing. It was quite embarrassing when 8 people are waiting for me to finish the food. And, I was struggling to even holding pizza properly at the time of cutting. It was bit funny, uncomfortable and at the same time annoyed me a lot. Even during lunch at my canteen, most of the food served in the form of salad is simply cannot be eaten with hands.
It was very strange experience for the few first time. Initially I never understood why things cannot be eating by hands?? Why there is a need to eat everything with knife and fork?? It is like a situation when food is front of you and you cannot eat it. For eating, there is a need for knife and fork. I had to spend much of effort in cutting, holding, putting in your mouth nicely instead of actually eating it. Later I realized I could use my hands at least for eating pizza :). Now, I am quite comfortable with it.
It is a very common to use cutlery in western nations. But my different experience made me to think reasons behind usage of it.
Let’s go back to the ancient Denmark as old as the Viking Age. Majority of the cuisine contained non-vegetarian food. Because of the cold climate, food served is very warm most of the time and it cannot be made into pieces by hand. One needs a knife and fork before actually taking a bite. So it was different food habit which can be the reason for development of such mechanism. Things have changed a lot over the centuries and I might not be right in my reasoning. But to satisfy my curiosity, this was one of the best explanations I found.
So if you are coming to Denmark and in a situation similar to mine, then be ready to have a nice experience.