Before the Spaniards came to conquer the Philippines, the natives used their hands to eat. The natives scoop up food using the fingers of their right hand. When Spaniards came, they brought their culinary traditions and our dishes evolved. Using hands to eat were then frowned upon since they introduced the use of utensils. The spoon and fork became the primary choice.
(Nah, who are we kidding? We still love to use our hands from time to time!)
How to Use It
The spoon is held with the right hand and the fork in the left. Use the fork to spear and hold down a piece of food while the spoon is used to cut or tear off small pieces. The spoon also comes handy when eating rice and soup.
As a typical Pinay, I love to eat sinigang together with the rice. Can you imagine eating this with fork and knife? Spoon and chopsticks? Or just the spoon? It would be weird wouldn't it? Filipinos love to combine pieces of meat, veggie, rice, and the "sabaw" together in one subo (spoonful). Using spoon and fork together makes perfect sense.
|Photo source: http://www.goonswithspoons.com/|
It's All About the Rice
Filipino food (just like any Asian country) is never complete without the rice. Can you imagine eating plain Adobo? Afritada? Sisig? Que horror! Spoon and fork compliments our way of eating. It's very practical. It's just weird to use knife and fork when eating our rice meals.
#1. It's hard to scoop up rice with just fork. It just keeps falling (unless it's a very sticky rice).
#2. Imagine using knife and fork when eating Afritada and rice:
You cut the meat with the knife then you spear it with the fork sabay subo, then you scoop up rice using the fork, rice kept falling, so you do it again. Not fun for me! I love eating a spoonful of rice, meat, Afritada sauce, and some potato cubes.
When Eating Western Food
Not all foods can be eaten with spoon and fork. When I'm eating steak and mashed potatoes, I use steak knife and fork, it makes more sense this way. Using spoon to cut the steak isn't practical. And using the fork to scoop up mashed potatoes are totally fine.
|Photo source: recipeshubs.com|
When you are outside the Philippines, it is advisable to practice the customs of your host country. You don't wanna stick out like a sore thumb. Would you eat with spoon and fork when dining at a fine dining restaurant? Eat lobster thermidor with spoon and fork? I know you'll say "kanya kanyang trip lang yan", but it wouldn't hurt to practice dining etiquette of the place you are currently in. Learning to use the proper utensils of your host country can be beneficial for your social life.
"When in Rome, live as the Romans do; when elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere."