Fine dining and the use of the finger bowl


When eating in a fancy country club or restaurant, how does a proper diner clean his or her fingers after a delectable entree, to prepare for an elegant dessert?

In the past, uniformed servers presented restaurant patrons with finger bowls.


The finger bowl is a round dish (resembling a shallow china soup bowl), which is placed on top of a larger plate (like a big saucer).

The finger bowl has nearly disappeared in current dining rooms, but it may occasionally be found in the finest eating establishments. Certain enthusiasts of high cuisine have called for the resurrection of the finger bowl.

Savvy antique hunters may uncover finger bowls, as they search through collections of old china.


The finger bowl is filled with warm water. Often, a lemon wedge is placed on the underplate. A few lemon wheels may be floated in the water itself.

The diner dips his fingers gently into the warm water to rinse them lightly. Splashing, swirling and swishing in the finger bowl are considered improper. The finger bowl is not intended as a thorough bath or cleansing, but merely as a means of preparing the hands for the final courses of the meal.

The finger bowl is usually accompanied by a fresh napkin or cloth, with which the diner may wipe his moistened hands. This cloth is removed by the waiter, along with the finger bowl and underplate.


Traditionally, at a fancy restaurant or country club, a finger bowl is presented after the entree or main course.

This is set before a diner immediately after his main entree plate has been removed.


The idea is for the diner to clean his fingers, particularly after a sticky or messy meal, such as barbecued ribs, buttery corn-on-the-cob, sticky fried chicken or shellfish.

Shortly after the finger bowl, a palate-cleansing dish (such as a fruit sorbet) is often introduced. Or the finger bowl may be followed immediately by the dessert course.


When we were young children in elementary school, perhaps six and eight years old, we went out for dinner after church with our grandparents at a fancy fish restaurant. My brother brought a classmate along.

After the main course, during which the two boys gorged themselves on fresh lobster, the waiter set out the steaming finger bowls, fresh lemon wedges and all. My brother’s

Binge Eating Disorder – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Binge eating involves more than just eating a lot. With binge eating, a person feels out of control and powerless to stop eating while he or she is doing it.

That’s why binge eating is also called compulsive overeating.
People with a binge eating problem may overeat when they feel stressed, upset, hurt, or angry. Many find it comforting and soothing to eat, but after a binge they are likely to feel guilty and sad about the out-of-control eating. Binge eating is often a mixed-up way of dealing with or avoiding difficult emotions.

Food is important for growth and development, but we do not always eat to satisfy our hunger. Most of us overeat from time to time, and we may feel bloated or excessively full as a result. Occasional over-indulgence does not constitute an eating disorder, and binge eating has only recently been recognized as an eating disorder in its own right.
Causes of Binge Eating Disorder
· Depression. As many as half of all people with binge eating disorder are depressed or have been depressed in the past.

· Dieting. Some people binge after skipping meals, not eating enough food each day, or avoiding certain kinds of food.
· Coping skills. Studies suggest that people with binge eating may have trouble handling some of their emotions. Many people who are binge eaters say that being angry, sad, bored, worried, or stressed can cause them to binge eat.


People with binge eating disorder can get sick due to a lack of proper nutrition. Binging episodes usually include foods that are high in sugar and/or salt, but low in healthier nutrients.
People with binge eating disorder are usually very upset by their binge eating and may become very depressed.

People who are obese and also have binge eating disorder are at risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, gallbladder disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
On the other hand, people with binge-eating disorder often have numerous behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms. These include:
· Eating until the point of discomfort or pain
· Eating much more food during a binge episode than during a normal meal or snack
· Eating faster during binge episodes
· Feeling that their eating behavior is out of control
· Frequent dieting without weight loss
· Recurrent episodes of binge eating
· Frequently eating alone
Cognitive behavior therapy – Focuses on the thoughts that envelop food and eating. One of the main goals is for you to become more self-aware of your relationship to food. Your therapist may ask you to keep a food diary or a journal of your thought processes about food.

Psychotherapy can involve a significant time and financial commitment. You are worth it! Particularly if you are struggling with other issues (sexual abuse, depression, substance use, relationship problems) psychotherapy can be very helpful in addressing not only your disordered eating, but also your overall emotional health and happiness.

Behavior therapy – Uses rewards and repercussions to change the behaviors of bingeing, compulsive overeating, and emotional eating. The behavior therapist teaches you to recognize triggers for bingeing and to interrupt emotional eating episodes by substituting relaxation and other coping strategies.