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" No Fingers No Food.'


Michaeltheonion
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I was watching some Old Marco Pierre White videos on you tube the day, (and I recommend everyone else does as well,) and I noticed he was constantly tasting with his fingers. In Fact at one point after continuously tasting a sauce with all of his 8 fingers he Remarked " no fingers no food.." Which is quite hilarious. I have been raised in Kitchens where you must always taste with a spoon. Or you use two spoons and continuously taste until the seasoning is perfect. There was one hotel where I worked, which had a few senior members who I recall would stick there fingers in everything. I know this is unsanitary, but does anyone else do this? I was in the middle of a very busy service the other night and I ran out of tasting spoons for 5 minutes and every time I sauced a plate I was worried the seasoning might have changed. Has anyone worked in a kitchen where this was common practice? Just to Clarify, I am not doing a poll to see if people think this is an Ok practice, Im just wondering if this goes on. There...

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Um, yeah. Have worked in and have observed kitchens where it happens all the time. Cameras rolling or health inspector there, sure, it's all spoons. But otherwise... let's just say that recent grads were the only ones with a bunch of clean spoons stuck in their clothing, and they got dogged for it.

It's on the stove and needs a test for seasoning, salt, acid, whatever? You don't look for a tasting spoon. You taste it with your asbestos fingertips, right?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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It's on the stove and needs a test for seasoning, salt, acid, whatever? You don't look for a tasting spoon. You taste it with your asbestos fingertips, right?

Agreed. Generally hot enough not to lead to many food safety issues anyway unless it is a hollandaise or the like.

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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This is commonplace at most restaurants in my experience, especially when it gets very busy. If I were eating at a good restaurant, I would rather a cook use his or her clean fingers to taste and re-season if there's no time for a spoon than to not taste at all. Not to mention some things are damn near impossible to taste with a spoon - like a strand of linguini.

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...I was in the middle of a very busy service the other night and I ran out of tasting spoons for 5 minutes and every time I sauced a plate I was worried the seasoning might have changed....

Since you were saucing the plates, couldn't you have sauced your finger (assuming it wasn't too hot) and tasted that, as opposed to dipping your finger into the sauce? Just a thought...

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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It drives me CRAZY when someone comes into my part of the kitchen and sticks a finger into a bowl of buttercream (or cheesecake batter or whatever I'm making - especially something that isn't going to be cooked again). I have one person who helps with deliveries who does this all the time and if I say something (or raise an eyebrow), it stops for a little bit, but the next time she comes in, it happens again. She's an experienced culinary person and just finished a ServSafe class but it doesn't stop! I'm going to have to whack her hand with a ruler the next time.

Get your fingers out of my food! :wacko:

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I remember working at a resort one summer while at college. I can still see the chef, elbows deep, mixing coleslaw in a large bowl. (Disclaimer - I was at least forearm deep into coleslaw the summer before my freshman year when working for a drive-in restaurant).

A finger or two ain't all that big a thing.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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It's not the finger that's the problem, it's the mouth. If you run out of tasting spoons, buy more. They are less than $3 for a dozen, so get five dozen and go from there. Personally, and professionally, I think putting your mouth on someone else's food is disgusting and not necessary, and if I see someone doing it in my kitchen (it happens of course) I will tell them to get a spoon. We keep tasting spoons just about everywhere.

-- Matt.

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I'm gonna have to side with JeanneCake and Matt R. on this one. I realize it's very common and I don't worry over it when I'm eating somewhere but I don't do it and it's not allowed in my kitchen. I don't have the patience of JeanneCake though, one warning is sufficient.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I also have tasting spoons everywhere. This was a situation where I ran out mid service and didn't realize until it was to late. Most of my sauces are vegetables purees , which means the seasoning changes almost every 30 minutes. I keep spoons on all stations but this one time, there were none. I remember screaming " Spoons! I need Spoons!' And I got them. Anyways I'm going to post the video that made me bring this topic up, To stress the point once again, I think it is really very funny. talk about double dunking.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In another program later in the same series, Cooking for Blanc Roux Ladenis Koffmann, MPW used a few spoons standing in a glass of water, probably after someone working on the programs said that it did not look hygenic to use his fingers.

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After a while the water in the glass does not look too appetizing and the point of this 'solution' is llost.

The owner of a place I worked at took exception to me using a water bath to hold my tongs until we pointed out to her that it was better than no water bath.

Plastic spoons for tasting is the only way to go.

Pick up your phone

Think of a vegetable

Lonely at home

Call any vegetable

And the chances are good

That a vegetable will respond to you

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Ugh, that's extra sick. A room temperature water bath is pretty much the worst way to hold utensils, and in fact much dirtier than keeping them dry. All that is is a perfect medium for bacteria to grow, nothing else. If you insist on keeping tongs in a water bath, keep that water hot in a bain marie, or ditch it an use a proper sanitizer for storage.

You'd be better off using your fingers and washing your hands once in a while. Is this really the level of sanitation and food safety in your establishment?

Tasting spoons can only ever be one time use items, and then they must be tossed. Plastic spoons are a waste, just buy some cheap stainless ones and keep them separate from service utensils and wash them in the dishwasher.

-- Matt.

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