Finger Bowl Tradition: Let's Trace History Of This Ancient Dining Etiquette
Image Credit: Finger Bowl Tradition

History of finger bowl: Each one of us has perhaps been to a restaurant where every diner is given a finger bowl to wash their hands at the end of the meal. This bowl contains lukewarm water and a slice of lemon. But do you know where and how this practice began and how it reached India? If not, then read below to learn more about this dining etiquette. 

Finger bowl originated from America

The "Finger Bowl" culture originated in America. During the First World War, representatives of many countries gathered together in a hotel, and they were provided finger bowls in the room itself to wash their hands. Since then, this practice has started, and today it is a part of every fine-dine. 

How lemon found a place in the finger bowl?

A finger bowl always comes with a small slice of lemon. However, the custom of a lemon slice wasn’t there since the start but was added later due to the lemon’s anti-bacterial properties. It tends to remove germs and oiliness from hands. Washing hands with lemon also eliminates the odour of food from the hands.

What are the finger bowl etiquettes? 

There are also some tricks of using finger bowls that not everyone is aware of. Read on to know:

  1. While washing hands in a finger bowl, only immerse the fingers and not the whole hand. Similarly, many times people pinch the lemon out of the finger bowl completely. Again, these are not correct etiquettes. 
  2. Having a lemon in the bowl is not meant to be squeezed by hand. However, if the fingers are slippery, rub them with lemon, as this will remove the oiliness and make them clean.

So the next time you are at a restaurant, be sure to follow the right way of using the finger bowl.