Clean Fingers, Sticky Fingers

This is an actual photo from tonight’s wingfest. All napkins represented here are my own.

I’m a sucker for “Best Places for Buffalo Wings” lists. Every indie newspaper and foodie blog in every city has one. I simply need to try every wing so I decide which one is the best. (For the record, Culpepper’s is my favorite in St. Louis).

Today I found myself at Pat’s Bar & Grill, which, as UrbanSpoon informed me, has some of the best wings in St. Louis. I was meeting a friend there (opposed to a date), so I figured getting wings was fine. I didn’t need to make a good impression.

You see, I eat wings with my fingers. I think the flavor of bone-in wings is far superior to boneless, but I don’t want sauce smeared all over my face. So I pry the meat free of the bone, dip it in the excess sauce, and enjoy.

By the end of the meal, I had a huge pile of sticky, greasy napkins on my side of the table. It was pretty gross.

The odd thing is, I’ve seen people eat things that are as messy or even messier than wings, and no one uses as many napkins as I do. Maybe they’re finger lickers. Maybe they don’t mind having the sauce on their fingers for the majority of the meal. I don’t know how they do it, but somehow most people are able to use a single napkin when I end up using 8-10.

What’s your secret? How do you use so few napkins? I feel like I could save a lot of trees and look less like a pig when I eat messy things if I knew how you people do it.

5 thoughts on “Clean Fingers, Sticky Fingers”

  1. Maybe, just maybe your problem comes from peeling the meat off the bone first and then dipping it? This requires more usage of your fingers, thus enabling them to be dipped more in the sauce. Leaving the meat on the bone means there is less dipping, but it does mean you might get more sauce on your face rather than in your face. It’s a terrible dilemma, it just depends on which path you want to take; clean hands or clean face.

    The clean hands route does mean fewer napkins. 🙂

      • Hopefully so? I cook for and oberve people eating food for 8 hours a day, as soon as your post came up, that knowledge retained in my brain for a rainy day sprang to the forefront. Hopefully it will be of some use to you in the future! 🙂

  2. I’m getting anxious just looking at that picture. I think my eye just started twitching too. Buffalo wings are awesome, but I feel like I have the eating equivalent of a shy bladder when they’re around. I just can’t eat them in front of other people! Plus, the messy hands…. I just can’t. Ugh.

  3. I just assume that I will be messy until the end of the meal. Sometimes I actually bring a cloth napkin from home. Nah, not really. But I don’t wipe my hands unless I need to grab something that shouldn’t have sauce on it – cell phone, youngest child, that control for video poker/trivia contests. So the napkins are few.


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