When it comes to food we all have our preferences; some have a sweet tooth, others crave savoury goodness round the clock. On top of this, we also have our favourite dishes, but how many of us also have food which we love, but avoid because it’s so hard to eat, or have never tried due to its tricky preparation rituals?
The rise of the food-selfie means that our once messy dinner times are now being documented from every angle and shared with the world. Food bloggers and Instagram stars think nothing of shaping their delicious avocado smash in to the shape of Totoro or showing off their artichoke party appetiser. But what about us mere mortals who can’t simply crack open a fresh coconut for their morning shake?
There are so many mouth-watering dishes that we’d love to eat more, but avoid because they’re hard to eat.
We couldn’t help but wonder why some of these delicious foods don’t come with an instruction manual. I mean, how nice would it be to eat your taco without dropping 98% of it on yourself? That’s when it struck us – we could create the instructions!
We compiled a series of basic yet helpful instructables to help you overcome those pesky avocados, tricky tacos and even the ultra-intimidating whole fish. So, crack open the fridge, grab your cutlery and face those foodie fears today!
At first glance, cutting an avocado might seem intimindating – after all, it’s so easy to accidentally mash or squish the flesh when you really wantted to cut it into smooth, clean slices. That said, once you know how to prepare avocado you’ll be creating delicious and perfectly presented dishes in minutes.
How to Cut an Avocado
- Grab a sharp knife and a spoon.
- Cut your avocado in half by running the knife lengthways around the whole avocado. There’s a hard stone in the middle, so just cut as deep as this will allow.
- Giving the knife a little twist at the end will help separate the two halves.
- Place the half with the stone on a flat surface and, avoiding your fingers, pit the stone with the blade of the knife. The stone will get wedged on to the knife, allowing you to pull it out without having to dig it out with your fingers.
- Finally, run a spoon between the avocado flesh and skin, pop it out, slice, and serve.
How to Peel an Avocado
It’s easier to peel an avocado that has already been cut into chunks.
- Slice the avocado in half, or cut it into wedges.
- Grab the skin and pull it away from the flesh.
- Any chunks of skin that remain on the avocado can simply be cut off.
Bonus tip: removing an avocado’s skin is generally more difficult if the avocado isn’t fully ripe.
It may be delicious, but it’s also very expensive, so if you’re going to prepare a lobster it makes sense to ensure you’re preparing it right. Get it wrong, and you might let pieces of that tasty, tender meat go to waste.
How to Eat Lobster
- Fetch a pair of pliers, a lobster fork and a bib.
- Twist off the claws and crack them in half with the pliers.
- Use your fork to scoop out the claw meat.
- Pull the head and legs away from the tail (hold tightly to avoid flinging it across the room!)
- Pull the fins off the tail and then open up the piece you have remaining to enjoy all the delicious tail meat nestled within.
How to Crack a Lobster Tail
The easiest way to crack a lobster tail is with a lobster cracker.
- Place the tail sideways in the cracker. The shell should face the joint of the cracker.
- Press down on the cracker handles, carefully, until the tail splits.
- Cut along both edges of the shell, and peel it off.
How to Eat Butterflied Lobster Tail
A lobster tail that has been butterflied before cooking is really easy to eat.
- Place your fork (ideally this should be a lobster fork, but a regular fork will suffice) between each segment of the lobster’s tail fan.
- Push the meat away from the fan. If properly cooked it should slide away effortlessly.
How to Eat Hard Tacos (Without Making a Mess)
Ah, the taco. Who hasn’t thrown most of the contents down the front of their shirt at one time or another? The instructions below will show you how to prepare tacos (and eat them) with minimal spillage-risk.
How to Prepare Tacos
- Line the base of the taco shell with lettuce. This will help prevent sauces from leaking out of the shell.
- Prop the taco up. If it falls over, some of your filling will spill out before you’ve even had a chance to start eating it.
- Fill the taco, but not too much. Make sure you only fill the centre – anything at the sides is an instant spill hazard.
How to Eat Tacos
- Eat it upright, over a plate.
- Angle the taco away from you slightly as you eat. This will ensure any escaping filling goes on your plate, not your lap!
- Just in case, use a napkin!
A lot of people are put off eating or preparing whole fish because they’re not sure how to carve it, and safely separate the flesh from the bones of a fish served whole. That’s a shame because fish cooked whole tends to be far more flavourful than one purchased and cooked pre-filleted. Thankfully, once you know what to do, carving a whole fish is really easy to do.
How to Carve and Eat a Whole Fish
- Grab a sharp knife (ideally a fish knife) and a spatula.
- Cut off the fins and tail and put them in the bin.
- Cut in a straight line from just behind the gills all the way to the tail and peel the skin back using your spoon.
- Grab your spatula, remove the top fillet of the fish, and flip it over.
- Remove the bottom fillet of the fish.
- Remove the bone cage.
- Carefully check the fish for any remaining bones, and enjoy.
Coconuts are not only delicious, they’re also super healthy. They’re rich in fibre and minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc and calcium, and also contain folate and Vitamin C. Unfotunately the idea of preparing a coconut deters many of us from enjoying them. This is how to crack a coconut (without spilling the milk).
How to Eat a Coconut
- Fetch a hammer, nail, bowl and strainer.
- Place the coconut on a flat, towel covered surface.
- Hold the fruit so that the holes (eyes) are facing upwards.
- Pop the nail in to one of the holes on the top of the coconut and hammer it in until you feel it go through into the coconut cavity.
- Pull the nail out and turn the coconut upside down over the bowl and strainer, until all that delicious coconut milk has drained out.
- Once all the milk has drained put your coconut back on the towel covered hard surface and give it a couple of sharp taps to the midsection. This should crack it open.
- You can now scoop out the flesh.
Bonus tip: the flesh of a young coconut will be very soft and can be scooped out with a spoon. If you’re eating a mature coconut, you’ll need a knife to remove the flesh – just slide the knife between the flesh and shell and it will come away.
There are a few rules to remember when it comes to sushi etiquette.
How to Eat Sushi (The Right Way)
- Pour a small amount of soy sauce into your dipping bowl.
- Mix some wasabi into the sauce if you wish (this isn’t the traditional way to eat sushi, but it is widely accepted today).
- Dip your sushi into the sauce – never pour soy sauce directly onto the sushi.
- If you’re eating nigiri (a slice of fish with a ball of rice underneath) traditional sushi etiquette dictates that you should only ever dip the fish in the soy, not the rice, and you should always put it in your mouth fish-side down.
- If you can, eat the sushi in one bit.
- Eat a slice of ginger between different types of sushi – it acts as a palate cleanser.
Bonus tip: if you’re dishing out sushi onto another person’s plate, flip your chopsticks around and serve with the thick end that hasn’t been near your mouth – it’s only polite!
A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of preparing an artichoke. This is a shame because they’re really healthy (they’re a great source of fibre, Vitamin C and K, folate and manganese) and are delicious roasted and stuffed, or served in salads or sandwiches. The instructions below show how simple preparing and eating an artichoke can be.
How to Eat an Artichoke
- Start by pulling the outer petals of the artichoke.
- If you wish, dip the base into sauce or melted butter for added flavour.
- Holding the tip of the petal place it in your mouth, close your teeth around it, and pull the petal out.
- You can also eat the base. To do this, spoon out the fuzzy centre, cut off the stalk, and divide the remainder into four to consume.
Watermelons are tasty, refreshing and nutritious, and are fantastic eaten as a snack or for breakfast, or even as part of a salad. Unfortunately many people can be intimdated by the thought of cutting a watermelon, but using this special technique can make it easier.
How to Eat a Watermelon
- Start by cutting a slice off each end.
- Turn it on to its top or bottom so it’s standing upright.
- Slice straight down the middle. This will be much easier as there’s a stable base.
- Cut the halves to your desired size, run the knife between the melon and the flesh, and cut into slices.
How to Eat a Cupcake
Yep: you’ve been eating cupcakes wrong all your life. Wave goodbye to frosting on your nose and level up your cupcake eating game – the best way to eat a cupcake isn’t what you think.
The Right Way to Eat a Cupcake
Remove the cupcake from its wrapper, rip the base off, and stick it on top of the frosting. You can now eat your cupcake mess-free, like a super-sweet sandwich! Perfect.