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You’ve been eating burritos all wrong! Etiquette expert William Hanson explains how to eat the Mexican meal correctly, including what to do with ‘spillage’

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Burritos can be a tricky meal to consume gracefully – but help is at hand from a master of looking graceful, whatever the situation.

Etiquette expert William Hanson reveals the secret to eating burritos elegantly in a TikTok video that has been viewed nearly a million times.

He explains that if the burrito comes wrapped in tin foil, just unwrap the top and leave the rest on to ‘protect it from greasy hands’.

The burrito should then be picked up using your dominant hand, William explains, with the non-dominant hand cupped underneath to catch any ‘spillage’ from the open end of the burrito.

We asked William what one does with this ‘spillage’.

The burrito should be picked up using your dominant hand, William explains

The non-dominant hand is cupped underneath to catch any 'spillage'

The burrito should be picked up using your dominant hand, William explains, with the non-dominant hand cupped underneath to catch any ‘spillage’

He said: ‘Hopefully, it lands on the plate beneath. You can leave it there until the end and use a knife and fork to enjoy.

‘But if no one is looking and you feel like living life on the edge, you could use your fingers to pick up and eat.’

Could a knife and fork be deployed in an emergency, due to a particularly troublesome burrito?

William remarked: ‘The exact origins of the burrito are slightly hazy, but just as with the bread of a sandwich or burger bun, the corn tortilla keeps the hands relatively clean when you pick it up to eat.

We asked William what one does with the 'spillage'. 'If no one is looking and you feel like living life on the edge, you could use your fingers to pick up and eat,' he said

We asked William what one does with the ‘spillage’. ‘If no one is looking and you feel like living life on the edge, you could use your fingers to pick up and eat,’ he said

‘Knives and forks are not really meant to be used, but if the burrito has been over-stuffed and has leaked everywhere, no one is going to send you to etiquette jail for using a knife and fork to enjoy the fallen morsels now on the plate.’

And does he have any thoughts on whether the restaurant should or shouldn’t deliver burritos with tin foil on?

William replied: ‘Foil is not correct in formal dining. But equally, burritos – however delicious – are not formal food in British dining, so the foil point is moot.

‘The foil does keep the burrito wrapped up and warmer for longer so it serves a purpose.’

For more from Mr Hanson visit his TikTok and Instagram profiles. His new book, Just Good Manners (Penguin Random House), is out on September 12, 2024. It is billed as ‘a witty and authoritative guide to British etiquette’, with William sharing ‘his definitive guidance on how to charm and delight those around you in every situation with idiosyncratic authority’.

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