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Why Do Chefs Wear Those Silly Hats?

Why Do Chefs Wear Those Silly Hats?


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They’re called toques, and they exist for a reason

Wikimedia Commons

The chef uniform has been standardized across the globe.

If you’ve ever peered into the kitchen of a high-end restaurant, you may have spotted a chef wearing a tall, white hat. Along with the white chef’s coat and checkered pants, these hats (called toques blanches, or just toques) are an essential part of a chef’s uniform. But why do chefs wear them?

Chef’s toques are tall, round, white, starched, and pleated, and have been worn by chefs since the early 1800s. Chefs have worn head coverings since long before that, and the modern toque most likely originated from stocking caps worn by French chefs in the early 1700s. The color of the stocking cap (called a casque à mèche) signified the rank of the wearer. It wasn’t until Boucher, the chef of the French statesman and gourmet Talleyrand, insisted that all toques be white — to indicate cleanliness — that the color was standardized.

The toque as we know it today become commonplace when the legendary French chef Marie-Antoine Carême began wearing one in the early 1800s (he’s largely credited with standardizing the chef’s uniform), and Auguste Escoffier brought it to London later in the century. Different heights indicate rank within a kitchen (the head chef’s toque is the tallest), and the many folds are said to be symbolic of the many ways to cook an egg.


Why are Chef Hours So Long

One of the first things every new or aspiring chef hears is how long the work days are. Chefs and cooks are notorious for working between 50 and 70 hours per week, oftentimes on weekends, evenings, and for up to 12 hours per day.

The rate of burnout is high, and many cooks suffer from physical problems that make it difficult to stay in the field for an entire lifetime.

This has long been a standard in the culinary world, and it wasn’t until recently that people began asking why.

Why, in an age when professions are regulated in how well they treat their employees and how often they are given breaks, do cooks and chefs continue to push so hard?

The “Real” Workday

The truth is that few professionals actually work 40 hours per week. Teachers grade homework and papers well into the night, often after putting in 7 hours of class time and 2 hours of coaching.

Lawyers are right up there with chefs when it comes to putting in 80 hours per week. In fact, long hours are fairly typical of anyone who makes a salary (as opposed to an hourly wage) and who isn’t part of a heavily regulated union (think carpenters, nurses, or electricians).

The main reason kitchen works stands out as particularly grueling is that almost all of that time is spent on your feet and moving at a fast pace. A lawyer who works long hours spends considerable time at a desk or even having lunch with clients. A teacher, too, can sit on the couch while grading papers.

This doesn’t make the work they do any less important or time-consuming—it simply means that chefs, by comparison, have a pretty hard route.

So why do they do it?

In many cases, the long hours worked are against the law, damaging to long-term health, and hard on families. Yet people continue to go to culinary school and strive to be the best cooks they can be.

It usually boils down to the question of passion. Just as a teacher teaches because he or she loves it, so too does a cook, spending long hours working in the kitchen because of an inherent love of food and food service.

While there are ways to avoid burnout (including managing your time, delegating where you can, taking your legally required breaks, and developing faster skills), you will probably never get down to a 40-hour work week—at least not at first.

The competition in the culinary field is tough, and most people have to prove their mettle before they can begin enjoying better positions, better pay, and, in most cases, better hours.

Read, Read and Read Some More

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I'm a work-at-home dad who enjoys cooking, learning everything I can about the culinary world and sharing it with you. To learn more about me. Read More…


Here's Why British Women Wear Such Ridiculous Hats At Weddings

No one wears fascinators and fancy hats quite like the British royal family.

We took a deep dive into the world of fantastical headpieces to find out exactly why they’ve become the accessory of choice for royal weddings and where, exactly, they originated. And just to clarify, while both hats and fascinators can be decorative, they aren’t technically the same thing. Hats typically cover the top of the head and have brims and bases, while fascinators are essentially bits of ribbon and fluff that affix to the head with some sort of comb or clip. Hats also have functional aspects (like shielding your face from the sun) while fascinators are mainly decorative.

According to William Hanson, etiquette tutor at The English Manner who spoke to Town & Country, it is considered proper etiquette for ladies to wear hats to royal weddings.

“Up until the 1950s ladies were very seldom seen without a hat as it was not considered ‘the thing’ for ladies to show their hair in public,” Diana Mather, a senior tutor at The English Manner, told the BBC. But she added, “all that has changed and hats are now reserved for more formal occasions.”

Aside from that, hats and fascinators are just part of British culture.

“When it comes to a special occasion in British society, the special occasion is not complete without a hat,” Hilary Alexander, former fashion director at the Daily Telegraph told ABC News back in 2011, ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s nuptials.

“There has to be a hat. It’s part of the social fabric,” Alexander said.

Marie Galvin of Marie Galvin Fine Millinery, an Irish-born hatmaker based in Boston, recently told Brides that some women choose to wear fascinators to highlight their wealth and social status or to follow British tradition, while others find them to be a lighthearted means of self-expression.

Galvin also noted there’s an unspoken competition for the best fascinator or headpiece, which adds an element of fun.

So where do fascinators come from?

Before decorative fascinators became the go-to accessory for high society, the word described something entirely different. In fashion history, “fascinator” originally referred to a lace or crocheted head shawl that draped down the back of the head.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, this type of fascinator, which was worn in the 19th century, “added a bit of seductive mystery to decorous Victorian fashion.” The headpiece, which was also sometimes called a “cloud,” was generally made of wool. By the 1930s, the word fascinator had evolved to describe a lacy hood, but eventually the term just faded from use, the encyclopedia notes.

The 1940s saw the rise of “doll hats,” a close relative to fascinators as we know them today. Doll hats gained popularity among American and European women, the latter of whom saw the whimsical, oft-ridiculous headpieces as a symbol of defiance against the austerity of Nazi occupation, Allure notes.

Modern fascinators are most strongly linked to the cocktail hats that women wore in the 1950s and 1960s, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Cocktail hats consisted of some sort of decorative element, whether it be feathers or a netted veil, affixed to a comb that could be inserted into a woman’s hair in a way that wouldn’t ruin her hairstyle. Unlike typical structured hats, cocktail hats generally didn’t have brims.

During the 1970s and 1980s, fascinators began popping up among fashion’s elite and on high fashion runways, largely thanks to Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy, both of whom have created fascinators for members of the British royal family. (Remember that outrageous fascinator Princess Beatrice wore for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding? That was the work of Treacy.) Aside from royal weddings, fascinators and decorative hats are also common at horse racing events such as the Royal Ascot and the Kentucky Derby.


Why do the queen's guards wear such tall hats?

They're up there with double-decker buses, red phone booths and Big Ben when it comes to quintessentially British things, but the uniforms sported by Queen Elizabeth II's guards weren't designed to look aesthetically pleasing. They were devised as essential accoutrements of battle against the United Kingdom's enemies during the 1800s.

So why do these guards wear tall black hats and conspicuous red tunics?

As hard as it may be to believe, the uniform was supposed to intimidate opposing armies.

"The idea was that you made your foot soldiers look taller and therefore more fearsome," said Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator based in London. "They used to fulfill a practical need for a foot soldier in battle. They were used when fighting the French in the Napoleonic wars. In fact, Napoleon's Imperial Guard wore them, too."

The hats are known as bearskins because &mdash you guessed it &mdash they're made of bear fur. The pelts come from Canadian black bears (Ursus americanus) that are culled each year to control their numbers. That means no bears are killed specifically to make the 18-inch-tall (46 centimeters) helmets, but the idea still makes some people uncomfortable. In fact, since the U.K. left the European Union in 2020, there has been talk of outlawing the fur trade altogether. For now, though, the British Army buys between 50 and 100 of the hats, which cost about $900 each, per year, according to the British high-society magazine, Tatler.

These days, the headpieces add a bit of pomp and circumstance to the British Army's uniform when its soldiers are performing ceremonial duties, such as the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace or the annual parade for the queen's official birthday. But those who wear the bearskins also don regular uniforms in camouflage when the time calls for it, performing other, non-ceremonial roles in the British Army.

"If you look at the queen's guards and think they only have ceremonial duties, then you're making a big mistake," Fitzwilliams told Live Science. "All of them are serving soldiers on rotation from other active military roles."

As for the red tunics, which are worn during the summer months (longer gray coats are worn during the winter), there's a long-standing rumor that the Brits chose scarlet because it disguised bloodstains, which were bad for morale and unsightly. But that's nonsense, Fitzwilliams said. Instead, it all came down to frugality.

"The reason British soldiers traditionally wore red is because it was the cheapest and most readily available dye," Fitzwilliams said. "These days, it seems like a bad color for battle because it would mark you out, but in the smoke and confusion of battle, it also allowed you to distinguish your friends from foes and stopped you being killed by your own side." After all, these uniforms hark back to the days of traditional European warfare, where battling sides showed up on a given field and literally formed lines to attack each other &mdash a far cry from guerrilla tactics.

So, the British queen is guarded by officers who wear the same uniforms as soldiers on active duty did two centuries ago. Anachronistic, maybe, but it's traditions like this that make the British royals famed the world over, Fitzwilliams said. "We have the world's most high-profile functioning monarchy, and the guards play an important role," he said. "They are one of the great tourist features of London."


Why Do Israeli Soldiers Wear "Chef Hats"?

One of the questions we get asked most is “Why do Israeli troops wear those chef hat things on their heads?”. We thought it was time to shed some light on the most distinctive piece of combat headgear since the Spartan helmet.

Contrary to popular belief, the IDF doesn’t have the highest chef-to-grunt ratio nor does Israel have a large Smurf population, the “ Mitznefet ” is about disguising a precision-cut ballistic helmet in the asymmetry of nature.


The Mitznefet breaks up the shape of a helmet and makes it considerably more difficult to spot from a distance. In a natural landscape, an IDF or MICH helmet’s perfectly round dome sticks out like a sore thumb and the less lines an enemy marksman has to attach crosshairs to, the better.

The word Mitznefet actually comes from the name of the headgear that was worn by the Jewish High Priest in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

It’s a piece of kit that is as authentically Israeli as you get and comes from the country that brought us inexplicably hot female weapons instructors, guns that shoot round corners and human backpacks for injured soldiers.

I can tell you that another great function the Mitznefet performs is that it acts as a great sun shade in the scorching Negev Desert heat. It’s like a boonie on steroids but much better as you simply move the bulk of the Mitznefet to whichever side the sun is facing. As it is made of mil-spec mesh it also allows an air flow through it and heat out of it which is why you’ll often see IDF troops wearing them even if they aren’t wearing a helmet underneath.

While the exact origins of the Mitznefet are unknown, they have been in use in the IDF since the early 90’s and units often even make their own in house.

The modern day Mitznefets are made by Agilite and are reversible with a woodland mesh on one side and desert on the other. The reversible mesh is unheard of outside Israel as it requires a special printing process developed by the Israeli kings of camouflage, Fibrotex .

The Mitznefet has not been adopted by non-Israeli forces which I think is a matter of time, especially as Agilite have a non export-restricted Mitznefet in mil-spec Multicam.

The Mitznefet is another example of the IDF using their (Not so easy to spot) heads to create a simple but highly effective piece of gear.


The History of the Chef Uniform

While there are many other colours available, white is still very often a colour of choice of many chefs. Why do chefs wear white? Let’s take a look back at history.

The chef’s jacket that we know today became common in the late 19th century. The jacket was wide-flapped and double-layered.

The idea was that if the jacket became soiled, all that a chef had to do is to reverse it and he has a clean jacket again, provided that he has not reversed it before. That means that a chef can use a jacket for twice as long. It also offers more protection from the heat.

The first one to develop such a uniform for a chef was Marie-Antoine Careme, who was also believed to be the first celebrity chef. He introduced the double-layered jackets, introduced already existing torques and insisted on the chef uniforms to be white.

But Why White?

Obviously, wearing white in the kitchen can be a problem. It shows stains a lot easier and, when cooking, stains can be unavoidable. But the white jackets are completely practical.

  • White can be bleached – Though white would show stains more easily than other colours, it also means that the jacket can be bleached. That cannot be done with jackets of different colours because the bleach would ruin the colour of the jacket. Today, however, you can just rent the kitchen uniforms and have them washed and ironed for you.
  • White means clean – Yes, you cannot hide stains on a white uniform. But that is the whole point! You shouldn’t! It is a way of assuring the customers that the food they eat was prepared in the cleanest and therefore the safest way possible.
  • White, also, does not absorb heat, so it offers some protection from the intense heat of cooking. Let’s not forget the double layer of the jacket that helps this, as well.

So, chefs wear white because it looks neater and because it is a lot more practical. Now, let’s take a closer look at that uniform. What does the chef uniform consist of? It is more than just a jacket and the recognisable hat. There are the chef apron, the neckerchief, pants and even shoes.


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Chef Pants
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Chef Hat
With the back elastic piece, this is an excellent uniform piece for a modern chef.
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The Hat: Toque Blanche

The hat is the most distinctive part of a chef’s attire in the kitchen. The white hat, known as the toque blanche, is what sets a chef apart. These hats have a curious history.

It is said that the hats were adopted from the headgear of the priests of the Orthodox Church. At some point in history, the chefs, just like all other artisans were prosecuted, so they found the refuge in the Orthodox monasteries. The adopted and adjusted the hats worn by the Orthodox priests.

Initially, the hats were grey until they were changed to white by Marie-Antoine Carême, together with the rest of the chef’s outfit.

It was Carême’s idea to make differences in the height of the hats. The experienced chefs got to wear the tallest headgear, while young cooks got ones that were more like caps.

However, the height is not the only status symbol of the chef hat. You need to count the pleats, as well. The more pleats, the more experience the chef has. That number can range from signifying the number of recipes that chef created to the number of ways they can prepare a certain dish.

The Pants: Why Checkered?

We have the hats and the jackets covered, now how about the pants that chefs usually wear?

Pants with black and white checkered patterns or black pants are the traditional outfit of chefs, though that is changing now. The checkered patterns on the pants helped with hiding the stains. That is the simple explanation for the design of the pants and it really was effective when it comes to hiding stains and dirt.

While the pants of the supporting chefs are checkered, the main chef of the kitchen will usually wear plain black pants while working. This is another of the discrete status symbols in the kitchen kingdom.

The Apron and the Side Towels

Though not really part of the chef’s attire, the apron and the side towels are things that chefs always use in the kitchen. Chefs use aprons that are folded on top and then are tied at the front. It should cover the knees and it gives added protection.

The side towel is usually looped to the strings of the apron and it is allowed to hang by the side of the thigh of a chef. The side towels are not meant for drying hands or for wiping surfaces. They are meant for holding on to pots and pans. The towel should not even get wet.

In other words, keep your side towel away from your the kitchen surfaces and only use them to handle hot dishes. If you need to wipe surfaces in your kitchen, make sure you use colour coded food and glass wipes. Grab a tea-towel to wipe your hands if you must, but keep them off your apron and your side towel.


Food & Glass Wipes
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Aprons
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Neckerchief or Necktie

The tour de cou better known as the necktie or neckerchief that is worn by the chef is also an important feature of their outfit. These days, it is just worn mostly for aesthetic purposes and to make a chef’s outfit look better, but like the rest of the of the chef’s uniform it has a more practical origin.

The tour de cou was originally meant to mop up the sweat on the neck and the brow of the chef as he was going about with his duties. These days, the kitchens have better ventilation so chefs don’t really end up sweating that much that they would need something around their neck to soak it all up.

Here is a handy tutorial about how to tie this neckerchief.

The Shoes

Often overlooked as part of the chef’s gear are the shoes. As in any busy work setting where there are a lot of physical activities going on, the kitchen can be a place of accidents. There are a lot of things there that can fall, like knives, pots and pans.

Hot oil, water and food could get accidentally poured and because of that, a chef should wear shoes that can provide the right kind of protection.

A chef’s shoes should provide protection from falling objects and from slipping. That is why some chefs wear steel toed shoes to offer some sort of protection. They should also be non-slip because the kitchen floor can sometimes be slippery and dangerous because of material that gets poured on it.

In the old days, the shoes were the best protection from slipping and tripping in the kitchen. Today, you have different floor mats that can make the kitchen a safer place.


Wet Area Mats
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Anti-Fatigue Mats
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Firstly, they can absorb the water and prevent the floor from being slippery. Secondly, they can provide a softer surface for the kitchen staff that usually spends hours standing. That prolonged standing can be taxing for their health. So, good shoes and good mats should work together.


Israeli Soldiers, Fashion Victims

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered Israeli troops to push deeper into Lebanon on Friday, as the U.N. Security Council continued to debate a possible cease-fire. Photos of Israeli soldiers taken throughout the war show them wearing big, floppy hats that look like shower caps. (Here’s one example.) What’s the deal?

They’re for camouflage. The hat—called a mitznefet in Hebrew—attaches to a regular combat helmet and obscures its rigid, round shape. As the mitznefet flops about, it takes on an irregular form that’s harder to recognize in a shadow or out of the corner of your eye. The hat also protects against the sun and the moon, which might reflect off the surface of the helmet. A standard mitznefet consists of reversible mesh fabric, with a greenish woodland camouflage print on one side and a brown desert print on the other. (You can buy one online for a few bucks.)

Helmet covers are not a new idea. A U.S. Army field manual produced during World War II instructed a soldier to watch out for his helmet: “Its curved, familiar shape can be identified by the enemy. One of your first steps in preparing for the job of staying alive to fight is to disrupt both the form of your helmet and the strong, straight-lined shadow it casts.” The manual goes on to suggest slipping a net or a rubber band over the headgear and then stuffing branches and leaves around the edges.

Modern American troops typically don’t wear anything like the mitznefet, but they’re still told to “cam up” their headgear with bits of foliage. Some soldiers attach strips from a cut-up battle dress uniform to their helmets, which turns a standard-issue K-pot into a camouflaged “rag top.”

Bonus Explainer: What does the word mitznefet mean? One common translation is “clown hat,” but the term has some more dignified connotations. The biblical Book of Exodus uses mitznefet to describe the ancient headgear of the Jewish high priests. As such, the word has been translated as “mitre” or “headdress.” But some biblical scholars think mitznefet comes from the root “to wrap,” and say that a better translation would be “turban.”

Got a question about today’s news? Ask the Explainer.

Explainer thanks Avishai Shafrir, a former paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces.


This Russian attack helo was supposed to be the deadliest in the USSR

Posted On September 12, 2019 02:52:40

Sharks have a reputation for being fearsome, man-eating killers — you can thank 1975’s Jaws for that. The shark, in nature, claims dominion over the seas, but its ferocious countenance has been painted on planes since the American Volunteer Group (also known as the “Flying Tigers”) put it on noses of their P-40s.

Russia has its own aeronautical shark, and it’s one of two attack helicopters the Soviet Union was developing in the 1980s to supplement — if not actually replace — the famous Mi-24 Hind. That helicopter is the Kamov Ka-50 Hokum, a single-purpose gunship.

The Kamov Ka-50 Hokum is a very unique helicopter. Like the vast majority of other Kamov designs, it uses contra-rotating main rotors. Most of Kamov’s helicopters have been used by the Soviet Navy — and were passed on to the Russian Navy once the USSR collapsed. Mil helicopters, like the Mi-24 Hind and the Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip, have historically gone to the Soviet Army (and, afterward, the Russian Army).

Kamov’s primary customer was the Soviet — and later the Russian — Navy. They’ve delivered a high-performance attack helicopter.

(Photo by Dimitri Pichugin)

While in development, the Hokum was competing with the Mi-28 Havoc. In fact, the Russian Army first selected the Hokum, but later settled on the Havoc. The end of the Cold War delayed the programs, but now both helicopters are being procured.

This three-view graphic shows off some of the Hokum’s unique features: The main rotors and the lack of a tail rotor, for instance.

The Hokum has a number of other unique features. It is a single-seat helicopter, while most other attack helicopters require a crew of two. It has an ejection seat for the pilot, which is commonly found on fixed-wing vessels, but not on rotary-wing aircraft.

A look at some of the weapons the Ka-50 can pack. Not easily seen: the same 30mm cannon on the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle is mounted on this helicopter.

The Hokum has a top speed of 193 miles per hour and a maximum unrefueled range of 393 miles. It can carry AT-16 missiles, rocket pods, gun pods, and even bombs, and it packs the same 30mm cannon as the BMP-2 does.

Currently, Russia has 32 of these lethal helicopters in service. Learn more about this airborne “Black Shark” in the video below!

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MIGHTY CULTURE

What's the History Behind English Christmas Crackers and the Paper Crowns in Them?

No matter how silly you look, you must wear the crown!

Even though we observe the same holiday, there are several differences between the way people in the the U.S. and the U.K. celebrate Christmas. While Americans usually cook up a Christmas ham for Christmas dinner, British holiday feasts usually have a turkey as the main course. Our friends across the pond also observe the day after Christmas, Boxing Day, and get the day off of work. And of course there are contrasts in Christmas terms, such as Brits wishing each other a &ldquoHappy Christmas&rdquo and having &ldquoFather Christmas&rdquo deliver presents under their trees.

However, one of the most notable differences in celebrations is the inclusion of Christmas crackers during dinner in England. You might be familiar with scenes in Christmas movies where characters wear paper crowns at Christmas dinner, like in Bridget Jones&rsquos Diary or even Harry Potter (although these are technically wizard crackers). These crowns are found in the festively designed Christmas crackers that decorate English holiday tables. If you&rsquove ever wondered about the history behind these Christmas crackers and the paper crowns inside them, we've got all the answers you're looking for.

What goes in a Christmas cracker?

Traditionally, Christmas crackers contain a small toy, a corny joke or riddle, and a paper crown. While these are often cheap items meant for fun, you can also get your hands on some luxury Christmas crackers. These sometimes expensive crackers can contain anything from perfume to whiskey, but often still contain the classic hat and joke. The jokes are a particularly important part as they absolutely must be ridiculous. Think dad jokes and groan-worthy Christmas puns.

How does a Christmas cracker work?

While you may have first thought of the crackers you eat, Christmas crackers actually got their name because of the sound they make when they&rsquore pulled open. According to BBC America&rsquos Fraser McAlpine, Christmas crackers are basically a cardboard tube that has a strip running along it with a tiny explosive charge. You and the person sitting next to you pull each end of the cracker until it pops open, making a small crack sound (hence the name). Whoever is holding the side still attached to the inner chamber gets all the goodies inside, according to Mashable.

Who invented Christmas crackers?

The Christmas cracker goes back to the Victorian era, when candy maker Tom Smith wanted to sell beautifully wrapped candies just like the French, according to the University of Leicester. He then developed the first version of Christmas crackers in the 1840s which he filled to the brim with colorful candies that spilled out when the cracker was opened.


The Epicurious Blog

I was recently watching old episodes of "Two Fat Ladies" on the Cooking Channel and I couldn&apost help but notice that neither lady bothered to remove rings or watches before cooking. In one episode, Jennifer Paterson (the lady with the glasses) was making meatloaf. She mixed up the ground meat, eggs, and other ingredients using her hands but didn&apost remove her rings at all. I couldn&apost help but cringe. I&aposve tried wearing my rings while baking and cooking and to me, my hands constantly felt greasy no matter how often I would wash my hands throughout the process. And trying to wipe batter off my hands when I had the rings on was just a mess. Wearing jewelry while cooking can&apost be all too sanitary, either. Just think of all those crevices in rings, bracelets, and watches. Yes, there is a slight fear that a ring will slip off and go down the drain but ultimately, the real𠅊nd very practical reason—that I take off my rings is that I feel like they weigh me down and make me less nimble when I&aposm prepping my food.

So which camp are you in? While cooking, are the rings, watches, and other jewelry on or off?

We have learned to sneeze in our arm instead of our hands. We have learned to put the toilet seat down before flushing. Don&apost you think it&aposs about time we learn that germs grow and collect under our rings? They should be removed before cooking for more reasons than loosing the rings or the stones. I get disgusted when I watch the cooking shows and they are wearing a fist full of rings! Cook with clean hands, fingernails and TAKE THE RINGS off :)

. basic dinner cooking - jewellery on. Any baking or kneading - all jewellery off. Common sense prevails.

I take my ring off when working with dough or raw meat - I, too, used to panic over not being able to find it, then Little Sister gave me a china box (with guardian lizard on top - I&aposm not really into reptiles, but it&aposs kinda cute) which I now keep on the kitchen windowsill, specifically for my ring - it&aposs antique, carved, and has a diamond. For a plain band, I might only take it off for raw meat - but _Definitely_ bare hands for raw meat, and I keep a nail brush by the kitchen sink for cleaning up. Even when I wore a watch to work, I took it off when I got home, because I was "off the clock." I don&apost wear bracelets much, so putting them away before I cook was never an issue - they&aposre in my way!

i&aposm also a culinary student, and we are NOT allowed to wear rings, watches, bracelets, earrings that dangle, excessive jewelry. pretty much anything that could fall out, get caught, or comes in contact with the food. for people who say that their bracelets "don&apost get dirty". i dont really know how that&aposs possible- when i cook, i get batter, splashes, etc. all over the bottoms of my arms (one reason why they tell you to wash your forearms, as well). also, what about all the dirt that gets on your jewelry when you do other things? there&aposs no way that you can be SURE that every little dirt spec is out of it. so i don&apost wear anything, and i encourage everyone i know not to.

i also just watched an episode of two fat ladies on the cooking channel, but it wasn&apost the jewelry as much as it was the long, painted nails mixing dough that bugged me. i think it goes back to my days of waiting tables in college. management always frowned upon painted nails for both kitchen staff and servers, as nail polish can easily chip off and get into the food. that said, those ladies can cook and i wouldn&apost turn down a chance to try anything they had made in spite of the fingernails and jewelry. :)

I&aposm a culinary student and we were told it was against health code policy to cook with certain rings and watches on. If the ring has stones in the band it cannot be worn. This is in case a stone were to fall out and contaminate the product. Also we were told watches hold lots of dirt particles in them. As such, I do not cook in jewelry really never have.

I always cringe when I see cooks mixing things with their hands and their rings are on. At least the rings that are anything more than one smooth band.

I don&apost wear any rings any more. Used to wear a 24 kt gold wedding band, but feel better ringless. However, I do wear an 18 kt gold bracelet which I never take off. It never gets food in it or on it so it can&apost be unsanitary. I would never wear any rings when cooking, baking or otherwise.

When I first got married, I thought I would wear my wedding band &aposround the clock. After three days, the flesh under the (somewhat wide but plain) band was fish-belly white (the rest of me is a darkish olive, so this was very startling) and starting to crack. Yuck. Now I remove my ring(s) whenever my hands will be wet, including when I am cooking.

It was funny to come across this post right now. I just finish preping dinner and felt uncomfortable the entire time I was cooking without realizing why. Now I realize I forgot to take off my bracelets and it was the bracelets that were bothering me. I really can&apost cook comfortably wearing them.
That said, I must also admit I only take off my rings when I am mixing things with my hands.

So interesting to see which epi-logs garner comments and which languish! I too have a ring/jewelry holder on the window sill above kitchen sink. Sanitary issues are important, but not noticing a missing stone- Yikes!

I would never wear jewelry when cooking. My mother lost her diamond from her engagement ring twice while either doing dishes or the laundry. After the second time, she removed her rings even when cooking. I think it is just a good idea.

I absolutely agree--it&aposs totally unsanitary to wear jewelry while cooking, especially with raw meat! I, too, take off my ring when I get home from work. I have a cute little ring holder shaped like a scotty dog that sits on my counter so I always know where my ring is!

BraveTart is right about bread dough and other floury baking items. I wear my gold band and a bracelet style watch, and I rarely take them off. But, I do push the watch up to my elbow area and it stays put, and my ring and my finger are washed well enough that it isn&apost a problem.

I never remove my wedding band, ever.

I only removed it twice - when each of my children was born - and then I immediately put it back on when I got home. It has no weird crevices, trendy stones, or gigantic diamonds. It is just a gold band which my grandmother wore, always. On the inside our wedding date was added to hers..

. an extra swipe with soap or dish washing liquid removes any greasy remnants from meatloaf or whatnot and drying my hands buffs it to a shine!

Cooking with jewelry on is one thing, baking another. With dough and flour to get junked up in the settings of a diamond ring, it&aposs just more trouble than it&aposs worth. I spend 15 minutes scrubbing my ring with a toothbrush to get all the stuff out-- taking it off just makes sense.

My engagement ring has a princess setting and meat getting into those crevices is definitely something I do not want. I can&apost stand the feeling of dough, meat, dirt under my nails. I&aposm constantly washing my hands when I cook/bake.

I wear a simple gold band, which I don&apost take off. It would take the jaws of life to get it around my knuckles some days. I am careful to clean my hands and under the ring very well.

I used to take my ring on and off around the house, inducing panicky searches when I forgot to put it back on. I finally gave up, and now when I get home after work and change into my comfy clothes I also remove all my jewelry. I keep my ring and watch (the two things I wear every day) on a tray on my dresser, and earrings, bracelets, etc. go in a jewelry box. If they aren&apost on, I know exactly where they are!

Sara Moulton used to do that too when I would watch her show and I always thought it was disgusting. I take off the diamond part of my wedding ring plus all other jewelry from the elbows down. My band is a very small smooth platinum band that doesn’t trap any food so I leave it on.

Definitely remove all jewelry, including wedding rings. Though that also partially due to the fact that I am susceptible to soap irritating the skin under the rings and it getting all red and itchy. So it&aposs more preventive medicine than anything!

My wedding band has lots of nooks and crannies so I take it off when I make pie dough, meatballs, etc. I even have to take it off when I put lotion on my hands! I gave up on wearing a watch years ago when I started working in restaurants and now I don&apost even own any watches. I think that as long as you are sure to clean your rings often and you soap them up when you wash your hands, wearing rings while doing regular kitchen tasks should be fine.

I&aposve stopped wearing my wedding band (it&aposs fancy with tiny diamonds and sapphires) because it trapped moisture and was very unsanitary. I cook a lot and wash my hands constantly (my kids say I have ODC). Initially I would take it off but forget to put it back on and have a moment of panic when I realized I didn&apost have it on. I think a simple gold band would be different, my husband cooks with his no problem.

I don&apost take off my wedding ring for anything- stuffing a bird, baking, etc. I do move it around when I wash my hands, though. It&aposs a smoothe, gold band- perhaps it&aposd be different if it had nooks and crannies.


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