The asparagus developed a reputation as a “finger food” partly because of its finger-like appearance. But unless served steam-cooked and piled onto a salad plate with nothing else but a dipping-sauce, what would provoke a person in this day and age to abandon knife and fork in favor of picking up a spear with his fingers? Besides, there is something gastronomically anti-climactic about a limp asparagus spear being conveyed to the mouth by the fingers only to have its head severed from its shaft! Ouch! Furthermore, that image does little for the elegant vegetable’s reputation as an aphrodisiac. So while it is permissible to eat asparagus with the fingers, the preferred method is to use the knife and fork to cut the spears into bite-size pieces, conveying what is to be eaten with the fork. Most cooks will be sure to cut off any hard, fibrous portions of the spears before serving; but in the event a fibrous portion is taken into the mouth, it should be released from the mouth onto the fork after being chewed sufficiently clean, then deposited to the upper left side of the plate.