I have found on numerous websites the quote "Eating with knives and forks is like making love through an interpreter" attributed to a Shah of Iran.

Is this a genuine quote?

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    You need a notable source, not just "found on numerous websites". We don't know what Shah you're talking about or if the quote is widely believed to be true. Holding back the close vote for now but you need to find a notable source. – DenisS Nov 29 '18 at 16:45
  • well, the Telegraph has a cookbook author making that attribution. telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/3312018/The-spice-is-right.html and India Today attributes it to Nehru: indiatoday.in/fyi/story/eat-hands-indians-357398-2016-12-14 – Ben Barden Nov 29 '18 at 17:48
  • ...and we have Walter Crocker (the Australian high commissioner to India), who wrote a biography on Nehru, stating that he had heard Nehru attribute it to the Shah. books.google.com/… – Ben Barden Nov 29 '18 at 17:51
  • So... it basically comes down to whether you believe Crocker (who wrote is book in 1966) and Nehru. – Ben Barden Nov 29 '18 at 17:54
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    It's now been 24 hours and no substantial changes have been made. Voting to close. – DenisS Nov 30 '18 at 16:35

The quote comes from a 1966 biography of Nehru (the first Prime Minister of India), written by Walter Crocker (who knew him personally, due to being the Australian High Commissioner to India). (Quote provided here.)

Once I heard him ask a foreign visitor, who was a little dashed by the indian practice of eating with one's fingers, whether he knew what the Shah of Persia had said: the Shah found eating with a fork like making love through an interpreter. (Nehru himself always ate with a knife and fork.)

The quote appears to have been variously attributed to Nehru himself and the nonspecific Shah in a variety of places since then. Whether you trust Walter Crocker's honesty in a book and/or Nehru's honesty when talking with a culture-shocked foreign visitor is up to you.

Nehru was Prime Minister of India from 1947-1964. If he was discussing "the Shah of Persia" at the time, he'd have been referring to his contemporary Mohammad Reza Shah, who held the position from 1941-1979.

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