Yeah, I only became aware of the difference across continents on some occassion when I wasn't bothering to switch hands (I recall being in the dining hall in college, probably trying to eat quickly between classes), when someone sitting with me asked if I was European; when I asked why they thought that, they explained about the fork thing.gerben said:Yes, that is apparently the difference. I was somewhat amazed when I read the responses in this thread approving of switching knife and fork while eating. I have seen people do this, and I guess now that they were probably mostly Americans. I always thought that they did that because of a lack of manual dexterity, just like little children who also try to refuse to use their left hand as much as possible.
It's not lemon soup? Oh dear.Moonbear said:I do know not to drink out of the finger bowl though, even if it's flavored with lemon and there's a spoon nearby.
Sometimes it seems like theres rules and laws for everything. Even something as simple as eating.gerben said:There are two ways to use a knife and fork to cut and eat your food. They are the American style and the European or Continental style. Either style is considered appropriate. In the American style, one cuts the food by holding the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left hand with the fork tines piercing the food to secure it on the plate. Cut a few bite-size pieces of food, then lay your knife across the top edge of your plate with the sharp edge of the blade facing in. Change your fork from your left to your right hand to eat, fork tines facing up. (If you are left-handed, keep your fork in your left hand, tines facing up.) The European or Continental style is the same as the American style in that you cut your meat by holding your knife in your right hand while securing your food with your fork in your left hand. The difference is your fork remains in your left hand, tines facing down, and the knife in your right hand. Simply eat the cut pieces of food by picking them up with your fork still in your left hand.
Ferromagnetic fork, paramagnetic foodstuffs.Moonbear said:Okay, I'm really unable to figure this one out. How do you "shovel" with a fork upside down? Wouldn't the fork have to be right side up to be shoveling with it?
I was told that in Japanese culture, you never pour drinks for yourself. You pour for the others at the table, and someone else pours for you. But I could be wrong about that one. If I run into one of my Japanese friends at this conference, I'll ask (I'm not sure if he's here this year though; I haven't seen him yet).TheStatutoryApe said:Conversely if you are dining with Japanese people the lady or waitor/waitress is supposed to pour. I was out with some exchange students once and wasn't sure what to think when the pretty girl sitting next to me demanded, politely ofcourse, to pour my sapporo for me.
In some cultures and situations the youngest is supposed to pour.
I was taught to rest your forearms or wrists on the edge of the table; you can see your hands above the table, but your elbows are off it. Darned uncomfortable if you ask me. If they don't want my elbows on the table or my hands in my lap, they ought to make the table padded!Evo said:In Europe, the practise of keeping hands and elbows off the table doesn't work there. They want to see your hands above table to make sure you are not doing something naughty with them.
Evo said:Seriously, they are royalty. And have a castle, and are related to the Price of Wales and King William the 1st of England.
Does me absolutely no good.
Do you eat your sandwich with knife and fork? That is a basic rule of etiquette too. Would you break up if someone who eats his sandwich with his hands?Evo said:YOU ARE CORRECT!!!! I will break up with men that do not know this basic rule of dining etiquette. Also, the fork should not be upside down. I am horrified at how many people don't know how to eat.
Australians, too.Chi Meson said:Stay away from Brits. THis left-handed, upside-down fork methodology is standard practice there; quite proper, I might add. Another thing I had to unlearn from my own mum.
Well, my mom tried her best. I was just too recalcitrant.Evo said:It is all passed down through our moms, isn't it? I learned from my mom, . . .
OK, I can handle this.Evo said:No silverware, a smart move! I can eat potato salad with my fingers if need be. Licking the plate is also allowed.
Your style and elegance shows.Evo said:Actually my mother is French. Very refined.
Probably in my case. Miss Manners would probably faint in my presence.Evo said:Perhaps aristocratic table manners are too much to expect? I believe Miss Manners suggested these as correct.
I could make a barbarian look civilized.gravenworld said:They eat like barbarians.
See, holding it in the direction that it could be used as a spoon seems like it's right side up to me. It always appears odd to me for someone to hold the fork the other way around, the way stuff would fall off easily if you didn't manage to fully stab it (I'm still trying to figure out how to eat crisp bacon with a fork...it's much easier to just grab a slice with your fingers, but when you're at a breakfast meeting, better etiquette seems required...scooping seems the only possible way).Astronuc said:Actually, this is my problem - "Assuming you are right handed after you cut a peice of meat, put the knife down and out of your right hand and switch the fork to your right hand and then eat. Too many times people just cut and eat with the fork still in their left hand. " This is traditional British and Australian. However, I did learn to switch fork to right hand, but turn it upside down and use like a spoon - but delicately.
This is something my nan told me, the reason goes , if a car/ carrage! goes past and happens to go through a puddle the man would get soaked protecting the womans dress! i think it goes back to the victorian era when roads were full of potholes. But your Itallian guys reason is probably a little more upto date!Evo said:Actually, in the city, a man should walk on the inside. I learned the reason when I lived in Chicago and dated a very "streetwise" Italian. We were walkng on Rush Street and he insisted on walking on the inside, between me and the buildings. He explained that muggers and purse snatchers hid in the doorways and would grab at women, he wanted to put himself between me and possible harm. I had never even given any thought to it before then.
Okay, I was ALWAYS taught that 5 and 11 were the proper positioning. Yet on this thread I've heard everything BUT those. Now, I'm sure it really doesn't matter if you hit 4 or 5 but the inconsistancy annoys me.wolram said:The knife and fork should be placed as if they are pointing to the numbers 10 and 4 on a clock face.
Heh, sorry for prying. It just seems like rules such as your "Fork Test" are a sure fire way to end up as a lonely cat lady. I have a test too, it's called the "Nitpicking About Inconsequential Details That Don't Mean A Hill Of Beans In Life Test". If a lady fails that one, then she gets kicked to the curb.Evo said:My most recent. Yes, he has. Even the Italian Stallion from Chicago that was from a working class family passed. Only one guy I went out on a date with failed, and someone set me up with him. I seem to be able to pick winners from a distance.
Watch the fork of the Prince of Wales: left-hand, tines down (unless you actually DID mean the "price of wales"...dunno 'bout him).Evo said:Seriously, they are royalty. And have a castle, and are related to the Price of Wales and King William the 1st of England.
Does me absolutely no good.
Evo said:Actually my mother is French. Very refined. My Aunt and Uncle are a Count and Countess and own a very beautiful well known 14th century castle in France. I was raised with Aristrocratic manners. gravenworld is absolutely correct in what he wrote. I've known that all my life.
Perhaps aristocratic table manners are too much to expect? I believe Miss Manners suggested these as correct.
I can let you off for not placing your knife and fork correctly, as long as you remeber not to scrunch up your napkin and place it to the right of your plate.Smurf said:Okay, I was ALWAYS taught that 5 and 11 were the proper positioning. Yet on this thread I've heard everything BUT those. Now, I'm sure it really doesn't matter if you hit 4 or 5 but the inconsistancy annoys me.