Petrus Alphonsi's rules for diners explained a necessity of eating only from one's own bowl, taking small bites, wiping the mouth before drinking, and emptying the mouth before speaking. – "Alfonsi's fame rests mainly on 'thirty-three tales' composed in Latin, at the beginning of the 12th century. This work is a collection of oriental tales of 'moralizing character' or manners." – Mary Ellen Snodgrass
Storyteller and moralist Petrus Alphonsi's Disciplina Clericalis, or Training for a Gentleman, (ca 1100 CE) written in the form of a dialogue between father and son, explained the rudiments of offering guests water for washing hands. Rules for diners explained a necessity of eating only from one's own bowl, taking small bites, wiping the mouth before drinking, and emptying the mouth before speaking.
Similar guidebooks reminded the polite guest never to dredge food in the salt cellar. Correct salting required lifting grains of salt by means of a clean knife blade or extracting a pinch a time with clean fingers. An Italian guide, The Treatise on Courtesy, (ca 1200 CE), of Tomasino di Circlaria (or Thomasin von Zerklaere), rooted its advice in musings on gentility and correct behavior a table. The sensible precepts set forth in and other early European books on manners has changed little up to the present time. – Encyclopedia of Kitchen History
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