|"They declared with some warmth to the cook, that the foreigners did not know how to eat. I apologized as well as I could, and endeavored thereafter to eat according to gaucho etiquette."|
Table Manners in Argentina
"We encamped near a swamp," says a gentleman, describing a meal he had with some cart drivers in South America, "and supped on sliced pumpkin boiled with bites of meat and seasoned with salt. The meal was served in genuine pampas fashion. One iron spoon and two cow's horns split in halves were passed around the group, the members of which squatted upon their haunches and freely helped themselves from the kettle.
Even in this most uncivilized form of satisfying hunger there is a peculiar etiquette which the most lowly person invariably observes. Each member of the company in turn dips his spoon, or horn, into the center of the stew and draws it in a direct line toward him, never allowing it to deviate to the right or left. By observing this rule, each person eats without interfering with his neighbor.
Being ignorant of this custom, I dipped my horn into the mess at random and fished about for some of the nice bits. My companions regarded this horrid breach of politeness with scowls of impatience. They declared with some warmth to the cook, that the foreigners did not know how to eat. I apologized as well as I could, and endeavored thereafter to eat according to gaucho etiquette." —New York World, 1894
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