Thursday, November 22, 2018

Dining Etiquette~Soup to Nuts

Cake is broken into pieces, the size of a mouthful, and then eaten with fingers or fork.
Apples should be pared, cut into small pieces, and eaten with finders or forks.

Artichokes are eaten with the fingers, taking off leaf by leaf and dipping into the sauce. The solid portion is broken up and eaten with a fork.

Asparagus stalks may be taken between the finger and the thumb, if they are not too long, or the green end may be cut off and eaten with a fork, scraping off with the knife what is desired from the remaining part.

Banana skin should be cut off with a knife, peeling from the top down, while holding in the hand. Small pieces should be cut or broken off, and taken in the fingers, or they may be cut up and eaten with a fork.

Bread should be broken into small pieces, buttered, and transferred with the fingers to the mouth. The bread should be placed on the small plate provided for the purpose.

Cake is broken into pieces, the size of a mouthful, and then eaten with fingers or fork.

Celery is eaten with the fingers.

Cheese is first cut into small bits, then placed on pieces of bread or cracker, and lifted by the fingers to the mouth.

Corn on the cob is eaten with the fingers of one hand. A good plan is to cut off the kernels and eat them with the aid of a fork.

Crackers should be broken into small pieces and eaten with the fingers.

Eggs are usually broken into a glass and eaten with a spoon.

Finger-Bowl: The fingers should be dipped in the water and gently rubbed together, and dried on the napkins.

Fish should be eaten with a fork held in the right hand and a piece of bread held in the left hand. The bones should be removed from the mouth with the aid of a fork or with the fingers. If by the latter, great delicacy should be used.

Fruit (all raw fruit), except melons, berries, and grapefruit, are eaten with the fingers. Canned fruits are eaten with a spoon.

Grapes should be eaten one by one, and the pits allowed to fall noiselessly into the half−closed hand and then transferred to the plate.

Knfe and Fork: The knife is always held in the right hand, and is only used for cutting the food. The fork is used not only in eating fish, meat, vegetables, and made dishes, but also ices, frozen puddings, melons, salads, oysters, clams, lobsters, and terrapin. The knife should never be used to carry food to the mouth.

Lettuce leaves should not be cut, but folded up with a fork, and then lifted to the mouth. In the event of these being too large for this treatment, they should be broken into suitable pieces with the fork.

Olives are eaten with the fingers.


Oranges served in divided sections, sweetened, and the seeds removed, should be eaten with the fork. If served whole, cut into suitable portions. Remove seed and skin.

Peaches should be quartered and the quarters peeled, then taken up by the fingers and eaten.

Peas are eaten with a fork.

Plums should be eaten one by one, and the pits allowed to fall noiselessly into the half−closed hand and then transferred to the plate.

Salt is best taken up with the tip of the knife.

Salted Nuts are eaten with the fingers.

Seeds should be removed from the mouth with the aid of a fork, or dropped into the half−closed hand.

Soup should be taken from the side of the spoon without noise and without the plate being tipped. Men with mustaches are privileged in this respect, and may take the soup from the end of the spoon.

Spoons: The spoon should never be in the cup while drinking, but should be left in the saucer. It is used in eating grapefruit, fruit salads, small and large fruit (when served with cream), puddings, jellies, porridges, preserves, and boiled eggs.

Table Etiquette: It is correct to take a little of all that is offered, though one may not care for it. Bend slightly over the plate when carrying the food to the mouth, resuming upright position afterward.

When drinking from a cup or glass, raise it gracefully to the mouth and sip the contents. Do not empty the vessel at one draught.

Guests should not amuse themselves by handling knife or fork, crumbling bread, or leaning their arms on the table. They should sit back in their chairs and assume an easy position.

A guest at a dinner should not pass a plate or any article to another guest, or serve the viands, unless asked to do so by the hostess.

Upon leaving the table, push the chair back far enough to be out of the way of others.

Accidents, or anything that may be amiss at the table, should be unobserved by a guest unless he is the cause of it. In that event some pleasant remark as to his awkwardness should be made and no more. The waiter should attend to the matter at once. If a fork or a spoon is dropped it should not be picked up by the guest, but another used, or ask the waiter to provide one.

Conversation: Aim at bright and general conversation, avoiding all personalities and any subject that all cannot join in. This is largely determined by the character of the company. The guests should accommodate themselves to their surroundings.

Toothpicks: Toothpicks should not be used in public. If necessity requires it, raise the napkin over the mouth, with the hand behind it, using the toothpick as quickly as possible.

Wine: A guest not caring for wine should turn down his glass and leave it in that position, or a mere sign of dissent when it is offered is sufficient.

From The Book of Good Manners, W.C. Green

Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J. Graber is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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