Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Fork vs Fingers Etiquette

Dining shouldn’t be turned into a guessing game. When does one use fingers and when did one use forks or spoons? Use these rules listed below.

Forks and Fingers are Not Used Interchangeably  

Peter’s niece was just beginning to go out to dinner parties. She came to Aunt Nancy one day and hemmed and hawed until Nancy knew she had something on her mind. She tentatively opened a number of subjects but had so little response that she knew something else was bothering the girl. Just then Joan came in for her supper and Aunt Nancy talked to her about the way she was holding her spoon. “I wish some one had told me things when I was young. Aunt Nancy. Then I would not be puzzled now. I never know whether I am eating foods in the right way or not.” And with this opening Nancy had quite a chance to talk on table etiquette.

Her special problems seemed to be fork and finger foods. When did one use fingers and when did one use forks or spoons? Nancy gave these rules: 
  • Pickles, olives, nuts, candies, breads, rolls, radishes, celery, cookies, corn on the cob, small plain cakes, globe artichokes are all finger foods.
  • A spoon is used for stewed or, creamed vegetables, berries, fruit cocktails, cantaloupe, soft puddings and ice cream unless special fork is provided. 
  • Meat, vegetables, salads, and watermelon call for use of fork. So does a filled or heavily iced cake. 
  • Melon balls, oysters clams use small special fork. 
  • The ice (aspic) served with a meat course is eaten with fork unless spoon is provided.  – San Pedro Pilot, 1929

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

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