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I think chopsticks are dumb.
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Dane Cook's Final Horcrux
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Soup spoons are round, often almost circular, because you sip from the side of them - they're not supposed to fit into the mouth at all.

Dessert spoons are sort of leaf or teardrop shaped, but curved not pointy.

Teaspoons are for children to eat icecream with, not for grownups Big Grin

quote:
Originally posted by cloverheart:
quote:
Originally posted by Ceridwen:
I have no information to back this up, but I'd say it *is* more practical and looks more elegant if you don't constantly transfer the fork back and forth between your left and right hand. And what do you do with your free left when you're eating with your right? Do you let it slip, rather suggestively, under the table? *le gasp*


Is this a question for the weird Americans who do the transfer thing or do you also transfer? I can't tell who does what any more!

I'm told in the UK the polite thing is to hide the hand under the table. I don't know if that's true, but it's what I do, I think because in the school's dining room where we ate there was very little space for lazy arms lying around. The normal thing in Spain is to lay your forearm on the table, elbow off of course, and just rest it there naturally.


I don't think putting one hand under the table is a thing - in any case you should be holding your knife with that hand. When eating dessert or soup, I suppose under the table is the best place for them...



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Actually as I sit down now to eat my soup I realise that Ikea's soups are weird too, rounder. Compromise?

Behold, in order: soup spoon, dessert spoon, coffee spoon.

Chinese spoons make sense though. British spoons don't, they're too big for my mouth!


 
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Dane Cook's Final Horcrux
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quote:
British spoons don't, they're too big for my mouth!


that's because you're not supposed to put it all in there! That's why they're pointy, because you take food on the end, not filling the whole thing.



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I think I never want to eat a meal with you people because I'd be far too embarrassed!

I'm afraid I'm one of those weirdy American heathens who just cuts everything up and then eats it. Apparently that's wrong?

Please note that I almost never eat out and don't go to fancy places. I have no idea how to eat a meal where there's more than one fork. And I will likely go out of my way to never encounter such a situation.


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Oh God no, no hands under tables! It's rude where I come from, the historical reason being that you might be hiding a weapon under there. Also, elbows off tabletops.

Also, I hear in Britain you sip soups off the broad side of the spoon? Is that true?


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quote:
Originally posted by Maeve:
I think I never want to eat a meal with you people because I'd be far too embarrassed!

I'm afraid I'm one of those weirdy American heathens who just cuts everything up and then eats it. Apparently that's wrong?

Please note that I almost never eat out and don't go to fancy places. I have no idea how to eat a meal where there's more than one fork. And I will likely go out of my way to never encounter such a situation.

Oh no, Maeve, don't worry - I, at least, would never be that judgemental in person! It's not an "Oh my, what uncivilised behaviour!" thing to me, more an exotic curiosity that makes me wonder how and why it came about. Smile
And I've never eaten a meal that required more than one fork myself. If you do find yourself in that situation, however, I hear you're just supposed to start with the one on the outside and work your way in towards the plate. The very few times I've been to restaurants that had a larger array of cutlery on the table, most of it was removed after everyone ordered. It's just there so the waiters don't have to bring everyone seperate utensils, they can just take away what's not needed.
 
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Vampiric Scottie-bat trainer

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quote:
Originally posted by His Noodle Girl:
Also, elbows off tabletops.

Which is apparently only a qualified taboo - you are allowed to rest your elbow on the table if you're holding a drink and conversing at the same time, for example. You just shouldn't stoop and shovel food in your mouth with your elbow on the table (cf. http://www.emilypost.com/every...op-ten-table-manners)
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Maeve:
I'm afraid I'm one of those weirdy American heathens who just cuts everything up and then eats it. Apparently that's wrong?


But the thing is, I think your way is OK in America. That's the difference between European and American utensil etiquette.

And I come from a culture where just a few generations ago we were using self made wooden spoons for everything. Except for stabbing each other to death in a drunken rage.

quote:
I have no idea how to eat a meal where there's more than one fork. And I will likely go out of my way to never encounter such a situation.


My grandmother was a nouveau riche snob and tortured us as kids with overly posh dinners requiring rows and rows of different utensils. I never bothered to learn what was meant for what (although I did recently surprise myself by actually noticing when I was given a fish knife for butter in a nice restaurant); the main thing you need to know is that they're laid on the table simply in the order you're supposed to use them, starting from the outside. And in my experience, using the wrong one is only a big deal for grandma people who try too hard anyway, nobody else gives a toss.


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quote:
Originally posted by Domitella:
Soup spoons are round, often almost circular, because you sip from the side of them - they're not supposed to fit into the mouth at all.


I've always been able to get soup spoons in my mouth, but then I have a large mouth
 
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i was always under the impression that you are allowed to put one elbow on the table if you've crossed the equator, and the other if you've crossed the international date line. :P my grandpa could therefore have put almost ANYTHING on the table and got away with it. although granny might have commented rather acidly if he'd used his pate knife in the butter....


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I think if you are upper class, then although you may have seven forks, six knives, and three different shaped spoons at your place setting, and you may have been taught as a child how to use them all, in the right order, as an adult you may do however you wish, eat your peas with your knife, whatever, because: upper class.

Only the middle classes worry about such things!

Also:
quote:
Originally posted by His Noodle Girl:
That reminds me of that scene in the Japanese movie Zombies vs Strippers where the zombies are sitting crosslegged on tatami mats, picking the organs out of a naked woman's body with choPsticks.

This is possibly the only classy instance of nyotaimori that has ever, ever existed.


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quote:
Originally posted by His Noodle Girl:
Oh God no, no hands under tables! It's rude where I come from, the historical reason being that you might be hiding a weapon under there. Also, elbows off tabletops.

Also, I hear in Britain you sip soups off the broad side of the spoon? Is that true?

I was taught first that unused hands should be on laps, then by someone else that unused hands should be visible, not because of possible concealed weaponry, but because you might be fiddling with yourself, which is Not Done at the table.

And yes, as Domi said, soup off the broad side of the big round soup spoon.


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quote:
Originally posted by His Noodle Girl:
Oh God no, no hands under tables! It's rude where I come from, the historical reason being that you might be hiding a weapon under there. Also, elbows off tabletops.
<snip>

I concur. I distinctly remember being befuddled when i was told that as a little girl. How *does* one keep ones hands above the table, ones elbows off the table all the while being a charming dinner partner and *not* getting food all over ones-self? It's liek a sadistic version of 'Twister' with food.


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I love that image: "Put your right hand on the chicken, your left hand in the gravy, your right foot in the mushy peas (if they weren't before, they will be afterwards!) and your left hand in the lap of the person sitting next to you!"


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quote:
Originally posted by His Noodle Girl:
Oh God no, no hands under tables! It's rude where I come from, the historical reason being that you might be hiding a weapon under there. Also, elbows off tabletops.


So you have to keep your arms levitating over the table for the entire meal? No wonder you're thin.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Tismalleen:
<snip>
My grandmother was a nouveau riche snob and tortured us as kids with overly posh dinners requiring rows and rows of different utensils. I never bothered to learn what was meant for what (although I did recently surprise myself by actually noticing when I was given a fish knife for butter in a nice restaurant); the main thing you need to know is that they're laid on the table simply in the order you're supposed to use them, starting from the outside. And in my experience, using the wrong one is only a big deal for grandma people who try too hard anyway, nobody else gives a toss.


I had one of those, too! She gave me "Miss Manner's Guide to Etiquitte" when I was 11, and I actually read it.

Which is why I know that in America, cutting food with your right hand, then transferring the fork to your right hand to eat it, is considered proper. But commenting on other people's table manners is Not Done. So to my 11 year old mind, it didn't matter. ("I'm doing this properly, Grandma, and the book you gave me says you're rude for commenting")

I have to say, the European way may be more effiecient, but (probably due to Grandma hold-overs) it looks weird to me, like the person doesn't want to stop eating long enough to fully use their utensils. It doesn't look bad, just... hasty. I think it's just whatever you grew up with.

Or whatever your family drilled into you as a kid, I guess.


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quote:
Originally posted by Jocelyn:
Or whatever your family drilled into you as a kid, I guess.


I can eat almost any type of shellfish using cutlery alone and not getting my hands dirty. That includes peeling prawns and eating clams out of their shells. Roll Eyes


 
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Wow, I wish you could teach me, Clover.

Peeling prawns is like a battle for me, especially with the horrible eggs splurting out.


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It's only recently, at the advanced age of mumbletymumble, that I have been taught the trick of eating mussels using the empty hinged shell of the first mussel as a sort of pincer/chopstick thing. It's incredibly neat and incredibly fast. Man, I can steam through a bowl like billy-oh with this method.

(But eating fast is, I suppose, also Not Done. Unless like me you are the youngest in the family, as early lessons are learnt hard and even harder to drop.)


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