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It's important to make a good impression at mealtime too. Etiquette is defined as the rules for socially acceptable behavior. A 17th century French dictionary gave its meaning as a small sign, label, or ticket. ³Etiquettes´ were placed around the palaces and gardens, instructing fine guests where to walk, where to stand, what not to touch ± essentially telling them how to behave! We have adapted this word from the French to refer to our manners and the proper way we conduct ourselves socially. There is dining etiquette, telephone etiquette, even golf and surfing etiquette! Etiquette isn¶t new. It may have begun with a behavior code by Ptahhotep, in Egypt¶s reign of the Fifth Dynasty King Djedkare Isesi (ca. 2412 ± 2375 BC). Ancient Greece and Rome, developed rules for proper social conduct. Confucius included rules for eating and speaking with his philosophy. The behavior that identifies a "gentleman" was codified in the sixteenth century, in a book by Baldassare Castiglione, Il Cortegiano ("The Courtier"); and remained essentially in force until World War I. Dining Etiquette:
There are all kinds of opportunities to impress, such as dates, meeting the parents, lunch with the boss, not to mention the Holidays, plus more and more job interviews are being done over a dinner table.
One faux pas and you can kiss that promotion goodbye or never get to kiss the blind date across from you! From the beginning of time, the act of eating together has had a pleasant social significance. The word companion
Erasmus. or maybe not! Nowhere is a lack of training more quickly betrayed than at the table. A companion is someone you eat with! So that the experience is as pleasant and inoffensive as possible requires developing acceptable techniques of eating. napkin??? If you remember: liquids on the right. bread plate. Dutch humanist and author of the first modern book of manners in 1526. Which is my water. ³You should wipe your spoon before passing it to a neighbor. solids on the left. meaning "with" or "together" and the Latin "panis" meaning "bread" or "food". and your bread plate on the left! This is a clever way to remember: Make "OK" signs with both of your hands The left hand makes the letter "b" for bread! The right hand makes the letter "d" for drinks! Good visual for kids and to help the rest of us remember! Your napkin is always placed somewhere within your dining territorial borders. Maybe we¶ve gotten more civilized since then." "Do not blow your nose with the same hand that you use to hold the meat´ -. Below are the ten most common faux pas in social dining and how you can avoid them! 1.and company comes from the Latin "com-". you¶ll never eat someone else¶s bread again! That¶s your coffee cup to the right of the plate. .
Dinner Plate 11. place your napkin partly folded. never crumpled. So there are some serious restrictions regarding knives at the table. that same threatening symbol of violence that you carried with you for defense! The prevention of violence was one of the principal aims of table manners. That¶s when the diners are leaving the table. A blade pointed outward is a sign that you wish the person across from you harm!! Richelieu was responsible for the rounding off of the points on table knife blades in 1669 France in order to prevent further dinnertime bloodshed. At the conclusion of the meal. The napkin remains on your lap (except for use) until the end of the meal. at the left of your plate. Dinner Knife 12. Napkin 6. The traditional place setting has the forks on the left side and knives (always turned inward facing the plate) and spoons on the right side. Desert silverware .2. Even a paper napkin should never be crushed and tossed into your plate. The knife is never pointed at anyone. not just when you finish! If you need to leave the table temporarily. This is also a consideration for the other diners who won't have to look at your soiled napkin on the table! Use your napkin before drinking from a glass or cup. unfold your napkin and place it on your lap. Fish Fork 7. The silver is placed in order of use so that you can follow the rule ³begin at the outside and work in´ towards the plate! * Formal Dinner Place Setting 1. Butter Knife 2. The Place Setting: The first and only utensil was the dagger. 3. As soon as you are seated. you may leave the napkin in your chair as a signal to the waiter that you will be returning.
half on the table and half on the plate. (The butter knife (#11). Place it on the outer rim of the plate between bites. Soup Spoon 13. 10. Dessert was intended to clear the palate. Red Wine Glass 10. No Oars! Once silverware is picked up from the table it NEVER touches the table again. Dessert spoons/forks (#12) are usually brought in with the dessert. 4. such as white wine from becoming warmed by your hand. Fish Knife 9. Bread and rolls are broken off into bite-size pieces (why do you think they call meals. When a waiter serves you. Hold a stemmed glass by the stem! This is to prevent chilled drinks. should be already on your bread plate. never directly onto your bread. 5. 8. 6. but it holds for non-chilled drinks as well.3. In America the salad fork would be between #2 and 3 above. but often the dessert silver is placed above the dinner plate. it is customary to start eating after four or five people have been served. nor butter a whole slice at once! Butter should be taken when passed. For larger groups. and placed onto your bread plate. When to Start ± in gatherings of six or less people. food will be presented on your left. And don¶t push your plate . and the dish will be removed from your right side when you¶ve finished. Salt and pepper are always passed together. The finish ± when you are finished with each course your knife (blade turned inward) and fork should be placed beside each other on the plate diagonally from upper left to lower right (11 to 5 if you imagine your plate as a clock face). This is a signal to the waiter that you are finished. such as banquets. Rankin of Portland. Bread and Butter Plate 15. Main Course Fork 4. OR did!) that this table setting is European style since the salad is served after the main course. White Wine Glass *You'll note (as J. used only for spreading butter. Dishes are passed from left to right. begin eating only after everyone is served. Soup Bowl and Plate 8. Water Glass 14. or permission is granted from those not yet served. Never use a knife to cut the bread. 9. The origin of the term dessert is from the French ³desservie´ meaning to de-serve or clear the table. Salad Fork* 5. breaking bread!!!) and butter is spread on each bite as you eat it. but never rest silver gangplank fashion. They are considered ³married´ in proper dining circles. 7. even if someone asks you only for the salt.
low. In the Continental style. we hope you get that job. There are two styles of eating. not using the utensils at the table. For other foods (mashed potatoes. the back of the fork up and the left index finger is placed on the back of the fork. In the Continental style the fork is held in the left hand with the tines down. The left hand is usually kept off the table and in your lap during American style dining. the knife (for right handed folks) is kept in the right hand and the fork in the left. but Americans were trying to instill manners on their frontiersmen. When you are "resting". for stability. which most people consider old world is actually newer! It was introduced by the British around 1880. promotion and/or the girl.) the fork is held in the same manner and the food is placed on the back of the fork and transferred to your mouth. This works for meat and other foods that can be pierced. etc.away or otherwise rearrange your dishes from their position when you are finished. Finished! . this is assuming that the waiter knows some basic table manners! Now that we know you have favorably impressed everyone with your exquisite table manners. with no switching unlike the zigzag practice of the American style where the fork is changed from the left hand to the right after cutting food. The new dining methods were rejected as disruptive in the middle of this teaching process. except when it's being used to hold the fork during the cutting of food. but you are not yet finished. the knife and fork should be placed on the plate like this: This silverware placement is a signal to the waiter not to remove your plate! Of course. Continental and American. The Continental. Both knife and fork are held while you chew although you can rest them on the plate. American society felt it would diminish respect for the strict rules that were being established to remove the barbarian image. which is more practical.
more business men and women are choosing the Continental style. However.Dining Etiquette Seminar .Eating Styles Handling Utensils and Eating Styles Many people feel unsure about how to choose and use utensils properly. never with clenched fists. and eat the meal with only one style. with a global economy. You should be consistent in using whichever style you select. whether eating American or Continental style. switching styles during the meal is inappropriate. and where to put them at the end of the meal. The American style is the most commonly used. There are two styles of eating accepted in North America: American and Continental/European. . natural manner. what to do with the knife and fork when resting or talking. Each style indicates how to hold the knife and the fork during a meal. Cutting Meat The correct way to cut your meat. especially those who conduct business with people from other countries. is to grasp your knife and fork in a relaxed. Mastering the use of utensils according to the style of eating you prefer will demonstrate confidence and finesse and make those around you feel comfortable.
Both utensils are controlled by the thumb and index finger.Holding Utensils Both styles start with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right. .
Placing your fork and/or knife on the plate with the handles touching the table. including the handles. It is not proper to allow even the clean handle of a knife or fork to rest on the cloth while the other end lies on the plate. Essentially. once used.Placing Utensils After Start Eating In both styles of eating. is inappropriate. . used flatware must never be allowed to touch the surface of the table. should not touch the table again. your utensils. where it might dirty the tablecloth. like a rowboat.
You use the fork to hold the food while cutting a bite-size piece with the knife. the knife remains resting across the upper right quarter of the plate with the blade toward the center while eating proceeds using the fork alone. Then you eat food by switching the fork to the right hand and finally inserting the piece of food in your mouth. When you are resting. tines down. The entire process is repeated as your need to cut food continues." The fork is held in the left hand. the knife in the right hand as shown in this picture. . It is never appropriate to cut more than one bite-size piece at a time. When not cutting. you lay the knife on the edge of the plate with blades facing in. your knife stays at the one o'clock position with blade turned inward and your fork at the four o'clock position with tines up.American Style The American style is called "Zig-Zag. After a few bite-sized pieces of food are cut.
The "I'm finished position" signals to the waitstaff that they can remove your plate and utensils. right-hand portion of the plate between the clock positions of four and six.To indicate that you have finished eating. the utensils are placed together on the plate with the fork tines up and the knife turned inward in the lower. . The position of the knife tells the server whether you are still eating or you are finished with your meal²one o'clock signals that you are still eating and four to six o'clock signals that you are finished. The following pictures illustrate the appropriate use of the utensils for the American style of eating. This assures that they will not slide off as the plate is being removed.
. the knife in the right hand as shown in this picture. as in the American style.Continental Style In the Continental style. tines down. the fork is held in the left hand.
As you continue eating.After you cut bite-size pieces of food. Remember that in the Continental style. hold the food with the fork and cut with the knife. the knife and fork are crossed on the plate with the fork over the knife with the prongs pointed down in an inverted V. The well-informed waitstaff will never remove your plate with the knife and fork crossed because they know that you are not finished with your meal. . the fork stays in your left hand. When resting between bites. you do not switch. Then spear the food with the fork²which is still in your left hand²and put it in your mouth. use the knife as a backstop to assist in spearing the food with the fork.
As you can see by the illustrations above. Both send a clear signal to the waitstaff that they can remove your plate and silverware. the "I'm finished" position in both the Continental and the American style are similar. . the utensils are placed together on the plate with the fork tines down and the knife turned inward anywhere between the clock positions of four and six. the fork is placed with tines up. The difference is that in the Continental style. This position of your silverware indicates that you have finished eating. the fork is placed with tines down and in the American style.When you have completed your main course.
The following pictures illustrate the appropriate use of the utensils for the Continental style .