Last year, when my roommate and I were stuck during the festive period, one of them made an amazing accusation at dinner: according to her, I have my fork wrong.
Like most of us, I think I learned table manners from my family, not from formalized etiquette classes. So I’m sure there are few advanced social habits and mannerisms I don’t know about, but I never thought I could do the basic things that would leave the fork wrong. I was horrified and wondered – did work connections, friends, partner families, basically everyone I’ve eaten before think I’m a rude slob?
Fortunately, Lizzie Post at the Emily Post Institute, based in Vermont, assured me that I was “probably not doing anything rude.” She talked about the best way to keep cutlery, but it’s more about keeping food from slipping off the plate than whether it looks classy.
Table manners can be a representation of a class, but most of the small rules and habits we are taught to follow have some practical reasons behind them. They are often not only frivolous or aesthetic in nature. At least something worth following. I talk to some etiquette experts, what are the most common fakes about eating and drinking etiquette, and why these habits are worth paying attention to in this modern era. I checked.
Don’t gross out everyone at the table.
Post-emphasis, the most important purpose of etiquette, is to make the people you are comfortable and reassuring. And a great way to make a supper unpleasant is to sum up the meals of your companions. For her, the most important “rules” to follow are obvious. Close your mouth, chew, and watch out for the noise you hear when eating or drinking.
“We want them to enjoy our conversation with our company, and that doesn’t happen when we’re looking at chewed food,” Post said.
She gave one important warning. Some people have a medical condition that makes it difficult to breathe through the nose while eating. If you are one of those people, she advises you to just do your best. You may already have your own way to chew carefully. In any case, don’t linger if someone chews loudly or with your mouth open. Making someone else feel embarrassed about how they eat is a far greater social failure, especially when it is beyond their control.
General confusion during a meal is another way to ruin your company, so make sure you aren’t eating in a way that literally brings eggs to your face. Post says it’s very straightforward to eat in front of a mirror or take a picture of yourself if you’re not sure what you’re eating. You may notice small peculiarities that you wouldn’t otherwise notice. If you don’t like the method you come across, you can adjust accordingly.
Don’t salt your food before you taste it
Etiquette consultant Monica Walksack He pointed out that it is polite and practical. Do not season your food before you taste it.
“By seasoning before tasting, we send a message to the host or the person who cooked that they really don’t trust their cooking skills. You need to season this dish even before you try it. “She said.
It’s okay to finish the food with a little salt and pepper, but try it first and make sure the food really needs it. Besides, you can always add more salt, but you can’t get rid of it. If you accidentally make it taste like the sea, water will spurt out all night. Yes.
And if someone asks you to give them salt or pepper, send them both. Walczak says keeping the shaker together is a good way to keep the shaker from getting lost on a large table.
How to hold the cookware is important, but in most cases it is practical
Have you ever sat at a table to find far more forks than you know what to do? To be honest, this is the kind of etiquette you really don’t have to worry about. Please investigate if necessary. However, do not emphasize whether it is a salad fork or a dinner fork.
“Emily Post was the first person to say that it doesn’t matter which fork you use,” Lizzie Post told me. “this [only] It is important to use a fork. “
However, there are some practical cutlery habits. A good example is the strange way to hold a fork. No matter which cutlery style you use American or continental (Check it out if you’re interested, but there’s another detail to keep you from sweating). For example, you hold a fork and a knife as you would a pencil, as opposed to holding a pencil with your entire fist. (For the record, I swear my fork holding style isn’t too exaggerated. It’s a more half fist grip.)
According to the post, it’s most common to see people stab something like a piece of meat and do this when they cut it with their other hand. “correctThe method is actually a more effective method. Holding the fork at an angle with your thumb and fork actually improves accuracy and control. This means that you are less likely to accidentally drop food from the plate. Cheeky foods and foods like butter tend to be particularly slippery.
Sometimes the placement of your tools really sends a message.
There is a good way to put it on the plate when you are not using the cutlery, mainly for communication with the host and weight staff. According to the post, the plate is assumed to be the clock face, and the fork and knife are set at 8 and 4 o’clock. position When you are having a meal or taking a break away from the table. At restaurants and catering events, the server recognizes its location as follows: Don’t take my plate yet. When you’re done, both will take a break at 4 o’clock.
Traditionally, servers have been trained to serve plates from the left and clear plates from the right, especially in high-end dining settings. If the utensil is facing right, the server can easily pick up the utensil with one hand without risking the knife to slip off.
How about drinking a glass or toasting etiquette?
First and foremost, the glass is set on the right side of the plate, Walczak reminds us. So, if you’re overwhelmed by a crowded table, keep that in mind. The glass on the right side of the plate is yours.
No matter what’s in your glass, the general rule is to take a sip and do it quietly without swallowing, rather than lumpy. Also, don’t turn the glass upside down to get the last drop, Post advises.
Like most of these etiquette guidelines, reasoning is simply to avoid creating a spectacle of your basic human function. You don’t want others to miss you because you’re too distracted by the drinking Mannerism. Or, tilt your head back and knock on your skull, as the subway girl once did for me. Twig.
There are some details worth knowing about wines and wine glasses.Wine educator Amigan Gemera When people toast, she often says they see them clinking glasses with delicate edges. Instead, clink the bowl to reduce the risk of accidentally breaking or breaking the glass. No one wants to deal with dirt and debris in the middle of a party.
Being a toast recipient can be a nasty moment in the spotlight, especially if you don’t know what to do. Walczak says that in a formal setting, the most graceful thing is basically doing nothing. Do not raise the glass or take a sip.
“People who toast should sit quietly, smile and appreciate the toast given in their honor,” she said. “Let others raise the glass and drink.”
Another wine-drinking habit you should know is that while it is common for people to hold a glass in a bowl, holding the stem with the thumb and forefinger is a better way, says Gangemera. (If necessary, you can support the bottom with a pinky.) This will prevent your body temperature from warming the wine. Champagne at room temperature does not taste very good.
Don’t be a snob.
Again, the purpose of all these guidelines is to make people around you comfortable and focus on what everyone has to say and the taste of food, not how to eat it.
So don’t sweat too much if you don’t know or do something different from your company. Ultimately, they are rude if someone gives you a judgmental look at the finer things like forks and glasses.
As Lizzie Post said, “No one who is completely angry about eating with you for the way you have cutlery deserves your company.”
People are wrong table manners and why it really matters
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