19 May 2011


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

In the European countries it is the use to hold the fork in the left and the knife in the right hand during the whole meal. Once a bite-sized piece of food has been cut, you eat it. You are not allowed to "carve up" multiple pieces and then munch them. You also have to empty your plate first before you can take another portion.

You eat using both hands, the arms should be held against your body and it is very impolite to lay your ellbows on the table hang your head over (or almost in) the plate and gobble down the food. You should eat and not munch and smack when chewing your food or slurp while eating your soup and do not point to somebody or something with your spoon or fork while talking with a full mouth.

Eating manners are very important because they show if you have had a good education or not and "where you come from" as posh people would say.

Of course you have to use your napkin to keep your mouth clean and not to blow your nose.

In the USA it's completely different, the fork is shifted between the left and right hands and used much like a spoon (tines up), The meat cut into bite sized pieces and the knife is then set down, the fork transferred from the left hand to the right. "The American style is almost completely unknown and considered improper in other countries" (sorry for my American friends, I copied this from Wikipedia). But by own experience I also was very surprised to see how people ate at home or in restaurants, when travelling through the States or living with my aunt in Madison. Of course after a while you get used to and then you do what you want ! At least I did.

But to my knowledge in both ways of eating burping, coughing, yawning, sneezing, or fart at table is not well seen.

The eating way in Asia, and Africa is again completely different, so if you want to know Mr. Google will help you.

Learning to eat properly is a difficult task

herewith demonstrated by my 6 months old Grandson Toby, with his first carrot meal !


diane b said...

He is so cute. I love the expression on the last one. I am amazed when we go to restaurants how many people don't hold their knife and fork properly but use their fork like a shovel and just shovel it in really fast.

A Lady's Life said...

Oh he is adorable!
What a cutie pie.
I remember once we went to this expensive place to eat, where we had to dress up. My son tried using his knife and it was dull, so he picked up his steak and ate it with his hands. lol
Well, the whole place noticed and stopped eating and just watched him lol
It was embarassing. lol
But can you imagine? People actually are watching people eat.lol

Kay L. Davies said...

That last picture of your grandson is fabulous!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Stef said...

I bet watching us Americans is horrific to you. My grandmother was very proper and I learned a lot from her and my mother.
That being said, I think I like the little guys idea the best of all.

Sue said...

I think our table manners are getting worse and worse. Before long we won't even use silverware!


Linens and Royals said...

Six months old already!! and I think carrots must be Toby's favourite food-he looks so happy.
Table manners here are the same as Europeans, that's if anyone remembers to use them.

Gracie said...

More on the bib than in his mouth, I guess....LOL...

Maribeth said...

Oh my! That last one with his large eyes is so adorable!
I do go back and forth with my knife and fork. Typical American! lol!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

JDaniel has decided he likes hands better than forks. At three we will revisiting this issue over and over again.

Judie said...

Gattina, I was always told to cut only one bite of meat at a time, and I taught my children that as well. This was a very interesting post.

Lola said...

Great ‘E’ post & images!He's so cute.

Have a great weekend ahead & look forward to *seeing* you again next time,


Btw Alphabe-Thursday

Loree said...

Oh how adorable Toby is. LOL I loved the part about the fart :)

claudie said...

Toby is adorable! When I ate by some bourgeois in the center of France There were so different spoons, knifes etc and glasses I didn't know what taken!!!!There are some glasses for wine for water for ceci and cela!!! Hi hi Je fais comme Louis de Fun├Ęs quand il parlait l'anglais!!!

Amanda said...

Learning how to eat properly is a hard task, I still haven't learned. :)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I bet he wouldn't like beets either.

Pondside said...

That little one is loving that carrot!

Ames said...

Your grandson is so cute!

I have also noticed that a lot of Americans have very poor table manners. But you may also have to realize that there are some foods you just have to eat with you hands.

I set formal tables and teach all my granchildren the proper way to eat and use cloth napkins from the blessing to the dessert. That way they won't embarrass themselves as adults. Education starts at home!

Great "E" post Gattina! ~Ames

Our Village is a Little Different said...

Oh, how funny! I love the way you went with this post! Your grandson is beautiful. I hope he got some of the carrots in his mouth!

Teresa said...

What a great lesson on etiquette! My son thought everything was finger food, and he still does. Is that acceptable anywhere?

Cheryl D. said...

Let's just say that Toby is a neater eater than I am! Sigh. Europeans would be horrified to see me eat!

Jenny said...

Babies. When I see a picture of an adorable baby I have a hard time even concentrating on the words of a post. He is absolutely adorable. What a sweet, sweet little fella!

I found this post to be interesting. I think sometimes our manners here are verging on deplorable.

Thanks for an excellent link this week.