Forks up or down.......

joann_fl

When entering your mouth? I have been noticing on TV lately all these people have their fork turned facing down when they eat. Is this the normal thing to do? We always had our fork prongs turned up. Does this mean something? Proper, improper, rich or poor?

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watchmelol

Up for potatoes or vegetables, down for speared items like meat or salad. I eat continental style when cutting meat. My knife stays in my right hand and my fork in my left. Depending on the sides I pretty much stick to the method. When eating something with my right hand I keep tines up.

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amylou321

I lot of professional tasters(yes, there is such a thing) hold whatever utensil it is upside down so that the food directly hits the tastebuds.

As for me, it depends. If I am eating using ONLY a fork,like with a salad or pasta, the prongs tend to stay up. If i have to cut something with a knife, like a piece of meat, they are turned down when i eat that bite, only because of the way i hold the fork in the item that's being cut.

I don't think there is a "proper" way, but i could be wrong. But i wouldn't care if there was. I mean, at least I am USING a fork instead of shoveling it in by the handful right?

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Elmer J Fudd

Continental style? Fork and knife holding in Europe and many other places is fork in left hand, normally tines down, and knife in right. Neither is put down while in the process of eating, except at breaks. So, no cutting meat, putting the knife down, changing hands, etc. The fork stays where is. Opposite for lefties. . The fork is turned tines up when pushing something not solid onto it with the knife, like mashed potatoes. Food is stabbed, including veggies, whenever possible. I learned the style when living in Europe, eating the US way is viewed as being coarse and I realized people were staring at me in restaurants. It was a giveaway that I was an American but they view it as just a notch above eating with ones hands.

It took a small amount of getting used to but I've continued using it to this day. It's ever so much easier.

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seagrass_gw

Elmer - how successful are you eating peas?

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joyfulguy

amylou - you have shovels at your table ....well, have seen them elsewhere?

Oh, right - you did refer to the fork as operating like a shovel: my mistake.

I guess that really should be "... being operated as a shovel".

o j

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Elmer J Fudd

Very. If they're more cooked than al dente, it can be easier to gently smoosh down on them with the fork (using the knife as a guide so they don't roll away). Otherwise, you push them on and then lean over the table a bit more for a few that can drop. Funny enough, peas in some countries are often served with mashed potatoes. Easy to understand why. Or, cut up potatoes that you can smoosh and use for glue to the fork. Either way makes the task simple!

My skills are on full display eating a bone in, skin on roasted chicken half. I can do it gently, and with no struggle, while leaving no meat on any bone. Same with most kinds of fruit (though not pineapple), including skin on that gets removed. It takes a sharp table knife.

Like so many things you get better with practice. I've been eating this way for many decades.



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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It's more complicated than tines up or down. (Some) Americans believe that their food needs to be cut with one hand, the knife put down, the fork switched into what was the knife wielding hand, and the food scooped up with the fork. The process is repeated over and over until the meal is finished.

I think that Americans are the only people who eat this way. Doesn't make much sense when you think about it. You might be interested in watching some Youtube videos about American v. European style of using utensils.

In England and many countries in Europe, the knife and fork never change hands and are even never put down during much of the meal.




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bpath Oh Sophie

On TV, they may have their forks down because the fork blocks less of your face, and there's less movement of the arm and elbow. So it could be for the optics.

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OklaMoni

growing up in Germany I also use the fork in my left hand, the knife in the right. Mine is always turned up.

Must be a regional thing?

Moni

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DawnInCal

Tines up always. Tines down looks so awkward to me.

I am a leftie who eats with her fork in the left hand and the knife in the right. No switching around which seems like a lot of wasted motions in my mind.

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watchmelol

I don't really care what method is used. As long as people aren't shoveling their food, talking with their mouth full, dripping it all over themselves, or blowing their nose at the table it's all good.

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amylou321

Or SMACKING!!!!

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watchmelol

Or scraping their teeth on the utensils.

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Michael

or overeating.

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amicus

Here's my anecdote about eating utensils. My family heritage is European, and we eat in that style. But when I started dating my husband and visiting his family for some weekend dinners, he'd forgotten to tell me that they had no Western utensils to eat with, only chopsticks. I'd used chopsticks occasionally in my youth. But eating at DH's parents' home, I was eating at a snail's pace, having difficulty picking up food that was unlike the typical North American take out food I'd always eaten.

Later I naively complained to DH, saying "Gee, chopsticks seem so awkward and unrefined. It's strange that in all these years, Asians have never just converted from using what looks like sticks, to eating with forks and knives." He laughed and put me right in my place, responding "Haha, you think chopsticks are the 'awkward and unrefined' utensils? To us, forks and knives look like mini hunting weapons, because we eat with something simplistic and aerodynamic, that doesn't involve stabbing and slicing. You can't get more refined than that. So it's strange that in all these years, Westerners have never just converted from using what looks like barbaric implements, to eating with sleek dining utensils."

Touche, lol! Our kids grew up equally proficient with Asian and European dining traditions, and laugh at my thought that it might just be easier for Asians to convert to forks and knives. I too cringe with embarrassment at that memory!

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patriciae_gw

Interestingly enough eating American style is culturally more refined because it is more complex. Shifting utensils from hand to hand because it is slower indicates you have no need to scarf down, get your calories in, eat up. Packing your fork is the opposite. Using your knife to pack your fork is even lower on the socially refined scale. Just eating with your knife? Dear me.

I am not sure why people get so worked up about this sort of thing. People on the internet get seriously worked up about it.

Because of the shape of the fork using the back to convey soft food into you mouth is maladaptive. Using your fork with the tines pointed up makes much better sense. Scooping is common sense. Shifting the fork from right to left not so much. But socially appropriate eating is about culture.

Elmer, have you matured in that while it obviously bothered you that people "stared" at you for eating American style(you must have been eating in the hinterlands) you no longer mind being stared at because you use your fork upside down?

I

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DawnInCal

Amicus, in the past, I had the occasion to eat with chopsticks now and then, but I wasn't very good at it.

We spent the last three winters in SE Asia and many times chopsticks were all that were available especially at the street stalls or in humble mom and pop restaurants. I thought I was getting pretty good with the chopsticks and I was for things like stir fries, noodle dishes, rice and soups. But, one time we went to a Korean restaurant and ordered bbq oxtails. Chopsticks were the only utensil offered and I gamely struggled to eat my meal but the oxtails kept slipping from the grip of the chopsticks. After we were part way thru our meal one of the restaurant staff took pity on me, brought over a fork and knife and set them down next to my plate. She spoke no English and I spoke no Korean but we had no problem communicating - I immediately understood the reason for the fork and she understood my thanks. :-)

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jemdandy

When I was growing up, none of us ever thought about such things. We grabbed a fork and used it as what seemed natural and that was with the tines up for all foods. I suppose that may have been because it was the same direction for tool using: Think hay forks and garden spades.

I've noticed in Wisconsin, some families of German extraction will take a knife in one hand, a fork in the other and will not put these utensils down until the meat serving on their plate has been totally consumed, or they were done with it. They are real serious about their food.

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amylou321

I am with watchmelol. I dont really notice things like how other people use utensils. Its other obnoxious eating habits that annoy me. I was watching "My 600 pound life " a couple weeks ago. (I know I was setting myself up here,but it's like a train wreck,you cant stop looking) Anyway, the subject of this particular episode had a habit of staring at the food while biting her lip then licking said lips,and then sticking her WHOLE TONGUE out of her mouth before cramming the food in. Every single bite. When she did use utensils, her hands were shaking (whether with excitement or due to some condition I dont know) So I dont know if she ever made it to surgery or beyond. I couldn't watch it anymore. My mom and some of my siblings used to smack and slurp on purpose to tick me off. And I hate when I am watching something on TV, and someone is eating or drinking something and you can HEAR them swallow. Why won't they edit that out?

I like eating with chopsticks occasionally,even though I dont like any form of Asian food. The chopsticks slow you down and make you more mindful of what you're eating,IMO.

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Elmer J Fudd

"eating American style is culturally more refined because it is more complex. "

I consider this comment to be more ethnocentric than thoughtful. If other cultures saw "our way" as preferable, I think you'd find other places that do it "our way". I've traveled all over the world in my life and continue to and I've never seen that. But I think ethnocentricism is part of the reason we continue to be out of step with the rest of the world.

Am I more mature? I don't get that at all. I was living in a Western European capital and one of many objectives I had was to learn and assimilate into the local culture in every possible way. It made the opportunity more interesting. There was nothing compelling or desirable in my mind to broadcast my nationality, clothing included. That was just several years. Before and after that experience finds me living in the same cosmopolitan and diverse area with people from all over the world. It's not NY City but it's like that and interesting as a result in many ways. Seeing people eating the continental way is pretty common here.

I adapted to it as part of the experience and I continued because it's so much easier.

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Jasdip

The way Elmer described is exactly like my step-father eats who was raised in Switzerland. Tines down, fork piercing the food etc.

My mom was left-handed, and I eat like she did......cutting meat with my left hand and eating with my right (I'm right-handed). It seems so awkward putting the knife down and switching hands.

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matthias_lang

Don't tell anybody but --at home I like to eat salty snacks like popcorn, chips, and especially those near neon orange cheetos with chopsticks.

I was taught to set the table with the fork on the left. There must have been a reason beyond aesthetic balance. Nonetheless, I wield my fork in the typical American way.

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Anglophilia

I taught my children to eat European-style when I married my second husband. That is how his family ate, and I was assured that my new MIL would not approve of my children eating American-style. In the interest of assimilation, we switched. It's really a far more efficient way to eat, unless one is the kind of person who only eats one thing at a time - doesn't want the meat to touch the veggies, to touch the potatoes. I like to do a bit of things on my fork, and that takes care of the peas situation. Frankly, eating peas alone is not all that tasty. Far better with a bit of potato.

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watchmelol

Matthias_lang,

What a great idea! I hate the residue those so called finger foods leave. I'm adopting your method.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

I prefer to eat with my mouth. I hold whichever utensil as politely as possible. Should someone pass judgement on me, I believe that is their problem. Intent should matter far more than traditions. I can't eat rice with chopsticks to save my life.

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Annette Holbrook(z7a)

Continental style here. I was raised by British dad and kiwi mother(in many ways New Zealanders are more formal). Both of my children were taught the same. My 1st mother in law always comments on their table manners. My bonus son (not mine but should be) just got a job with a company based in the U.K. so he has been asking me to help him with learning continental style. I also, still put the knife and fork at resting and finished positions accordingly.

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Michael

There may come a time when most of you will be eating through a straw or tube. Then it will be what color straw is appropriate? Does your tube drape over bed rail or is it hidden?

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nickel_kg

Rob I'm with you -- the intent of politeness counts more than method.

But chopsticks baffle me for any food, not just rice. Maybe I should practice on some cheetoes ... then caramel corn ... then m&m's ... !

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rob333 (zone 7a)

nickel, the most important thing to know about chopsticks? The bottom one never moves. The other is held like a pencil. Here's a link to learn how.



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aok27502

I eat American style, I guess that's just the way I was raised. I don't really remember learning that. I can't quite imagine how I would eat Continental style with the times down. If I held the fork in my left hand while cutting with my right then how would I eat things like mashed potatoes? I can't eat them with the tines down, and eating with my left hand is a little awkward.

I am pretty good with chopsticks.

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arcy_gw

During the Bicentennial a morning news magazine featured states as their anniversary of becoming part of the USA. One show featured ND, my state at the time. They showed "backward, woodsmen" i.e. barbarians eating with knives, they claimed, never putting them down. Emily P. would be appalled. One is to cut a few bites place the knife down then eat. At no time is one to hold a knife all through a meal. Tines ALWAYS up here. Can't say I have ever noticed eating, tines down.

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phyllis__mn

Now I'm going to be watching everyone eat....tines up or down?

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marilyn_c

I eat "American" style. I haven't been to Europe, but I can eat Continental style. I am not good with chopsticks and my hands are pretty messed up...more so the older I get, so I don't think I could pick it up now.

I have a friend who was born in Scotland, and she eats "Continental" style. She has never seemed offended by the way I eat....or if she is, she has kept it to herself, all these 50 years that we have been friends.

I find it laughable that anyone would consider eating "American style" would be "coarse", and if they did....I would say that is their problem...not mine. If that is all they have to fixate on, then their lives must be lacking somewhere. Or maybe it is just that I am too hoi polloi. Yeah.....that must be it. ;)

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Elmer J Fudd

For those needing a nudge to consider that habits and practices you follow aren't the same everywhere, think of this: you're in a restaurant and a person at the next table starts eating with his/her hands. Picks up a piece of meat, takes a bite, puts it back on the plate. Grabs a turd-sized bit of mashed potatoes and puts it in his/her mouth. Grabs a mouthful of salad to mouth. Licking their fingers in between bites. Et cetera. They're eating quietly, politely, and (though with hands) gently. Okay with you? No, most would say it looks improper because it's DIFFERENT. Does that help?

Eating with hands and not utensils is common in some parts of the world. Those who might say seeing that in their own milleu wouldn't be noticed are kidding themselves and others.

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Lars/J. Robert Scott

I eat American style - I find the European style a bit too efficient - the American style forces one to slow down a bit. I have a friend who eats European style, and he can shovel food into his mouth so fast that it makes my stomach turn. He says he has to eat fast because he does not want the food to get cold, but I cannot watch him eat - it is all to do with pacing. I have to eat very slowly and chew my food thoroughly or else it will get stuck in my esophagus. If I ate European style, I would be sitting with fork and knife in each hand with nothing to do while I am chewing my food. It makes much more sense to me to put them down while I am chewing - it is not a marathon. I do not judge people for eating European style, and I expect the same respect for my choice to eat American style. To me, both are equally acceptable in terms of politeness - speed eating is not.

I am fairly adept with chopsticks, but I don't really like them and generally only use them for sushi and sashimi. My sister got very sick in China from eating with bamboo chopsticks that had been washed and reused. It's very difficult to clean chopsticks made of wood or bamboo, and the ones made of metal or plastic are too slippery, even when they have textured ends.

Most of what I eat does not require a knife, and so I seldom use it. I do eat pizza at home with a knife and fork, and I seldom eat pizza at a restaurant because I like my own pizza much better.

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DawnInCal

This entire dilemma could be solved by eating nothing but foods that are held in the hands. I'm thinking sandwiches, pizza, chicken wings, ribs, corn on the cob, cheese slices, carrot sticks and most fruit.


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Elmer J Fudd

I don't think there's a dilemma.

Re your suggestion, I eat pizza, cheese (often for breakfast), ribs, and messy sandwiches with a knife and fork. I don't eat chicken wings except as part of a whole chicken, so I and others with my habits would only be on board with other finger foods. I'm sure I'm not alone with these habits. But no, I don't hold my pinky in the air when drinking from a teacup. Because I don't drink from teacups. If I did, who knows?

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Sherry

American style. My mother and grandmother insisted we keep our left hand in our lap, unless cutting out meat (we are all right handed). Two hands on the table was very gauche. However, I think it is snobbish to think one way is better than another.

I don't care what or how you use your utensils, if you chew with your mouth closed, leave the phone away from the table, and take care of things that you should do in the bathroom, in the bathroom. Oh, and no double dipping.

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Elmer J Fudd

I mostly agree with your second paragraph. I don't think I or anyone else was suggesting one way vs another was better. Just different. I suggested that when infrequently seen practices of one culture become visible in another, they aren't always accepted.

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

Yes, people of all cultures tend to be ethnocentric in some way or another.

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Elmer J Fudd

I think ethnocentricism is a bigger problem in the US than most elsewhere. You rarely hear the Mohammed Ali-esque superlatives abroad that are so frequently heard here. We're not the greatest, we're not the only democracy in the world, we're not the only country that has freedoms of many kinds, and far too often, we misread and misjudge and make poor decisions about what's going on elsewhere and what we should or shouldn't do about it. And we rarely acknowledge and face up to our problems and mistakes. The world doesn't revolve around us.

We're okay, other counties are too

See, forks up or down was a good lead in to broader perspectives!

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patriciae_gw

Obviously there is no right or wrong way to use your utensils and so far as I know no one knows for sure why Americans use the more complex method that we use. That we set utensils on our tables with the fork to the left indicates our table setting is European influenced. Since forks are a relatively late addition to eating and early forks had two straight tines, fork eating had no back or front. I know a surprising amount about the evolution of eating techniques because I did a lot of reading up on it as a result in an interest in medieval foods. Typically I hared off after why we use forks the way we do. Etiquette books are solid on the not eating as if you are stoking up so efficiency isn't pertinent. Do we care? You can read etiquette for eating back in the day. The primary tool was the knife and even then you weren't supposed to put a knife in your mouth. You were supposed to grasp the piece of meat you wanted to eat with your left hand and cut it off with your knife approximately one bite at a time. Convey to your plate and perhaps cut to a smaller size, pick up with fingers, daub in salt or sauce and put in mouth. Wipe your fingers on your napkin. You had a spoon for potage. Not a very nice way to eat as potage would be in a communal dish.

I was seriously schooled in eating as a child. No only did we have to use and hold our utensils certain ways, we were not allowed to make any noise as we ate. No smacking , slurping, gulping. or even chewing noises. Celery was the bearbug of my father to the point we almost never had it when he was home. I will exert my freedom from this by eating my green beans with my fingers to this day but only at home. My little rebellion. My former SIL once announced to an entire table of people that I made absolutely no noise while eating and made the rest of them sound like hogs. Yipes. I tried to smack more.

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DawnInCal

Re your suggestion, I eat pizza, cheese (often for breakfast), ribs, and messy sandwiches with a knife and fork. I don't eat chicken wings except as part of a whole chicken, so I and others with my habits would only be on board with other finger foods.

Phooey, that takes all the fun out of finger foods. Not me, man. I hate eating pizza with a knife and fork.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

I don't bow to another culture on this issue, because it's not necessary to sublimate everything that makes me American in order for some other culture to respect who I am. If we behave in a respectful way, while continuing on with who we are maybe the world can broaden their horizon.

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Bookwoman

Here's one take on why Americans switch the fork to their right hand:

https://qz.com/1313214/nearly-400-years-later-the-fork-remains-at-the-center-of-american-dining-controversy/

....According to In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life by James Deetz, the peculiar way Americans use the fork can be traced back to what happened when they refused to adopt the utensil after it was introduced by Winthrop, and then later to the Plymouth Colony area when a “wealthy gentleman” brought it to the dinner table in 1721.

During the time it took for Americans to widely start using the fork, dining cutlery was evolving in England. Knives changed to have rounded blade ends, since forks had “assumed the function of the pointed blade,” says Deetz. “However, since most knives were made in England, and the fork appeared later in America, this relationship did not prevail in the New World.”

It’s for this reason, he says, the American standard of switching the fork with the tines pointing up, rather than the European way of having the tines point down, is still prevalent today: Using a round-ended knife and not having a fork, one would either have made considerable use of the fingers conveying solid foods to the mouth or made do with the spoon. This raises and interesting, if not conjectural, point. Americans often comment that Europeans use their forks “upside down.”

Since we did not learn to use forks until some time after the ends of knives were rounded, the change in the manner of food conveyance was not directly from knife tip to fork tine as it was in England. The only intermediate utensil available was the spoon; one could cut food and transfer it to the spoon bowl. If even one generation used knife and spoon in this manner, the fork, upon its belated appearance, would be used in a manner similar to the spoon. Which is precisely the way we use it today.

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patriciae_gw

I have read this excerpt before and have some issues. First it was never good manners to eat food off the tip of your knife. Food was cut from the common mess and conveyed with your fingers to your plate or mouth. Early forks had straight tines like serving forks today. The big question really ought to be why when forks started being made with a cupped side British and some Europeans used the uncupped side to convey soft foods to the mouth. While it makes perfect sense when you spear food why not flip it over to scoop? Why a scoop shape in the first place?

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catticusmockingbird

Lars, I love your post. Eating food is not a marathon. At least it shouldn't be.

I do disagree about eating pizza with a knife and fork. Some things are meant to be eaten out of hand and pizza is definitely one.

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matthias_lang

When I was a child, my family certainly ate pizza with a knife and fork. And at school where the Italian women made pizza for the cafeteria, it was definitely not the kind of food one would attempt to eat with the fingers. It was about two inches thick with large clumps of tomato, large--mmm-- clods(?, not quite meatballs) and a fragile, barely there crust that just sort of swirled delicately beneath the heavy topping. I specifically remember being out with friends at a pizza shop when I was a sophomore in high school, and we ate with knives and forks. Now, I almost always eat pizza without utensils, but the crust and toppings are easier to hold than I think they generally used to be.

Isn't there some old rhyme about how it is easier to eat your peas if glue them to your knife with honey?

ETA: I just found this, though I don't think it was what I'd read before.

I eat my peas with honey,

I've done it all my life.

It makes the peas taste funny,

But it keeps them on my knife.

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maifleur01

Not being fond of some of what I call soft crust pizzas and having dropped the topping once too often on me or the table I use a knife and fork to cut up and eat the point until the texture becomes firmer toward the outside crust. Then I pick it up and eat it with my fingers.

Seeing people fold their pizza each side to the other has always seemed to me to defeat the idea of having topping on each side of the slice. I understand that is the way that some types of thin crust pizza are normally eaten but watching people eat it in that manner the topping almost always slides off of the sides.

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watchmelol

There is one style of pizza I call "wet". They put the ingredients under the cheese. I dislike it but went a few times with a group of friends because the place had late hours. Knife and fork was the only way one could eat that mess.

The only sandwiches I eat with a knife and fork are open faced and smothered in gravy or a properly made Monte Christo. Ditto regarding chili burgers or dogs. The ones made right cannot be picked up. If you can pick it up then you are eating fast food not real diner food.

But sandwiches are meant to be eaten out of hand. Same for ribs (with the exception of braised short ribs), fried chicken parts and any shrimp with tails.

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Elmer J Fudd

Seafood pasta dishes in good Italian restaurants and dishes like cioppino in Italian or seafood restaurants often have tail-on shrimp. Do you reach onto the plate and eat the shrimp covered with sauce with your hands? I don't, it remains under knife and fork for me. For cioppino, which I love, if it comes with crab legs, I'll ask they be put on the side and not in the sauce so that I can eat them without using several cloth or a dozen paper napkins while eating them. I can manage to deal with the other shellfish, like clams and mussels, without making to much of a mess but not crab that needs to be held, cracked and picked at.

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Anglophilia

I detest that so many restaurants leave that tail on the shrimp. Yes, it looks nice, but it's sure hard to not waste a lot of that lovely shrimp while cutting off that shell. And reaching in with ones hands is beyond messy and disgusting.

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DawnInCal

Yes and then there are the peel and eat shrimp that are such a popular menu item at many casual seafood restaurants these days, although i dont see them as often as I used to. I avoid ordering dishes like cioppino that require the eater to pick thru mollusks and shellfish. I'd rather eat something like that at home where no one cares if things get a bit messy. The exception would be in Asia where using the hands to eat something like head on shrimp is much more acceptable. They wouldn't give a second glance at someone using their hands on fiddly bits of food.

As far as pizza goes, I'm a thin, crispy crust type of girl who won't eat a sloppy, gloppy soft crust pizza so I never have any problems holding it in my hands. Open face or saucy sandwiches require a knife and fork, but slap some meat, cheese and veggies between two slices of bread and no utensils are needed.


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watchmelol

There is no waste in shrimp with tail on if you pick it up. Properly cooked shrimp will pop right off with a gentle squeeze to the base of the tail between thumb and fore finger.

If something is sauced, no you don't just reach in. You extract it with an eating utensil and then take it in your fingers. Just like eating steamers or mussels or anything else that comes in a broth. Ciopinno is supposed to be fun food. Often it is served family style in a large pot with everyone taking what they want for their individual bowls. It's not meant for the stuffy. It's not that difficult to take crab out of the broth and let the excess run off and work over the bowl to get at the meat. Just had some recently with friends at a luncheon. No mess, no bibs needed.

I imagine some people are too dainty to enjoy a good old seafood boil. Their loss.



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watchmelol

This guy's comment about how if your're going to eat ribs with a knife and fork, may as well just order the pulled pork. I laughed out loud and startled the dog.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMFOL1eXReg

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artemis_ma

Hmm. Hadn't ever thought about it, but the tines for me are apparently almost always up...

Shrimp with shell on tail... reach with spoon, fork or chopsticks (cuisine depending), eat using the fingers of dominant hand. Seriously not going to waste good shrimp meat.

I always eat pizza with my hands, a fork is there to nab any unfortunate bits that fall off.

Oh, if you go to an Ethiopian restaurant, most of the items you are expected to eat with your hands.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

not waste a lot of that lovely shrimp while cutting off that shell

Apparently, I've eaten a lot of tail on shrimp in my life. I've learned how to hold the body with the fork, and pry under the tail with my knife and pop it off to get the last bit of shrimp. Wish I was there, I could show you ;)


P.S. I eat barbecue ribs and chicken wings with a fork/knife. Makes my family laugh at me.

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Rusty

Tines up or down? Depends on what I'm eating. If I need to cut something, I hold the fork in my left hand to anchor the food, and cut with the knife in my right hand. If I cut one bite of meat at a time, it is 'speared' with the fork still in my left hand, tines down. If I cut several bites, I've usually transferred the fork to my right hand, as I use it tines up for 'scoopable' foods. But I have found myself spearing foods with the fork times down in my right hand, too. It's just easier to 'spear' tines down, I think.

As for BBQ ribs, chicken wings, fried chicken, sandwiches (except open faced), shrimp with tails, I don't even want to think about having to use a fork and knife to eat them, it just seems so wrong. . . . .

Rusty

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catticusmockingbird

I eat boiled crawfish with my hands and suck the heads.

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donna_loomis

I'm a tines up gal, just because. I don't bother with critiquing which is better. To each their own. EXCEPT, I have noticed that on "Chopped", a show I enjoy, most often the celebrity chefs use the tines down method AND they tilt their heads down a bit and at an angle. I think it looks odd, but as others have said, I think it's for optics and the head tilt might be so you don't see into their mouth.

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maifleur01

I know I am a barbarian although depending where I am at I can use my knife and fork to remove every last morsel of chicken from the bone but when I have shrimp that have the tail left on but the rest of the shell removed I eat the whole thing. Beyond the extra calcium and other minerals depending on how the shrimp have been prepared there can be some great flavor in those tails. Some things like Salt and Pepper Shrimp at a local restaurant if you remove the shell you remove the light crust and flavor so I do eat and enjoy the whole thing. First time it was iffy but now I have no problem.

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donna_loomis

Maifleur, I do the same.

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patriciae_gw

I think it is being missed that etiquette wise getting the most food out of your serving is not in anyway the point. You are going to have another meal sooner than is going to be convenient. You get more than adequate food and you could have shrimp three times a day if you choose. The rules for eating are made for people who aren't wowed by their food, Sad for them but so it goes. These rules sifted down the economic ladder to people who desire to appear 'correct' but might want to make the most out of special food? As far as I am concerned as long as you aren't making someone uncomfortable.

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