Now How Am I Supposed to Eat!?

Pass the bread, please:

It is common practice for us to slice a piece of bread with a knife and then load up the butter on the knife and smear it on the bread.

In fine dining things are a bit different.

First: Bread is to be broken with your hands.

When the butter is passed around, take as much butter as you want, and put it on your bread plate, not directly on your bread.  Break the bread in small pieces as you wish to eat it, not all at once.  When you break a piece off you butter only that piece using the butter on your plate.

A common misconception with fine dining is that there is no such thing as finger food and that one must cut everything into smaller pieces.  As with bread, there are actually exceptions.  Here are some examples of foods that are supposed to be eaten with fingers (4):

Asparagus spears: Provided they are not covered in sauce. They can be stringy and difficult to cut, can roll of your plate.

Shrimp with tails: pick up by the tail, eat, and leave tail on same plate it came on so it will be taken away.

Olives: can be picked up with fingers.  If the pit needs to be removed it is fine to remove if from your mouth with fingers as well (just try to be discrete ;o) )

For all of these finger foods keep in mind it is still important to be ‘dainty’.  Pick up using three fingers only: thumb, index, and middle.

Here are some foods that should definitely be eaten with utensils (5):

French Fries: though rarely served in fine dining environments, sound be cut with utensils

Salad: large pieces of lettuce can be a problem in salads.  Proper etiquette suggests cutting the leaves before trying to eat them.

Chicken: when chicken is on the bone, take the meat off using utensils.  Never pick up the bone trying to get all the meat off.


The technique eating soup is a little different from everyday eating as well.

This video does a good job of explaining  all the techniques (6).

Basic Dining Etiquette- The Soup Course

If tilting is necessary, tilt away from you.  Try not to scrape the bowl in trying to get every last drop.  It is fine to leave a small amount of soup in the bottom of the bowl.

Remember: fine dining is a slow process. Pace yourself and enjoy each bite!

4 thoughts on “Now How Am I Supposed to Eat!?

  1. I’m so glad it’s not un-classy to eat with your fingers! I sure agree that asparagus should be a finger food, but I’m sad that french fries are not included on this list! Wah!


  2. So neat! I love your blog idea. I really enjoyed watching the soup etiquette video. Maybe I can try out some of those techniques the next time I have a bowl of soup!

  3. Great idea for a blog! I’ve been meaning to refresh my dining etiquette, and this is the perfect way to do it. And who knew that it is appropriate to eat with your hands sometimes?

  4. I’m sad that I have to eat fries with my fork… It’s more fun with my hands. I should try eating them with a spoon next time and see how that goes.

    cool blog!

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