Thread: Loop in America
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Old 04-22-2017, 08:13 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by agouderia View Post
Now this is an issue I have helluva lot of experience with in the transatlantic context.





Both are true from my experience.

"Good manners" in the US is indeed to first cut things and then eat them with your fork in the right hand. (As is by the way not putting you spoon fully in your mouth when eating soup, but sipping from the side).

But these etiquette rules are no big issue in the US - and it is very unlikely being called out on them.

In Europe - despite differences from country to country, the basics are the same - table manners matter. They are one of the first distinctions on how "civilized" you are. And partially they also have to do with the fact, that hunger and rationing still subconsciously exist in collective memory, making food a more valuable item that needs to be handled with care.

So Loopy's parent did the right thing and thaught her to eat with knife-right hand and fork-left-hand.

I once witnessed a scene in a Brussels restaurant (so not Paris!), where the chef kicked an American NATO guy out of his restaurant. He had cut up his meat - and also mushed it up with sauce and vegetables - to then eat it only with his fork. On kicking him out, the chef stated that the guy's way of eating showed "no respect for the food and for his work as chef".
Far as the soup thing goes, I've always been told to actually USE the spoon (as opposed to picking up the bowl and drinking out of it) and not to "slurp". My mother is the child of English & Scottish immigrants. Not making rude noises (don't let your straw make that noise when you hit the bottom of your drink)was always a bigger deal than how you held the silverware.
She did say that her Mom was superstitious about laying the silverware on the plate "criss crossed". Her mom would slap her for that....hence, it is something I still won't do....lay my knife/fork crisscrossed. Odd how things from the other side of the world turn out, eh?

Main thing Loop may need to remember is that we're a "melting pot" here. SO many difficult cultures merged together...what's "important" to one group of people may go unnoticed by others.
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