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Dining Etiquette and Manners

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.



Table Manners

Utensils are placed on the table in the order of use—from the outside in. Rather than hold them in a fist, rest the fork or spoon on your middle finger and grasp the handle with your thumb and forefinger. I wouldn't use a fork as a shovel.

After using a utensil, rest it diagonally on your plate, not off to the side like an oar and certainly not on the table. By resting all used utensils side by side on your plate, you signal to your server that you are finished with that course.

As soon as you sit down to eat, your napkin goes in your lap, folded in half. Do not wipe your mouth with your napkin; pat or blot your lips with it—especially before taking a drink.

If you need to leave the table, place your napkin to the left of your plate, keeping soiled parts out of view from others. When the meal is over, do the same. If your plate is gone, you may put the napkin where the plate used to be.



Dining Etiquette

If you are eating at someone's home, do not ask for items not on the table, such as ketchup, steak sauce, or spices. This can be an insult to your host. If there are seasonings on the table, taste your food before you use them. It is a compliment to the chef to eat the food seasoned as served.

When you are having dinner with other people wait until everyone is served before you start eating. If your host tells you to go ahead and start, do so. Eat as quietly as possible; don't scrape your plate or bowl with your utensils; don't snap your napkin; and don't wave your fork in the air.

Be dignified. Sit with good posture. You can put your elbows on the table before or after the meal—never during. The best place for your hands is in your lap. I advise against drumming your fingers, playing with utensils, jiggling your knee—and never touch your hair at the table.



Rules of Etiquette

Cut your food one bite at a time. I advise folks not to smack their lips, slurp their drinks, or make a ball of food in your mouth creating Chipmunk Cheek. Do not talk with food in your mouth.

Do not take a drink with food in your mouth. If you want to talk or drink, rest your fork on your plate and go ahead—but swallow first. One action at a time. Certainly do not chew with your mouth open.

Don't use your finger to push food onto your fork, use a knife or piece of bread. When you are done eating, don't move your plate or announce you are done.

If you must spit something out, do not spit it into your hand or your napkin but onto your fork or spoon. Park the offending article on the edge of your plate. The exception would be a pit. It you don't spit; you push it into your fingers with your tongue and set it on your plate.

If you find a hair or something else in your food that isn't supposed to be there, don't mention it.



Etiquette and Manners

Let's not blow our noses at the table. Go to the restroom—and wash your hands afterward. Same for removing something stuck in your teeth. No using toothpicks or dental floss at the table.

If you see someone in your party with food sticking out from between their teeth, or an errant piece of food on their face, it is nice to tell them or if you can, give them a signal. If you leave the table, say, "Excuse me."

Sip your beverages rather than gulping; and let's not crunch ice in our mouths. Pour your drinks into a glass instead of drinking from a can, bottle or carton. I wouldn't put ice into a hot drink to cool it down. This shows a lack of patience and patience is a virtue.

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Don't dunk if you are in public or have company. Place empty packets of sugar, cream or butter on one of your plates, rather than on the table.



Table Manners

Break off one piece of bread and butter it while held on your plate. If it is communal bread, use a knife. With communal butter, transfer enough all at once onto your plate instead of repeatedly going back for more after your knife is soiled.

If you are asked to pass either the salt or the pepper, pass them both as a pair. They should stay together on the table. The pepper is the one with the big holes.

If you order French fries, do not smother them with ketchup on your plate. Make a small pool of ketchup on your plate and dip the fries individually.

The rule about eating them with your fingers is this: you may, if your meal is eaten with fingers, such as a hot dog, hamburger, or sandwich. With steak or chicken breast, eat both with a fork.



Rules of Etiquette

Don't pour steak sauce, or barbecue sauce, all over your steak. Pour it on your plate next to your steak and dip one piece at a time in the sauce. You may sop up gravy with bread but use a fork.

If there is a communal sauce for dipping, please do not double dip—don't place a piece of food in the dip after you have taken a bite of it.



Etiquette and Manners

When eating spaghetti, place your fork into the pile vertically and twirl until you have a bite in a neat clump. You may do this directly into the plate or bowl, or use a large spoon under the fork. Bite off the danglers rather than trying to suck them up into your mouth. An alternative is to cut a bite at a time; cut and eat, cut and eat. Of course, you may cut up the whole plate at once for a child.

Breakfast pastries should be cut into halves or quarters and then eaten with fingers or fork. If you are served a salad with large pieces of lettuce, cut it into bite sized pieces one bite at a time.

Sandwiches more than one inch thick should be halved or quartered. You may eat Shish Kebab from the skewer only if it is an hors d'oeuvre. Otherwise, push the chunks onto your plate first and place the skewer on your plate.

Skim soup from the side of the bowl nearest you toward the back. Sip from the side of the spoon rather than the end. If you must tip the bowl to get that last spoonful, tip the bowl away from you. If you want a piece of bread, put the soup spoon on the plate under your bowl and use the same hand for the bread that you used for the soup spoon.


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 10, 2012:

Au fait— I am pleased as punch that you came over to read my little Hub that could. Thank you very much for sharing this one with your followers. That is high praise indeed. :-)

I surely appreciate the voted up and your kind comments.


C E Clark from North Texas on December 08, 2012:

Always good to review correct table/dining manners. I think manners of every sort, not just dining manners, have been forgotten by the majority of the general population.

Voted up an sharing with my followers.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 08, 2011:

lambservant— Thank you for the kind compliments. I am well pleased that you consider this a good subject for a Hub. It never hurts to educate. :)

I appreciate the visit and your comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 07, 2011:

freecampingaussie— Well, I appreciate the recommend from whomever did it. And I appreciate this visitation from you. I am well pleased that you loved this Hub. I will come over to read some of your Hubs ASAP. Thank you for the fine comments. :-)

Lori Colbo from United States on November 06, 2011:

Great hub subject. Most of them are common sense, but people lack that so it's best to tell them eh? I also learned a thing or two. Great job.

freecampingaussie from Southern Spain on November 05, 2011:

Love your hub , so many people need to read it + turn their mobile phone off during the meal . I am looking forward to reading more of yours . Your hubs were reccomended in an answer to a recent question !

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 31, 2011:

SanneL— Your guest asked for ketchup?!

Oh, what a faux pas. :D

You know what, unless I am at McDonalds—which I admit I am once a month—I never use ketchup OR even salt and pepper when someone else has cooked for me. I mean, the idea is that whomever cooked for me must have seasoned the food according to their preference. As a guest, I feel I should want to taste the food as prepared by my cook.

Thank you for visiting my Hub and for your excellent comments and for the voted up. I sincerely appreciate you hitting all the "good" buttons for me.



SanneL from Sweden on October 28, 2011:

Oh James-This remains me of the time I was having a dinner party. I had made a superb broiled salmon fillet, rubbed with an aromatic dried spice blend atop on a bed of lemon angel hair pasta and crisp garden salad.(The salmon came out perfect, you know with its flesh separated into moist sections.)

As soon as the food was served and before anyone had started to eat, one of the guests asked for the ketchup which I brought to him.

With awful astonishment I gazed as he squirt the ketchup all over the food. As the room turned silent and we all stared at the horrific scene before us, forgetting our own food, he swirled his food around with his fork and ate the mashed up food with the appetite of an ravenous animal! Well I can laugh about it now. . .

I just wish you had been around at the time James, to show this guy some table manners!

Great hub!

Voted up and pushed U,A,F,I!

Take care,


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 14, 2011:

marcoujor— Hello there, Mar! I do try to be a gentleman. In fact, I was thinking the other day about writing a Hub about what a gentleman is—or "what he does" might be better.

No, I didn't need Seinfeld to learn about double-dipping but I loved the episode, especially how this brought that subject into the public consciousness.

I surely appreciate you hitting all the good buttons for me. Thank you for visiting and commenting.


Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on October 11, 2011:

Dear James,

How wonderful that you can sniggle at Tosh. O, yet have such gentlemanly manners! I love that chivalry is alive and well on HP... and I have a feeling you didn't need "Seinfeld" to teach you about the perils of double dipping. Voted UP & UABI, mar.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 10, 2011:

Hear Me— Thank you so much for your kind words. I surely appreciate this visit from you. I look forward to reading more of your writings here on HubPages.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 10, 2011:

Zabbella— I am glad we are in agreeance when it comes to Dining Etiquette and Manners. I am well pleased that you appreciated the photographs I selected. Thank you for the kind compliments. I appreciate the visitation.

Hear Me from Somewhere in Florida on October 08, 2011:

Great hub! I so wish they had manners classes in the area I live! I was raised eating formal meals with cloth napkins every night. I will definitely refer back to this hub for reference.

Zabbella from NJ-USA on October 08, 2011:

Great hub. I enjoyed the photos. I agree with everything you said and I learned something, when passing the salt, I should also pass the pepper.

It always made me annoyed when folks automatically apply seasonings to the food before they taste it, especially when I prepared it!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 15, 2011:

Dolores Monet— Hello! I am glad you found this Hub and appreciated it.

I am with you on the soup. It feels unnatural. I do not always follow that rule to be honest.

Thank you for reading my article. I always enjoyed reading comments from you.

As Joe Cocker immortalized in song: You can leave your hat on. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 14, 2011:

kaydenlee— Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate you visiting my Hub and leaving your words of affirmation. I agree with your comments. Welcome to the HubPages Community! I look forward to reading some of your writings. :-)

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on September 13, 2011:

Hi, James - how did I miss this one? A great hub with sorely needed information. Back in the day, everyone behaved politely at the table, but these days, etiquette seems to have fallen by the wayside. My only problem was and is the soup. I just can't get myself to push that soup off in the other direction, fearing that I'll splash the person sitting opposite of me. haha.

Oh, and don't forget the rules to follow before you even sit down. Take off the hat, guys!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 13, 2011:

akune— Thank you for the forward! Let me know if things improve. :D

I appreciate this visit and your comments. Welcome to the HubPages Community!

kaydenlee from on September 12, 2011:

It is always helpful to be reminded of proper etiquette. It is a shame though, that so many people don't find the rules of good manners, common sense. Nicely written.

akune from Surrey, England, United Kingdom on September 11, 2011:

I forwarded this to my choir blog straight away!

Next time we have a big meal out together I expect to see a difference. Ha ha.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 28, 2011:

novascotiamiss— You got it! When I read your Hub it reminded me of this one. And you found your way here! How about that! Thank you very much for the accolades.

Novascotiamiss from Nova Scotia, Canada on July 27, 2011:

James, this is another great hub. No wonder you liked my hub "why slow-food was invented in Europe and fast-food in North America".

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 07, 2011:

RealHousewife— You are truly welcome.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 05, 2011:

Thank you! Me too!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 05, 2011:

RealHouswife— I have enjoyed our little conversation. I'm glad you are with us on HubPages. I look forward to interacting more with you, and reading your Hubs. :D


Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 03, 2011:

Yea - I had to find a way to calm my nerves after "pretending" I was not afraid for the kids sake:). Living near the corn field causes no "break" from the strong winds from the southwest - I just had a new roof put on 6 mos. ago - and I had just finished cleaning the house! All for it to be tossed out on the lawn? I needed that rare beer:)!!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2011:

RealHousewife— Tornado!? Well that sheds a different light on things. In that case, I say party on!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 02, 2011:

Yeah after a good tornado passes through town - well it was just that kinda day - and no one saw me:-). Lol

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

RealHousewife— Heaven forbid!! Right out of the bottle! Be still my heart. :D

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on February 28, 2011:

You would not be proud of me now Mr. Watkins - I am actually drinking beer right out of the bottle! Haha!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 28, 2011:

RealHousewife— I take great pride in my pictures. I surely appreciate you recognizing them. Thank you and once again you are welcome.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on February 28, 2011:

Thank you very much it has been such a pleasure to be here:-) also I love your photos:)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 28, 2011:

RealHousewife— You are welcome. I love HubPages too. I am glad you are aboard. :D

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on February 27, 2011:

Thank you very much! I love hub pages - a wealth of information!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 27, 2011:

RealHousewife— I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I am glad this proved to be useful. It couldn't hurt! Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on February 25, 2011:

Too bad I didn't have this very nicely written piece 20 years ago - could have saved my voice and taped it on the fridge:). I'm still going to send it off to college with her in case she forgets any of them:)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 10, 2010:

ohohkay— You are surely welcome. Keep up the crusade! I'm glad you loved the Hub. Thank you for coming. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community.

ohohkay from Rule Britannia on October 10, 2010:

Loved the hub, being 20 and living where I do, I feel as though I'm the only person with manners and am on a personal crusade amongst my friends to keep manners and etiquette an important part of life! Thanks :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 24, 2010:

DeBorrah K. Ogans— Thank you! Thank you very much. I very much appreciate your encouraging words. And you are welcome.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on June 23, 2010:

James A Watkins, Wonderful, delightful hub! There's nothing like Good Manners! Good etiquette is always appropiate! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 01, 2010:

blue parrot— It is time consuming but I enjoy the interaction with my readers. Don't hesitate to write. I appreciate hearing from people as to what they think about what I wrote. Thank you for your graciousness.

blue parrot from Madrid, Spain on June 01, 2010:

You have so many people writing to you that I think you should not answer each, because it makes me and many other people hesitant about writing, considering that you had better use your time reading and jogging than answering your mail -- except when such mail questions your assumptions or asks for sources or similar. -- Some people on the NYT receive between 300 and 800 comments on their blogs. Let's say it would take them only 3 minutes to answer each and there were 300 comments -- how many hours of letter writing is that? 15 hours?


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 22, 2010:

dreamreachout— Thank you very much for your visitation and your quality remarks. :D

dreamreachout on April 22, 2010:

I answer to your call and unite with you!! Wonderful etiquette hub!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 21, 2010:

magnoliazz— Hello! Thank you very much for your gracious comments and you are welcome, too. That nose blowing has got to stop! Dinners of the world unite! :)

magnoliazz from Wisconsin on April 21, 2010:

Hello James!

Good manners mean a lot. I enjoyed this hub, thank you so much!

I am happy you addressed the nose blowing issue. It seems to me that I always hear someone blowing their nose when I am out to eat, and it really spoils my meal. I think it is the most disgusting habit and very unsanitary to boot.

A much needed hub!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 21, 2010:

blue parrot— Ha! That's funny. I have to agree with you. Thank you for these fine remarks. I enjoyed reading them.

blue parrot from Madrid, Spain on April 21, 2010:

I think there are two parts to this hub. One is about etiquette properly, the other is more about "how not to make a pig of yourself".

There is a good rule that I did not see in your exposé:

When in a real real hurry, eat alone.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 19, 2009:

stars439— I must thank you for your readership and support. It's good to have good manners. Makes things a bit more polite for others. God Bless You!

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on December 19, 2009:

Great information. Fortunately we have many of these good manners at our table. This is a fine way to conduct one's self at a very nice place. God Bless you

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 17, 2009:

Set's All Set— Thank you. That is interesting about the black napkins. I completely agree with you about acknowledging your busser—which I do unfailingly but failed to mention in this Hub. I should have. And I appreciate you bringing this into the light.

Set's All Set from New England on December 16, 2009:

Good hub. A bit over the top IMO but well thought out. I have to disagree with the first commenter AD. The reason we don't offer black napkins is because they are so damn starchy. If you want a napkin that is so stiff, you can't fold it in half, have at it.

As a busser in a "fine dining" restaurant, I would add a few things. Acknowledge your busser. When you are seated and your busser pours you water, the LEAST you can do is LOOK at him. It's actually quite insulting especially when your busser says, "good evening" and you ignore him. You'd be surprised. This is actually quite common.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 13, 2009:

heart4theword— And a manly man at that! :D

Thanks for expressing your enjoyment of my Hub.

heart4theword from hub on December 13, 2009:

I did too get some laughs out of this hub-page:) Was surprised to see a man writing about etiquette!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 06, 2009:

Tori Maltby— Useful for comedy!? That is wonderfully witty. Thanks for the clarification.

Tori Maltby on December 06, 2009:

Dont worry I'm not an evolution believer - its just a useful theory when it comes to comedy,

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 06, 2009:

Tori Maltby— I am going to come over and read your work shortly. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

I will spare you my disbelief in evolution for now. :-)

Thank you very much for visiting and commenting.

Tori Maltby on December 05, 2009:

James you have touched on my worst nightmare. I simply cannot sit at the same table as people with bad eating habits. Evolution has allowed for us to not be apes anymore so why do some people still act like animals?!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 03, 2009:

Dim Flaxenwick— Welcome to HubPages! Thank you very much for the laudations. Smile. I love that song! I am so glad you enjoyed your visit. I am glad you came. Thanks for being my fan.

Dim Flaxenwick from Great Britain on December 03, 2009:

wow! you have a new fan. Not only was the entire hub superb but every single detail was as I was taught in the 50s as a child. Then , I could not believe you'e typed the words of "smile" My dad sang it to my brother and me after mum dyed. We were only 10yrs and 7yrs. You've taken me down memory lane with laughter and tears. Thank you

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 02, 2009:

Kebennett1— Thank you, dear! Restaurants can be pretty gross these days due to the lack of manners of our fellow diners. You gotta love 'em! :)

I so appreciate your ongoing support and encouragement. I'll be over to read your latest Hub tonight.

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on December 02, 2009:

James, awesome Hub. So many people have no idea how to even set a table appropriately. Or how to use a napkin! It is amazing how much has been lost from generation to generation. I can not stand it when I hear smacking, slurping and people talking with their mouths full. It is disgusting. It is common sense to me to have good manners, but unfortunately common sense is not so common any more!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

Mahogany— Thank you very much! I am glad I provided a tidbit or two you found useful. I appreciate the visit.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

Deerwhisperer— Thank you for your kind words. You are welcome. Good luck on your assignment. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community.

Mahogany on December 01, 2009:

Wow, I thought table etiquette had died off ages ago. Not only is it still alive and thriving, but it seems that also there's still an interest in improvement.

Great hub, I walked away with a thing or two (i.e. - such as ALWAYS passing salt and pepper together... as they need to remain a pair - so simple yet not necessarily obvious).

Brenda K Krupnow from Ravenden, AR on December 01, 2009:

I wish I had read your article before we had to do an assignment on etiquette in school.But then, this is my first time on HubPages. Thanks for the pointers.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

jill of alltrades— Well . . . I haven't published anything on the most beautiful women of Bollywood yet. :D

Thank you. I am truly humbled by your laudatory words. It has been said about me that I am an archive of useless knowledge. :) Maybe some of it is useful after all. I am grateful for what you wrote. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

Madame X— Welcome back! I've missed you. I am attempting to launch a resurgence of manners. I am glad you agree. Thank you for your fine comments.

jill of alltrades from Philippines on December 01, 2009:

Wow James, isn't there anything you can't write about? Art, History, Religion, Politics, Planes, Music, etc... and now dining etiquette.

You really amaze me James! I know I have said this several times already but I don't mind repeating it here.

Great hub!

Madame X on December 01, 2009:

Oh James - I didn't think anyone knew these things anymore! My biggest pet peeve - chewing with one's mouth open (and making a lot of noise while doing so- yuk!) it makes it almost impossible to eat with them. My old boyfriend's brother used to floss his teeth at the table after dinner sometimes. I would just get up and leave without a word - and he never noticed!

Great hub - needed to be said!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

prettydarkhorse— That's Ok, girl. I knew what you meant. I thought you were funny. Smile and have a good day yourself. As Charlie Chaplin said:

Smile though your heart is aching

Smile even though it's breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness

Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near

That's the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what's the use of crying?

You'll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

50 Caliber— Oh man! That is laugh out loud funny, dude. Thank you very much for sharing that clip. I hope everybody watches it. I have seen that movie but I had forgotten this scene.

prettydarkhorse from US on December 01, 2009:

Hi Mr James, eating like a man (sorry for that word), I was just smiling because I grew up in a farming village and my mother used to say that, (farmers eat with their bare hands) and eat while talking and big gulp, haha, She will tell me not to eat like a man,,,

smile smile and smile, have a good day, maita

50 Caliber from Arizona on December 01, 2009:


There is a sample of the movie clip from "The Cowboy Way" there is more too it but that will get you started! I recommend the movie just for the funnies in it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

Truth From Truth— Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate you coming by. I agree with you.

Truth From Truth from Michigan on November 30, 2009:

Great points on table manners. I remember growing up being told these same points by my father. And while I have forgotten a few, I still follow most table manners. I wish more people would as well, especially at upscale, quality, restaurants.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

quietnessandtrust— Ya'acoov here. :) Eating alone is no holds barred, brother. Have at it. I dirty as few dishes as possible. We drummers have a code of our own. Thanks for the visitation and your thoughts.

quietnessandtrust on November 30, 2009:

Are there any rules for eating alone? LOL

I live alone and eat right out of the pan, why dirty a dish eh?

No napkins either, for what? I mean hey, if you are careful, you need none. LOL

It is a very well done hub Ya'acoov.

None of it applies to us drummers though, right?


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

Peggy W— Amen to that. I hope it is useful. I appreciate your validation. Thanks for visiting. It's nice to see you again.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 30, 2009:

Good manners never go out of style. The problem is...some people have never been taught good manners. So your hub is valuable. Good job!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

Kaie— Actually, I like the mini-crater. I think you should keep it. It has personality. I like the eating rule in your book. Makes perfect sense. Thank you for reading my article and leaving your comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

Nemingha— Well at least your kids know enough to be against it! :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

advisor4qb— AH! We are always in a hurry. Maybe we should slow down and smell the roses. Enjoy a leisurely meal in the French style. Just a thought. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

dusanotes— Thank you, Don for your fine comments and your affirmation. I might return to this subject in the future with etiquette around the world. That would be interesting. Yes, the Europeans cut their food differently. They don't use the crossover as we do. I enjoy the crossover. Also, Europeans use their fork with tines down. Americans, tines up. Generally speaking. :)

Kaie Arwen on November 30, 2009:

Uh oh.......... I spent far too much time reading this weekend!

I found 22 rules for eating in someone else's home; my favorite encompasses eating just about anywhere, "If you would be what you like to be abroad --- take care that you are what you would like to be --- at home."

Thanks for all the advice............ I eat french fries maybe once a year, and guess what? I do it right! Well, my small pool may be more like a mini crater, but I can work on that.

Nemingha on November 30, 2009:

I love double dipping! I only do it at home though, and it's mostly to annoy my kids!

advisor4qb from On New Footing on November 30, 2009:

Gosh, sometimes I am in such a hurry to eat before I have to do something that I never even think about manners. But now I know where to look if I ever choose to learn this stuff.....I like the way you map it all out in layman's terms.....thanks!

dusanotes from Windermere, FL on November 30, 2009:

There was nothing you said that I could disagree with. Well done, James. I think the one about tasting your food before salting is especially important. So many people get into the habit, once seated, to pour on the salt and pepper - or the Pace. It's ridiculous. Tasting the food beforehand solves a lot of problems. And I agree, it's an extreme insult to a cook, your wife or any cook, to presume the job wasn't done well enough by scattering it with condiments before eating. Eating rules differ slightly abroad. For example, the Brits and Germans always use the fork in their left hand and cut with the right hand. Maybe you should do another Hub highlighting the differences you have seen during your trips to many different countries. Thanks, Don White

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

prettydarkhorse— eat like a man!? What's that supposed to mean!? :D

If you are alone I think etiquette matters not. I think etiquette is for other people.

Thank you for your thoughts. I enjoy reading your comments. You are fresh and funny.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

Betty Reid— Thank you for the compliment. I'm glad you liked the pics. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

ethel smith— HA! Maybe so. :-)

You are welcome. Thank you for your comments. The deconstruction of custom, tradition and authority that has gone on in the past 50 years, has had manners as one small casualty.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

DGMischSr— I am not aware of any exceptions to the one bite rule, except a note that two cut bites at a time is not a major faux pas. You have asked a great question. My book "Etiquette" is silent on wedge salad. I'm afraid I'm stumped. Help, anybody?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

"Quill"— You are welcome. Plain simple manners are all that are needed. I would say your rearing put you ahead of the game. I had no rearing my self and had to learn from books. Thanks for the message.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

50 Caliber— The Marine Chow Hall is surely outside the bounds of this article. I can't think of the scene you are referring to but I would like to. It's not the hilarious bowling movie is it? I love that one. With Randy Quaid—who is also hilarious in the Vacation movies.

I'm glad to have provided some laughs. It's never too late! :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

Hello, hello,— I do not mind at all; in fact I am well pleased that you added that wisdom. You are right. I should have clarified how much to twirl. You have a good eye for detail! Thank you so much for coming! :-)

prettydarkhorse from US on November 30, 2009:

hi James, nice one, I learned some of it, and I must admit am guilty of some too, like spaghetti although when I am hungry I can eat like a man,,,(sorry for that word). if I am alone sometimes I have to forego some utensils, I am always almost like a lady except when I am so hungry...have a good day, Maita

Betty Reid from Texas on November 30, 2009:

Nice hub. I don't agree completely, but the photos are awesome.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on November 30, 2009:

Thanks for the reminder :) So may people eat like pigs these days. Perhaps that is insulting to pigs though.

DGMischSr from Maricopa, AZ on November 30, 2009:

"If you are served a salad with large pieces of lettuce, cut it into bite sized pieces one bite at a time".

James, In question about the popular :salad wedge quarter". To distribute dressing & other toppings would cutting more than one bite at a time be appropriate?

"Quill" on November 30, 2009:

Thanks for the hub always interesting, I was raised in a simple home, simple food and we were taught proper manners at the table, just plain simple manners.


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