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Old 12-30-2006, 10:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13

No one uses a spoon to eat spaghetti in Italy. Many people are quite deft at neatly twirling a biteful on a fork at the edge of the pasta dish (they are semi deep, so you can push the fork agains it for this purpose), some people just twirl the half dishful onto a fork and gobble it down, some people just slurp them up, but never a spoon.

Also in Italy, aside from a street take away pizzeria where you buy them by a slice (here they usually fold the slice in two to make a "sandwich"), at a table people eat their pizzas with knife and fork, very rarely they grab a slice by hand. It took me a while before I realized this, and while no one say anything, it makes me feel a little barbaric.... thus I learned to eat with knife and fork if I do eat them in a restaurant... however we rarely do... we prefer our own homemade pizza at home!
My wife and I discovered both of these during the 3 weeks we spent in Italy last summer. We had a pizza supper party with an Italian family in Varese, with home made pizza cooked in Alberto's wood-fired oven. Delicious food and wine, a wonderful time, and the pizza was always eaten with knife and fork.

And we never, ever saw any Italians in any restaurant using a spoon for assistance with any sort of long pasta.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:15 PM   #12
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Here's a book that might help...

The Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining by Colleen Rush

I will buy this.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:38 AM   #13
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In Asia I know you CAN slurp, in Turkey you CAN burp, the only thing that drives me bonkers is when people eat with thier elbows on the table.

And all I can think about is the Double Dip episode of Sienfield whenever there is a "dip" involved.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:45 AM   #14
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double dipping bothers me, as well as someone inviting themselves to something on my plate and jamming their hands into my food.

chewing with your mouth open, or sitting down to dinner wearing a ratty baseball cap (unless you're at a game or outdoors) are about the only other things that bug me of eating ettiquette.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:13 AM   #15
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my mom would flip if I wore a hat at the table.

As for the elbow thing, my grandmother would always recite this poem:
"Mable, Mable, if you're able
keep your elbows OFF the table
for this is not a horses stable
but a decent dinning table"

Goes to show, it stuck with me!
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:01 PM   #16
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I always use a fork to slide grilled kebab foods onto plates, EXCEPT for small appetizer-size bamboo skewers (like used in Satay chicken, etc.) where the meat cubes are bite-sized & the meat is obviously meant to be eaten right off the skewer. These types of kebabs are meant to be eaten off the bamboo skewer & are sold as "street food" in many countries.
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:17 PM   #17
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Love this thread. Many years ago when our 5 children were just leaving the nest, we used to have a once-a-month weekend dinner we called "Dinner Sunday." I don't remember if it was the last Sunday of the month or the first one. In either case, the children were always present because they were usually broke by that time of the month.

On these Sundays, the meal was always multiple courses and served with the best linens, china, glassware and silver. It was always fun and Buck and I took this opportunity to instill/reinforce proper dining etiquette and to introduce different kinds of cuisine to them. The "different" cuisine wasn't so new to them because I always prepared a wide range of fare as they were growing up.

As a result, proper table manners were learned, correct silverware etiquette, etc. No elbows were allowed and yes, Bucky, no one was allowed to wear a hat at the table. That makes me crazy, too.

All the children are big people now and can hold their own at the most elegant of occasions. For a time, our daughter dated a guy who had ties to the Washington, DC embassy circle, which put her in some unusually ritzy situations. She always felt confident and made Buck and me proud of how she represented our family.

IMO common good manners have been tossed out and I think they should be brought back.
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TATTRAT
my mom would flip if I wore a hat at the table.

As for the elbow thing, my grandmother would always recite this poem:
"Mable, Mable, if you're able
keep your elbows OFF the table
for this is not a horses stable
but a decent dinning table"

Goes to show, it stuck with me!
and that's exactly why any well-bred horse is provided with a feed bag, to prevent any necessity of their needing to put their elbows on the table!
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:50 AM   #19
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observing proper etiquette in a fine dining establishment is all fine and well, but must our every waking moment be a test of social rectititude? i think it's a sad state of affairs if, after having your nose to the grindstone all day, you can't sit at your own table, with the people you're most intimate with, and simply relax and enjoy a meal. must we also sit properly and attend to good posture while sitting on the sofa or attending to the calls of nature?

i'm all for the relaxation of most so-called etiquette and feel that simply being considerate of others is all that is necessary to be well-mannered. i like stirblue's description of american table manners as "eating modestly" but i'd like to add "eating in a relaxed manner" too. we don't mind passing our forks back and forth from left to right. it's not only more comfortable, but gives us more time to enjoy the meal and the company.

of course i'm not advocating slovenliness or unhygenic displays of body fluids. poise at the table is a very fine thing indeed, but a spirit of poise and grace is more important than strict observance of artificial points of etiquette.

other than heading off to the bedroom with someone, you can't get much more intimate with people than breaking bread with them. and what's more intimate at the table than leaning over with your elbows on the table? both of them.

at a wedding or a nice restaurant, it's nice to know the finer points of cutlery and table service, not to be able to distinguish yourself from an oaf, but because it's fun. my own sentiment, as an ex-chef with many years at "fine dining" establishments, is that i wish people would take etiquette less seriously, and remember what fun it is to eat with your best friends at a dress up pretend tea party.

tattrat, i hope you can learn to put your elbows on the table at home.

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Old 01-01-2007, 11:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
double dipping bothers me, as well as someone inviting themselves to something on my plate and jamming their hands into my food.

chewing with your mouth open, or sitting down to dinner wearing a ratty baseball cap (unless you're at a game or outdoors) are about the only other things that bug me of eating ettiquette.
Oh Bucky, How I soooo agree with this!! None of this is allowed even at home here. Might I add making awful noises while eating too? Still working on the hubby for that! His father was a very dignified eater, always used a fork and knife to eat fried chicken. Now his mother, that is a different story; it is not pleasant to see a woman walk around for hours after a BBQ with sauce from ear to ear (shudder!). Napkins (wet and dry) were provided and yet she would not wipe her face. Common-sense manners and courtesy are sooo missing these days!
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