Sunday, November 13, 2011

Approaching the "Party" Season - Part II

Dinner Table Etiquette - the 10 Don'ts!

  1. NEVER start eating before a signal from the host to do so.
  2. Forks should not be turned over unless being used for eating peas, sweetcorn kernels, rice or other similar foods. In which case, it should be transferred to the right hand. However, at acasual buffet, or barbecue it is quite acceptable to eat with just a fork.
  3. It is not generally regarded as good dinner table etiquette to use one's bread for dipping into soups or mopping up sauces.
  4. Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite. The number one sin of dinner table etiquette!
  5. Talking with one's mouth full. is not only unpleasant to watch, but could also lead to choking! Definitely not a good idea!
  6. Don't stretch across the table crossing other guests to reach food, wine or condiments. Instead ask a guest sitting close to pass the item to you.
  7. Good dinner table etiquette sometimes involves a degree of diplomacy when it comes to the host's choice of food and wine! Even if you feel that you can do better, don't ever offer your criticism. If you feel unable to pay any compliments, at least remain silent on the subject.
  8. Picking teeth (unless toothpicks are provided) or licking fingers are very unattractive! The only exception to the latter is when eating meat or poultry on the bone (such as chicken legs or ribs). In which case, a finger bowl should be provided.
  9. Drinking too much wine can be very embarrassing! Where a different wine is served with each course, it is quite acceptable to not finish each glass.
  10. Don't forget to make polite conversation with those guests around you. Dinner parties are not just about the food, they are intended to be a sociable occasion!


  1. Oh my, I'm cracking up. As I read, I had visions of some really crude guests, hahahahaha.

    The one I want to question is not turning your fork over, except for peas, etc. You mean, leave the curve of the fork up? And put the meat, etc, in your mouth that way, still in your left hand, if you are right handed?

    I was taught just the opposite as a child. That you cut your meat, changed hands and turned the fork over before putting the meat into your mouth. I still eat that way, because I was taught that sticking my fork into my mouth with my left hand, "upside down" was crude.

    BUT, I've even heard arguments about that.

    I rarely eat in fancy company anyway. Oh, did I say "rarely"? I meant never anymore. I imagine I could probably dispense with utensils altogether and eat with my hands, and drink my soup straight out of the bowl. LOL

  2. You've now got me almost rolling on the floor with laughter, too. The idea of peas on a fork always confuses a lot of people. The article actually is one from America, and so Australian diners have to convert the do's and don'ts to how we eat in Australia. We eat with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right.

    However, the point in number 2 where it says the fork should not be turned over, is right, when you think about it. Because when eating peas, corn kernels etc, you want them to sit IN the fork, but when eating normally the curve of the fork has to be down.

    As far as meat is concerned with the fork in the left hand, we cut the meat with the knife that is in our right hand. The meat that has been cut we then pick up with the prongs on the fork and lift it to our mouth. (The fork is still in the right placement not upside down as maybe you thought.) Got it? We don't change hands, NORMALLY. But with that said, with peas, we either press peas onto the back of the fork and eat them that way, OR (yes, we've picked up some ideas from our American friends), we DO change hands and use the fork with the prongs up. We then take a few peas up to the mouth with the fork in the right hand.

    Most left handed people try to eat right handed. I can see you're really cracking up now.

    Hey, this article was only to hep those people who haven't a clue of how to behave when asked out to dine! LOL.

    And as far as drinking your soup straight out of a bowl, do as many of our Asian friends do. Yes, they drink out of the soup bowl!

    You know Janet, you've had me sitting here with a knife and fork, working out how to explain this darn thing to you and I'm struggling not to burst into loud laughter.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights.

  3. LOL, if we ever get to each other's county, we'll have to teach each other how to eat. HA! Your response gave me a good laugh too. LOL

    I think since you are on the upside down part of the earth, it is important to keep your food on the plate or speared with the fork, or crushed with the fork. (I never heard of mashing the peas with the fork and eating them that way. I just shovel 'em in with the fork.) But I think you have to do it that way, or your food will fly off the earth.

    Thanks for the fun conversations. hahaha