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Fork Etiquette?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am going violate a fundamental principle of mine and post nearly identical topic to one I just posted on the AAAC Forum.

Anyway, I have an ongoing dispute with my wife and her son about which is the most correct and genteel fork to use when eating fish. We don't own dedicated fish forks. In their absence, I say that the lighter, more delicate "salad" forks are most appropriate. They favor the large, heavy forks that we would use for eating steak. This seems crude and subpar to me.

Any of the SFers have strong convictions on this?
post #2 of 22
Get less heavy dinner forks. The fish is the main course, so you use the dinner fork. But overlarge dinner forks are kind of irritating in general, and are leading to your confusion. Maybe they should be dedicated to steak and other manly food use?
post #3 of 22
chopsticks
post #4 of 22
Fish knives are a Victorian invention, stemming from the pathological need of the 19th century bourgeoisie of having specially dedicated cutlery, rooms, clothing etc. for every conceivable purpose. The forks that follow fish knives are generally of the same size and shape as ordinary table forks, although often with somewhat shorter and broader prongs. Fish knives are regarded as very petit-bourgeois in many quarters.
post #5 of 22
Fish sandwich.
post #6 of 22
dinner fork
post #7 of 22
Forks. It's farely easy question

But what about eating bread with your food? Yes, actual bread slice with nothing on it. How do you do that? Bite off a piece and put it down? :P
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkzzzz
Forks. It's farely easy question

But what about eating bread with your food? Yes, actual bread slice with nothing on it. How do you do that? Bite off a piece and put it down? :P
Yes, but pace it so you have a chunk to mop up sauce/stew with it. Depending on the sauce.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel

Any of the SFers have strong convictions on this?

Wow. Putting this much thought into this is very to me.

Jon.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkzzzz
But what about eating bread with your food? Yes, actual bread slice with nothing on it. How do you do that? Bite off a piece and put it down? :P
I was taught to tear off a bite-sized piece of any breadstuff and then, and only then, spread butter on it, and then consume it.

(And j is correct: one must keep an appropriately-sized piece in reserve to enjoy the last of the sauce/gravy.)
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube
I was taught to tear off a bite-sized piece of any breadstuff and then, and only then, spread butter on it, and then consume it.

(And j is correct: one must keep an appropriately-sized piece in reserve to enjoy the last of the sauce/gravy.)
Oh, right, forgot. Tear off 1-2 bite pieces. Also, when you take butter, take a big chunk and put it on your plate, then pass it. Use that to butter the pieces.
post #12 of 22
A different question about forks; how do you hold them?

I only use a fork "prongs pointing downwards" when I can actually "pierce" my food. Think meat and firm vegetables like asperges.

(wierd choice of words but my English is only soso...)

For all other things like mashed potatoes or peas I use a fork with the "prongs pointing up".

I think you are supposed to always use the "pointing downwards" manner but this seems rather impractical to me?
post #13 of 22
Your way is right. Generally, you don't want to use the fork points downward unless necessary because you can scratch the plates or make horrid sounds when the tines contact the china.

Also, when using the fork to pierce something that needs to be cut (like a steak), one typically transfers it to the left (or weaker) hand and uses the right (or dominant) hand to use the knife to cut. Some people then transfer the fork back to the dominant hand to eat the bite, which I find sort of strange.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40kaas-nl
A different question about forks; how do you hold them?

I only use a fork "prongs pointing downwards" when I can actually "pierce" my food. Think meat and firm vegetables like asperges.

(wierd choice of words but my English is only soso...)

For all other things like mashed potatoes or peas I use a fork with the "prongs pointing up".

I think you are supposed to always use the "pointing downwards" manner but this seems rather impractical to me?

This is actually kind of wrong. I took an etiquette class and this is how we were taught. You should cut your meat with the fork prongs facing downwards. Then you are supposed to dip it in whatever sauce or juice is part of the dish, then you are supposed to spread the mashed potatoes or rice or whatever side dish on top of the meat with the prongs still facing down and then you are supposed to consume the whole thing at once. It actually looks pretty elegant when done correctly.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by j
Your way is right. Generally, you don't want to use the fork points downward unless necessary because you can scratch the plates or make horrid sounds when the tines contact the china.

Also, when using the fork to pierce something that needs to be cut (like a steak), one typically transfers it to the left (or weaker) hand and uses the right (or dominant) hand to use the knife to cut. Some people then transfer the fork back to the dominant hand to eat the bite, which I find sort of strange.

I thought the "proper" way to eat was left-handed (i.e. continental)?
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