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DT: other worlds

Unofficial Etiquette Pollage

Posted on 2009.01.06 at 14:28

Comments:


Magpie
sistermagpie at 2009-06-01 19:11 (UTC) ()
I have always been fascinated by the British way. It's not just keeping the fork in the same hand, it's this whole wiping of the knife on the food first. I don't think I'd ever be able to do it exactly right.

I read in a book once, btw, that this difference mostly went back to the introduction of the fork occurring in the early days of the US. I've no idea if it was true (though it was in a history book), but it did totally explain it. Basically, knives used to be sharp and pointed to stab the mean with to pick it up, but when forks were introduced they started to get rounded at the tip.

But Americans weren't really making their own cutlery at that point. So they started getting these non-pointy knives but hadn't yet found out about the forks. So they evolved this way of dealing with it, eating with a non-pointy knife and a spoon. Where Europeans simply learned to use the fork as the pointy end of the knife, Americans learned to use a fork as a spoon. You had to switch hands.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2009-06-01 19:14 (UTC) ()
Ooh, I want to read that book! And there is knife wiping? Woah. I didn't know THAT, either! :)
Magpie
sistermagpie at 2009-06-01 19:16 (UTC) ()
They probably don't refer to it as that or even notice it, but it's just one of those fascinating physical things that are second nature to some and totally foreign to others? It's probably just as weird to them to watch me switch my fork into my other hand, but that's just kind of awkward.
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