Monday, November 09, 2009

Eating MANners

Here are some more MANners for you gentlemen to "chew on."  Not everyone has liked my suggestions so far, yet they don't seem to give a lot of reasons why in the comments.  Tell us why you think these are off-base.

  • Never talk when there is food in your mouth.
  • Avoid chewing your food with your mouth open.
  • Sit up straight in your chair.
  • At formal meals, stand whenever a lady sits or gets up from table.
  • Learn place settings. It is not that hard!
  • Simply use utensils in order as the meal is served.
  • Place your napkin on your lap.
  • Cut meat with your knife in your right hand and fork in left. Then transfer utensils to take a bite. (Reverse if left-handed.) There is some variance of opinion on whether or not one should cut all the meat at once and then eat, or cut one piece at a time.
  • Never use your fingers to push food onto your fork. That is what your knife is for.
  • Do not eat until the host has picked up her utensil. Also, do not begin to eat until you have been passed all of the food. Wait until everyone is served before eating.
  • Eat slowly and don't gobble up the food. Someone took a long time to prepare the food, enjoy it slowly. Slowly means to wait about 5 seconds after swallowing before getting another forkful.
  • When eating rolls, tear off a piece of bread before buttering. Do not cut your roll with your knife but break in pieces with your hands.
  • Don’t clear the dishes off the table until everyone has finished eating.
  • Don’t start eating your dessert until the hostess sits down and begins hers. This may mean you have to sit looking at an incredible piece of dessert for some time. Deal with this. :-)


  1. These kind of lists are definitely not emerging but generally old-school out of touch hold-overs. Who the heck should switch hands after cutting their meat? Most of these are expressions of casuistry which simply satisfy the list-makers. Let's get a life and enjoy our Christian freedom. Is anyone's conscience really truly violated if someone's mouth opens while chewing? Come on...


  2. Ha! As one who frequently prepares meals and watches people eat the meals, I enjoy seeing these things practiced Paul. It's not a legalistic thing for me, or something that has to be stuck to hard and fast but just a general guideline. We have lots of fun at our table to be sure but certain manners make things just a little nicer.
    I like your suggestion to eat slowly. It is nice, if possible, to linger over food that has taken sometimes hours to prepare. Just one more thing, I have eaten countless meals at my Grandparents homes...And I think I like 'old school'.

  3. Paul, glad you mentioned tearing off a piece of bread before buttering instead of using a knife. That's what I learned years ago from an English lady in school. But someone else in recent years disagreed and said one should cut the roll with one's knife. I got thoroughly confused since then.