Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What is Etiquette?

Today, I thought it would be great to give a little brush up on 

Have you ever sat and watched people as they were eating?

I have, 
and it is not only comical, 
& disgusting at points 
but, in some cases it is thrilling to see someone 
who is actually using proper etiquette.

It may seem a little "old school" but I love the formality of it all!

I looked up the meaning of Etiquette and this is what it said:

It's a system of rules and conventions that regulate social 
and professional behavior.

Why do most people only bring out their manners 
when they know people are watching???

Why not use them all the time?


A formal dinner consists of 7 courses - in this order: 
soup, salad, fish, sorbet or pallet cleanser, meat or fowl dish, 
dessert and coffee.

Here is a great picture that I found of a proper place setting. 

Explanation of above: 
starting clockwise

1. Stemware - limited to 4 (as shown).  
Wine is poured from right to left.  
Do not overfill glasses. 
positioning - top left - water glass, top right - red wine glass, 
bottom left - white wine glass, bottom right - champagne flute.

2. Cutlery - 3 knives & 1 spoon.
positioning - left - Meat knife, Fish knife, salad knife, soup spoon.

3. Napkin - once everyone is seated the host takes his/her napkin, 
then guests follow and place their napkin on their laps.

4. Plates - 2  
top is for salad, bottom is for main course.

5. Cutlery - 3 forks.
positioning - left - Salad fork, Fish fork, Meat fork.

Rule of thumb with Cutlery - Use from the inside out, 
once a utensel has been used it should not touch the table again.

Rule of thumb with flatware - The number of silverware pieces 
indicates how many courses are to be served.  

6. Bread dish & butter knife - tear bread into bite sized pieces on the 
bread dish and butter each piece just before you are to eat it.

7. Salt & Pepper shakers - they should be passed together 
even if asked for separately.
Taste food before salt & peppering.

8. Place card - Never switch or change seating arrangements already planned by host.

9. Dessert spook & fork - when dessert is served with a fork & spoon, the fork is the pusher and the spoon is used for eating.


Now on to a few more essential need to knows:

 1. When eating soup - tilt the spoon away from you.
When getting to bottom of the soup - tilt the bowl away from you to spoon up the last bits.

2. When holding utensils - knives & forks are held in a relaxed manner.
When holding the meat knife, place your index finger about an inch down from the handle to help press down firmly.  Hold the fork in your let hand, prongs down.  Cut only enough food for each mouthful.

3. Foods that you can and should eat with your fingers - 
asparagus, corn on the cob, artichoke, bread, hors d'oeuvres, 
chips, cookies, fruit, sandwiches with fries.

4. Resting positions - (image of knife and fork on plate)
When stepping away from the table your knife and fork 
should be crossed in one of the positions shown.

When stepping away from the table, leave your napkin loosely on the chair.

5. Finishing positions - (image shown with plate cup and napkin)
The dessert spoon should be resting on the saucer not the cup.
At the end of the meal, the knife and fork should eb at 11 o'clock position.

Rule of thumb with finishing - Wait for the host to loosely place 
his/her napkin to the left of his/her place 
setting when the meal is finished.


Proposing a Toast!

The custom of clinking glasses originally was used to drive away evil spirits.
If you clink, do so with care, especially with fine crystal.
For the most part, simply raise your glass in the direction 
of the person being toasted.  
Toasts should be long enough to cover the subject but short 
enough to be amusing *about a minute.

Toast people in their native tongue:
Spanish - Salud (SA Lud)
Irish - Slainte (SLAWNT tche)
Yiddish - L'chaim (leh KHY yim)
German - Prosit (PRO sit)
Japanese - Kanpai (KAHN pi)
French - Sante (SAN tay)


Well, I hope that helped... or even made you feel like going out 
and trying out your skills. 
I love fine dining and I love food.  
I will be sure to sharpen my skills at my next outing.