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Oct 18, 2022 | Samuel Albert
Culture shock has become a thing of the past. Instead, learning and adapting to a different culture is the trend these days. For example, learning the art of cutlery usage and table manners has become a part of the work-business world. When your business partner is the one you want to please and impress over dinner, and you have to pull off that deal, I can't stress it enough. As a result, dining etiquettes have become an integral part of work culture these days.
In both Continental and American dining styles, hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand. Though both hold the food with the fork and cut it with the knife, Americans switch the fork from left to right to eat, while the British do not.
Let your fingers practice handling the knife and fork. Hold it, feel it and get used to it. You need to RELAX! One needs to have ample practice to comfortably eat with these two in your hand while you go on to have a light conversation over the luncheon or dinner with your business partner. Practice a few sessions at home to avoid initial glitches and overcome the uncomfortable feeling of using the cutlery. Once you get the hang of it, no one will know that you are a rookie. Now, let's get started!
Hold your fork in your left hand, so that the tines of the fork face downwards. Let the index finger be on top of the fork to have more control of the fork with your thumb holding the base.
Hold your knife in the right hand in a cutting position. Let your index finger rest on the blunt end of the knife. Hold your thumb at the bottom and let the rest of the hand go around the handle.
Use the fork to hold down the food firmly and cut it into bite-sized pieces, one or two at a time, so it is easier to pick it up with the fork and put it in your mouth.
Americans start eating by holding the fork in their left hand and the knife in their left. After they cut the food with the knife, they put down the knife on the top of the plate. They then pass the fork to the right hand and use it to pick their food, with the tines facing upwards and remaining so throughout the meal.
The British and the rest of the world never exchange cutlery while eating. Instead, they use the fork to hold the food and cut it with the knife. Also, they use the knife to pile the food onto the fork and eat with it. The knife also aids the fork in the food cutting and gathering process.
If you are left-handed, except for the fact that there will be some elbow bumping (watch out!) when you dine with right-handed people, you can get by without any incident.
You can reverse the hands and hold the fork in your right and the knife in the left (if you are comfortable doing so!) or choose to go the traditional way.
In cutlery language, you are taking a break if you cross the knife and the fork, with the fork over the knife, or place them in an inverted V.
Photo by Viktoria Slowikowska
If you have finished your meal, place the fork and knife parallel to each other - between 11ish to 12 o'clock or 10ish to 4 o'clock. The waiter knows that he can remove your plate.
Also, note that in Europe, your fork will be facing downwards, while in America, it will be facing upwards in these cases.
Photo by Team Picsfast