The use of forks and spoons differ among different countries, depending upon the food they eat. South Asian, African, and the Arab countries traditionally use their hands for eating food, while using spoons and forks to eat those foods, which are unsuitable to eat with hands, like soups, desserts, ice creams, porridge etc. Nowadays, forks and spoons have made their way into the dining table of various cultures and are considered a part of the table etiquette. For starters, using a fork and spoon, can be fraught with difficulty, so it requires a little practice. There are certain rules, which govern the use of knife, and forks, which are necessary to know in order to have good table manners. In her book, ‘The Rituals of Dinner’, Margaret Visser, opines that table etiquettes are a sort of ritual, that helps to control the violence that is involved, in the preparation and cooking of meals. As forks, spoons and knives can be used as weapons, so there is a traditional rule not to hold or use them in a threatening manner, while having food. Given below are tips to show you, how to use forks and spoons.
Using Forks And Spoons Correctly
- Spoons are used to scoop liquid and semi-liquid foods like soups, broths, and ice creams. Forks are used to hold the food in place for cutting and putting it in the mouth. Forks can be used for eating anything other than bread, sandwiches, rotis and the like.
- Generally, the fork is held in the left hand, with the prongs facing downwards, if there is any cutting to be done, otherwise it can be used with the right hand. Americans prefer to put their food from the right hand so after cutting, they fix their bite with the fork, by the left hand, and then transfer the fork to their right, before putting in the mouth. Europeans, on the other hand, use their left hand and the fork, to put their food in the mouth. So, either way is acceptable.
- Spoons are always held in the right hand (other than left handed persons).
- Use spoons to scoop soup from the bowl, and sip it gently, without making any slurping noises, from the side of the spoon, and not from the tip.
- Hold the spoon and fork horizontally between, the index finger and the thumb. Use the thumb to steady the spoon and fork. Never hold them in your fist, as it is considered a threatening gesture, which is a bad table manner. Also never, point them at your companions.
- The spoon can be used to push the food onto the fork and vice versa.
- Never keep fork and spoon on the table. Put it on the side of your plate.
- Always keep the prongs of the fork downwards.
- Don’t lick the fork or spoon. At the end of the meal, the fork should be placed with the prongs facing upwards.