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RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE

EATING DIFFICULT FOOD

Though most food can normally be tackled with a fork or knife, some items of food require different skills to be able to enjoy them in a socially acceptable manner.

Spaghetti or Noodles
The strands of spaghetti or noodles are to be twined around the fork until they are all neatly wound up around it. The fork is then lifted to the mouth. It is better to bend forward slightly so that, in case some strands do slide off the fork, one can still put the rest quickly in the mouth. Cutting spaghetti with a knife is an insult to the chef.

Bread
When the bread basket, with assorted breads, is passed around, pick up your choice of bread and put it on the side plate. If a bread basket is kept nearby, pass it first to the person on the right, then help oneself and pass it to the person sitting on the left who can then pass it on. When anyone passes anything, do thank the person. One can take some butter from the butter dish and put it on the side plate and butter one piece at a time. When there are jams and marmalades, take the required quantity with a spoon on the side plate after which it may be applied to the bread with a butter knife.
Never lift butter or jam directly from the serving dish or jar and apply it straight on the bread.

Salads
They are eaten with a fork. But if a salad leaf is too big, it can be cut with a knife.

Peas
Press the peas on to the fork using the knife. Peas are eaten with a fork. The fork should not be used to pierce an individual pea.

Fish
When the fish that is served has a bone, hold the piece with the fork and work the top off with the knife. Then lift the entire backbone and keep it on the outer edge of the plate. If some bones are left on either side of the bottom portion of the fish, cut them out and keep them along with the skeleton on the edge of the plate.

Game or Poultry

Unless it is a barbecue, bones should not be touched with the fingers. Chicken, quail and similar food should be eaten with a fork and knife. Do not keep turning the bird over and over again in an attempt to get all the meat out.

Lobster and Crabs
The claws of a lobster or crab or generally cracked before serving. The cracker that is kept at the table is only for the applying the final pressure to make the shell crack open easily. Most of this delicious flesh is eaten with a fork and a fish knife; but a small oyster fork, which is normally kept for oysters, may also be provided to extract the meat from the claws. It is perfectly all right to break off the claws with your fingers and suck them.

Fruits Unless it is taken at a picnic, fruit should not be bitten into directly. Use a knife to cut it neatly into pieces, and then eat.

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