Brief Pointers on Table Manners

The following are a few simple tips that can help polish up your table manners!

  1. When you sit down at the table, put your napkin in your lap.
  2. If six people or less are at a table, wait until all are served before starting to eat. At a buffet where there are eight or ten people at a table, wait until half the table has been seated before starting to eat.
  3. Diets, foods you are allergic to, or foods you don't like, aren't really dinner conversation.
  4. Elbows can be placed on the table between courses when no food is at your place. In America, the hand not being used should rest in your lap. Worldwide, continental style of dining allows wrists to rest on the table.
  5. If you have to sneeze or cough at the table, turn your head to the side and cover your mouth with the napkin.
  6. Skip remarks such as "I'm too full," "I ate too much," or "I'm stuffed!"
  7. Eat slowly! Don’t overload the fork or spoon.
  8. Remove olive pits and small bones from the mouth with the thumb and forefinger. A piece of meat you can't chew is slid onto the fork and placed on your dinner plate.
  9. Sandwiches, olives, celery, radishes, raw carrots, salted nuts, fresh fruits, cookies and small cakes are put on your plate before eating, not on the tablecloth.
  10. Bread and rolls are broken (never cut) one piece at a time and each piece buttered as it is eaten.
  1. Fried chicken is eaten with a knife and fork, unless you are at a picnic where you can use your fingers.
  2. Pizza - just bend it so you can get it into your mouth.
  3. French fries are eaten with a fork - cut them in half if they are bigger than bite size. (Eat them with your fingers if you are at a picnic.)
  4. When eating spaghetti, hold a large spoon in your left hand. Holding the fork in your right hand, wind the pasta around the fork while pushing against the spoon.
  5. When eating corn on the cob, butter and salt only a few rows at a time and hold the ear in both hands.
  1. Use a fork on gooey sandwiches and a knife and fork on hot sandwiches.
  2. Eat pie with a dessert fork and cake à la mode with a dessert fork and spoon.
  3. Condiments such as mustard, ketchup, relishes, and jelly go on your plate first instead of directly on the food.
  4. After your meal is over, say something nice about the food to your host.

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