dimanche 4 mars 2007
The above cartoon for kids to color, cut out, and fold into a cube shape. Then the cube is to be placed in the center of the table for reminding. Oh what fun!
It basically says (top right, clockwise) The good manners at the table: Have good manners when you eat. Wipe your face in order to eat cleanly. Talk quietly. Don't forget to say please and thank you. Close your mouth after each bite. Here is what people do when they have good manners.
Then the following pictures: Don't forget to say please and thank you. Wipe your mouth. Chew with your mouth closed.

There are a few differences between US and French etiquette when it comes to table manners.

First of all, the french leave both wrists resting on the table while eating, usually with silverware in each hand. It was explained to me that this was to make sure no under-table hanky-panky goes on, but I don't know if this is true or not.

Secondly, they eat in the traditional European manner, knife in right hand, fork in left, not the old switcheroo that Americans do.

I have not really caught on to these two customs. I usually will put my left hand in my lap and switch the silverware after cutting.

It is also considered impolite to cut your salad. You are instead supposed to fold it and then eat it. I still cut my salad and gasp! even my spaghetti.

Often bread will be used to sop up any remaining juices and sauce. To signal that they are done eating, they will cross their knife and fork on their plates, rather than leaving them side by side as American do.

At the end of the meal, the hostess will gather all the plates together and pile them up before taking them into the kitchen. This means that any remaining food on your plate will be embarrassingly scraped off onto the top plate. So try not to leave any food on your plate.

Some other points from Wikipedia-

The salt and pepper are always passed together.
Remember to always say please and thank you - s'il vous plait and merci
It is considered good manners to finish everything on your plate.
Do not put ice in your wine. At restaurants, wine is served at the temperature at which it is meant to be enjoyed.
(--who puts ice in their wine anyway?!!--)

When invited over to someone's house for dinner, it is customary to present the hostess with flowers and the host with a bottle of wine, which may or may not be used during the dinner. Therefore, people will sometimes call ahead of time to see what you are fixing to find a wine that matches. I have been told it is bad manners to not use the wine that the guests bring for the dinner during the dinner. Apparently, for formal dinners, flowers are sent the morning of, so the hostess has time to prepare them and set them out on display.

The order of the meal usually is appetizer, main dish, salad, cheese, fruit and/or dessert, coffee. Fruit, such as apples and pears, are usually peeled with a knife before eating. I have shocked many french sensibilities by chomping in straightaway to an unpeeled apple. Then they gasp in horror and run to wash it in the sink.

5 commentaires:

deedee a dit…

Some stuff must rub off, because now I hold my fork and knife like the french do, but I stll tend to put one hand down on my lap. I still love to shock my mil by eating unpeeled fruit, hehe :)

CraftyRachel a dit…

Me too! I have tried *so* hard to follow the French customs and not embarrass myself, and now when I'm in the States I probably look like I'm being rude with two hands on the table!

Anonyme a dit…

This is interesting...I'm assuming what's customary in the US varies from region to region as well. My mother would have a coronary if I cut salad before eating it and spaghetti...well I'd probably have a coronary if I did that. :0)

We leave our wrists on the table, but not both...and using the bread - my father would get a kick out of this as he's a complete cowboy and finds this acceptable, much to my metropolitan mother's horror. It's very funny to watch. And I cross my utensils but I don't know if I always did that or if I picked it up in Germany.

My boyfriend says that I eat like "a cute little pig". I eat a lot. I don't know how take this because of the cultural difference. So far, I've just chosen to be flattered.

Starman a dit…

When in France (and at home aussie) I keep my wrists on the table like the French. I didn't know about crossing the knife and fork. I've never seen that done. Since I'm one of the lucky ones who never have to worry about gaining weight, I rarely leave anything on my plate (except for the last time I was in Paris at Chez Francine in the 15éme).

Unknown a dit…

Pretty much all true bar a few.

- Knife and fork are to be laid alongside each other and to the side (at roughly 2pm if you consider your plate as a clock).
- Bread is indeed used to sop up sauces however it proper etiquette states that it must only be done with a fork. (not with your hands).

- Cutting your salad is impolite indeed, however, whoever prepared it should have been considerate enough to tear it into a manageable size ahead of time. If cut you must then only to be done with the edge of your fork.

- It is indeed good form not to turn up empty handed to a dinner party and flowers or chocolates will do however, wine is a tricky one. Some people take offense as it suggests the guest thinks the host will not serve good enough wine. Bubbles may be a good alternative.

- Fruit will indeed generally be peeled not only with a knife but also a fork. So as not to have messy hands.

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