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American Eating Etiquette

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American eating etiquette

American eating etiquette is somehow quite interesting and largely it differs from conventional European style of dinning. Eating etiquette is not a single custom; it is comprised with three issues like

  1. Use of table accessories
  2. Table manner
  3. Eating etiquette



A Quick Over view of American eating etiquette


Let’s take a look on American specialty on each of these factors. However, while learning about American Eating etiquette it is better to remember that these formalities are maintained in luxury environment mainly under formal setting in hi-end restaurants only and are not for mediocre places.


American style of using table accessories

  1. If you are a right hander, hold the knife in right hand and hold the fork on the left hand Fork must hold the food.
  2. You have to cut a few bites sized foods on the plate
  3. You are supposed to place the knife on the plate edge with blades facing inside
  4. Now it’s turn to switching fork at right hand and continue eating with the fork
  5. According to American eating etiquette manner, elbow or the unused left hand should never be placed on table; it is considered as bad manner
  6. According to American etiquette, knife is never to be used for mounting foods


American formal Table manner

  1. Proper posture is an essential factor; the ideal sitting posture must be of upright sitting
  2. Elbows are not to be let loosely hang at table side
  3. Use of napkin is a vital part of American table manners; the napkin should be placed on the lap before foods are served and retain the napkin till end there.
  4. Do not try to get a napkin if it has been dropped on the floor; ask any person from the house for replacement of a napkin
  5. At the end napkin should be kept folded never crushed, or twisted.


American Eating etiquette

  • Soupspoon should be kept away from body and should fill up its 2/3 capacity and slurping is strictly prohibited
  • Salt and pepper should be passed one by one but never in hand-by hand manner according to formal American eating etiquette.
  • Bread is to be broken, never should be cut with a knife
  • Asparagus can be eaten by fingers till it is not covered with sauce
  • Chicken is eaten with knife and fork
  • Oysters and clams are to be eaten in half shell; you have to hold the clam by left hand and should use your oyster fork
  • Fried fantail shrimps are always picked up by its tail and then have to be eaten by fingers only
  • Shrimp, crab, and lobster cocktails should be consumed with cocktail fork
  • Butter is placed on a baked potato with a fork, never with a knife
  • Baked potatoes are to be scooped out the inside, bite by bite
  • Chips are eaten by fingers but French fries by fork; however you should never pick them up with finger and bite a part of it off.
  • Butter is placed on a baked potato with a fork, not with a knife.
  • You must eat artichoke, bacon, bread cookies, Fried Chicken, Hamburgers, Hors d'Oeuvres, Canapes, Crudités, sandwiches, and small fruits and berries on stem by hand.


Now next time you will visit a hi-end American restaurant, these etiquette guidelines will make you comfortable and by learning American eating etiquette you can also be like an American while in America.



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Ecofoods's picture
American Eating Etiquette