Etiquette: Cutlery

Welcome to our regular column on etiquette, where this time you can learn something about cutlery. In terms of dining in modern human civilization cutlery is something quite common, and not often thought about. But was it always like this? In the following lines you can read about more than one interesting fact.

The roots of dining as we know it today can be found in the Middle Ages, when cutlery was a prerogative of the noble only, but education among the lower classes grew, and along with education came the teachings of good morals, including cutlery.

Given that the majority of people are right handed, hold the knife in the right hand, and it should be found to the right of the plate, the cutting edge facing inwards to symbolize that the knife is not a weapon. Before this, many a brawl took place at a communal table, which of course nowadays is hard to imagine, so the wise Louis XVI had the sharp tip of knives rounded, therefore we owe to him the introduction of the classic table knife.

Forks are also an integral part of dining cutlery in Europe. However in Thailand for example, do not put food in your mouth with a fork, the fork serves only as an aid to place food on a spoon.

In contrast to European cutlery, in Asia cutlery is not used, generally dining utensils include chopsticks and little short spoons. In some Asian countries, it is common to use the right hand for placing food in the mouth. Using the left hand is extremely inappropriate, because the left hand is used to cleanse the body after using the toilet. Therefore, in the Middle East, India and in some parts of Africa never eat with your left hand.

And if you go to Mexico and indulge in a Mexican cuisine like tacos for example, you can eat with both hands, even at the risk of getting some unwanted blemishes. Eating tacos with a knife and fork will result in you being considered a snob.

Back in Europe remember that if you are only interrupting your meal, cross the knife and fork on the plate and when you are finished eating put the knife and fork parallel on the plate. And now we have no other option than to wish you an enjoyable meal and a pleasant experience in one of the three restaurants at the Carlsbad Plaza.


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