Fork and Knife Fare

Ever see the Seinfeld episode where Elaine watches her boss eating a candy bar with a fork and knife?

The first time I ate pizza in the UK, I was reminded of this as I watched everyone eat their pizza with a fork and knife. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating pizza from a Michelin-starred restaurant or Pizza Hut, you don’t use your hands. It’s not a thin-crust issue. It’s not a this-pizza-is-too-flipping-hot issue. I believe it’s an issue of manners.

Speaking of manners, Matthew is frequently horrified when he eats with Americans and finds them doing the familiar dance of cutting up their food — steak, for example — into pieces (knife in right hand, fork in left), only to put their knife down, swap their fork from their left hand to their right and then stab the little pieces with their right. The process is exhausting and inefficient. By contrast, he keeps his knife in his right, fork in his left and cuts each piece, stabs and then eats with his left. No silverware shuffle. It’s the essence of simplicity and actually the way I prefer to eat now. Even when I’m enjoying a Snickers bar.


Posted on 15, August 2011, in Culture, Food and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You say fork and knife (at least you did in this post)! In Britain we always say knife and fork and never the other way round.If the spoon gets involved then there is no rule. It can be fork and spoon or spoon and fork. Why- I have no idea!

  2. Vive la difference!

  3. Mmm… yes, as Sue says “knife and fork” … now it makes me wonder why?
    Oh and by the way, I hate eating the ‘British way’ and I try to avoid using my knife in the first place and just use a fork in my right hand. But then I’m as eccentric as the come (and probably take after my mother who held her knife like a pen!)

  4. Er… that should have read ‘eccentric as they come…’ Excuse me, my comments are invariably full of typos.

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