Sunday, January 27, 2008

Eating Tips (Part 1)

  • Artichokes. Eating an artichoke requires a bit of an attitude and a little digital dexterity. Pick it up with one hand, remove one leaf at a time, and dip the soft end into the accompanying sauce. Then place the whole soft end in your mouth and pull (do not yank) it through your teeth to remove the edible part. Discard the rest by placing it on the edge of the plate or on a side plate—not your bread plate!—if one is available. When you’ve removed most or all of the leaves, you’ll reach the heart of the artichoke, which forms a firm center of meat. Use a knife to scrape the fuzzy part off and then cut the meat into bite-size pieces with the help of a knife and fork.
  • Avocados. See the following section on fruits.
  • Bacon. If the bacon is very crisp, you can eat with your fingers. Otherwise, use a knife and fork.
  • Cake. You can eat cake with your fingers if it’s in bite-size pieces. If it comes as a whole slice, if it’s sticky, or if it comes with sauce or ice cream, use both a fork and spoon. Hold the spoon in your right hand to scoop up the dessert. The fork goes in your left hand, and you use it as a pusher.
  • Caviar. To eat caviar, you first spread it on a bite-size piece of toast and then add any condiments, such as chopped onions or capers.
  • Celery, pickles, and radishes. To eat these fresh vegetables, remove them from the serving plate with your fingers and place them on the side of your dinner plate. Take small bites, using your fingers to bring the vegetables to your mouth.
  • Chicken and other fowl. Unless you’re at a picnic, you should eat chicken and turkey with a knife and fork.
  • Corn on the cob. Use both hands to eat an ear of corn. Butter and eat only a few rows at a time. You won’t encounter this food on formal occasions in America, and you won’t encounter it at all in Europe, where most people consider corn—and especially corn on the cob—to be food for livestock.

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