Continental dining keeps the fork in the left hand for cutting and eating. This is different than the American, or "Zig-Zag", style, in which the right hand cuts the food with the knife, which is then placed along the top of the plate, blade facing inwards. Then the fork is passed to the right hand to bring the food up to the mouth.
In last week’s post, we covered the first five courses for this diagram. If you missed it, just click here.
Now, let’s cover the remaining courses:
Sixth Course: Main Course
A dinner fork and dinner knife are used for the main course. Because pasta is served on the plate, the pasta spoon will be the third utensil that is used. The top of the plate is where extra utensils are placed and where your pasta spoon can be found.
Seventh Course: Salad
Even though we serve salad in the U.S. as a first course, traditionally, the purpose of salad after the meal is to aid in our digestive process. It is the bulk that pushes the food through our bodies.
Eighth Course: Dessert
Last, but absolutely not least, comes dessert. The placement of the fork and spoon at the top of the plate tells us that a solid and liquid will be served for dessert (such as cake and ice cream).
Going from the right side in, the first glass will be sherry and it accompanies the soup. The second glass can be for white wine and will be served with the fish course. Red wine is poured when the main course is served. A champagne flute is next for giving toasts, and can be served with or before dessert. At a correct place setting, the water glass rests directly above the last knife on the right, next to the plate. The water glass is the only glass that stays on the table throughout the meal.
How did you do? It’s not often that eight courses are served in our households, but doesn’t it make you feel more confident to know you could navigate such a meal? If you would like to learn more, we can help with that, too.
Sign up for our Etiquette Certification Training and we will teach you to be an expert in this field.
And don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook!