We tallied our favorites and have them here for you in “countdown” fashion.
10. Pushing away the plate or bowl when finished.
9. Noisy eating – slurping, burping and gulping.
8. Not using a napkin.
7. Licking your fingers.
6. Hovering over your plate and elbows on the table.
4. Beginning to eat before others at the table have received their food.
3. Inhaling your food.
2. Talking with food in your mouth and chewing with your mouth open.
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.
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We recently included this 8-course place setting in our biweekly email to subscribers. (If you haven’t subscribed yet, you may do so here.)
The basic premise is that when you have multiple courses in a meal, you start with the utensils on the outside and work your way in.
There were many comments about this setting, so we decided to take you course-by-course through the menu simply by looking at the place setting. Here goes!
Bread Plate: Your bread plate and butter knife on the left of your place setting is simply an accessory to the meal. It is not a course.
First course: Pâté Appetizer
The cocktail fork is hiding over on the right, resting in the soup spoon. It could have been served on the service plate along with the pâté. This cocktail fork can also rest above the place setting with the extra utensils.
Second Course: Soup
Now that the cocktail fork has been used and removed, the soup spoon stands next in line.
Third Course: Fish
Even though we work from the outside in, we still keep knives together and spoons together. This course can be three large prawns, placed on a 7” plate with a cocktail sauce positioned in the middle of the plate. The fish fork and fish knife is used to cut the larger end of the prawn. After several cuts, shrimp can be picked up, dipped in cocktail sauce, and eaten with your fingers.
Fourth Course: Finger Bowl
Because you actually touched the shrimp tails, a finger bowl is your next course. There are no utensils on the table for this course. The purpose of this course is to provide you with a clean napkin, just in case the napkin in your lap has cocktail sauce stains and looks pretty messy. The napkin rests on the left of the 10” plate with a small ramekin filled with warm water, and one floating rose petal.
Fifth Course: Sorbet
Sorbet is served after a fish course to cleanse the pallet to prepare for the meat course.
Next week, we will review the remaining courses and the beverages you are served during this meal.
If you have any questions about what we’ve covered so far, just ask us here.