I’ve noticed more and more during conferences where food is offered, a few of my colleagues are eating with their items in both of your hands. I was taught to carry my fork in my right place and hand my remaining hand in my lap. Have the guidelines changed? It sounds like you are referencing another style of eating known as ‘Continental Style’.

For those of us raised in the States, we were trained to eat our food ‘American Style’, which is exactly what you are describing; fork in the right hand and left hand in your lap. When seated to dinner in Europe with the local people, grab your silverware, and dig in using the good old-fashioned ‘American Style’ – and they’ll take a look at you as if you’ve fallen off the turnip pickup truck.

They’ll be wielding a fork in one hand, a blade in the other, using them in tandem like Freddy Kruger, all while keeping their hands above the table. Today we are such a multicultural culture, and with the evolution of technology and a more global business world, our cultural boundaries are becoming more and more blurred along with our eating styles.

It’s good to know the intricacies of both so you’ll be well versed and feel assured whether or not you’re eating with Americans or Europeans, or your end up stateside in the Midwest, South, or a Metropolitan city. You will easily be able to adapt based on the situation. What is American Style Dining? There are three easy steps to master American Style Dining. When reducing food “American style,” the fork is kept in the remaining hand, and the knife in the right hand. The utensils are held as though they appear to be extensions of your pointer finger on each tactile hand. Avoid gripping and stabbing your food just like a Neanderthal.

With your fork, ‘politely poke’ the piece that will finish up in your mouth. Now taking your knife just behind your fork, push down gently, then backwards and forwards to cut your meal – stay away from looking such as a lumberjack. The meals that is put on the fork is chauffeured by the right hands into the mouth area. Eat and repeat…. Reducing one bite at the right time.

American Style is often referred to as “zigzag” style because the fork is constantly changing from the left hand to the right. What’s Continental Style Dining? To understand this style, you’ll begin by cutting the same way as you need to do in American Style, but the transferring of the food to the mouth area is were it gets difficult.

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Some basic guidelines to remember for Continental Style Dining: The fork (tines down) is kept in the left hands (for eating) and the knife in the right (for cutting). They are used – in tandem jointly. One can not work without the assistance of the other. The blade also works as a “support” system to aid placing small components of food safely on the fork (rather than a sneaky finger).

Continental Style, both tactile hands remain above the table at all times, holding the fork and blade in your still left and right hands, resting your wrists on the edge of the desk. You only lay your silverware down in its relaxing position if you want to take a drink, have a tendency to your breads, or when another duty is necessary of your hands. See Step One for American Style – cutting is the same for both Continental and American style eating. Transfer the meals that is put on the fork straight into the mouth by the left hand – tines remain facing down.