Friday, May 2, 2014

Etiquette Series - Things You Can Eat With Your Fingers

For today's post on etiquette, I turn to "The Little Book Of Etiquette" by Dorothea Johnson.  Dorothea is the Founder of The Protocol School of Washington.

I was surprised to find that in Chapter 5, Eating Various Foods,  there is a section of foods that you are allowed to eat with your hands.  I always think of dining with proper etiquette involving an unusually large amount of silverware.Untitled #50

Artichokes:  Eat with your fingers.  Remove each leaf seperately, dip the soft end in sauce, and then pull it through your teeth to remove the edible portion.  Discard the remainder of the leaf on the side of your plate.  Secure the heart with a fork and scrape the thistle away with a knife.  Then cut the heart into pieces and eat it with a fork.

Asparagus:  Cut into bite-size portions and eat wit a fork.  In Europe it is eaten with the fingers.  Individual asparagus tongs may also be used.

Bacon:  eat with a fork and knife.  Only very crisp bacon may be eaten with your fingers.

Strawberries:  Eat with a spoon.  Large strawberries are often served with the stem.  Hold the strawberry by the stem, dip it in sugar, and eat it in one or two bites.  Discard the stem on the side of your plate.

Bread and Butter:  Do not pull the roll in half.  Break off only one bite of your bread or roll at a time, then butter it with your butter spreader and eat.  Do the buttering on your plate, not in your hand.  When butter is passed, take a portion onto your butter plate with the butter server.  If pats are used, pick them up with a fork and pace on our plate.

Celery, Olives, Pickles, and Radishes:  Remove from the serving tray with your fingers and place on the side of your dinner plate or bread and butter plate.  All are eaten with the fingers.  Eat large olives with a pit in several bites, discarding the pit on the side of your plate.  Small stuffed olives are eaten whole.

Cherries, Kumquats, and Plums (raw):  Eat with your fingers in one or two bites.  The stones are dropped into the cupped hand and put on the side of the plate.

Chicken, Duck, and Turkey:  Eat with a fork and knife.  Fried chicken is only eaten with the fingers at a picnic or a casual family gathering.
                        - taken from The Little Book Of Etiquette


  1. Nice idea :D

    The Cutielicious

  2. That was cute. I'm a big cheater when it comes to eating with my hands. Can I blame it on having a 2 year old? ;)

  3. Yes. I have a little one too. She isn't a toddler anymore, but still some days I'm so tired I end up eating chicken nuggets and applesauce with her!

  4. There are so many rules!! How can a person keep them straight? ;)

  5. How interesting, I had no idea that the roll had to be taken one piece at a time… and not just opened up and buttered, like I usually do. There's always something new to learn!

  6. In Indonesia, we eat chicken with hands at the fast food restaurant :D
    And we eat pizza with fork and knife, how about in there? Because I've seen a lot of western movies and the actors usually just eat pizza with their hands.


  7. I think we are the opposite. Pizza with fingers, chicken (for the most part) with knife and fork.