[thechat] american table manners -- fork in right or left..?

Norman Beresford n.beresford at anansi.co.uk
Wed Aug 25 04:41:04 CDT 2004

I seem to recall that if you're using a single piece of cutlery you use
your left hand, however if you're using a pair (ie knife and fork) you
have the fork in your right hand.  Still I'm not exactly mr perfect
table manners


-----Original Message-----
From: thechat-bounces at lists.evolt.org
[mailto:thechat-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Ashok Hariharan
Sent: 25 August 2004 10:09
To: thechat at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thechat] american table manners -- fork in right or left..?

A query on american table manners ....

I have this american friend, he is like 60ish, retired from some
top-dollar insurance job in the US mid-west, now lives in the bush in
solitude with his old wife and a young local house girl. He comes down
to nairobi sometimes, takes the house girl to the dentist (she has nice
teeth), hair dresser, shopping malls, parking lots ....god knows where
They dont have places like that in the bush.

Often when he is in nairobi, I have dinner with him.  He has a habit of
educating the girl on his american ways (among other things...).  We
were eating steak, yesterday -- so the girl started cutting  a piece of
the t-bone steak (it was kinda skinny, there's been a drought in kenya,
so the cattle dont get to eat much...).  WIth the fork in her left hand,
she was about to raise it to her mouth -- when he slapped her hand.
"Not like that....
transfer the fork to your right hand...!" 

I realized then, that he eats steak like that --  cutting the meat with
the knife in the right
-- transferring the fork to the right, then picking up the meat with it,
and eating it. 

Seemed kinda complicated to me (..sure would, i eat steak with my bare
...why transfer the fork at all? 
"I dont know....In the States we always eat it like this...," was his
if its true ...then why? I always assumed it was natural to leave the
fork in the left....

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