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Eating with your fork upside down---can someone explain this to me?

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Old 04-25-2004, 06:55 PM   #1
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Eating with your fork upside down---can someone explain this to me?

Seriously.

I would say that I've never, ever eaten with my fork upside down. However whenever I see these fancy cooking shows, these fancy people turn their fork upside down, daintily shovel the food on top of it, and then put that awkwardly angled fork into their mouths.

So can someone here tell me what is the origin of eating this way? Is it from England? That's my guess. Also, is this the way you should eat in a fancy restaurant?

Bon apetit!

Bob
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:16 PM   #2
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It's called etiquette, something I'm sure most of us here have no idea about. j/k.

Holding the fork that way comes from the "proper" way to cut meat. You turn the fork upside down and pierce the meat, then cut your piece. Instead of turning the fork over to put it in your mouth, you just leave it like it is.

Now, me... I prefer the manly way to do it... grab that fork like a dagger, stab the meat in the middle, and hack away with the biggest steak knife I can find... usually resulting in a bite too big for my chompers to handle. What can I say... I like my steak.
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:23 PM   #3
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I don't know the history behind it, other than that's how it is done in the UK. How we use our forks is upside-down to them aswell.
Apparently it is considered rude to have the prongs of the fork pointing in the air, so they must always be pointed downward. Though more and more people in the UK are realizing our way of doing it is much better, and are reverting to the 'American way" of eating with a fork.
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:32 PM   #4
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When I have to use a knife and had to hold the fork in my left hand I always use it upside down. One thing that never stops bothering me is people who hold onto their fork like if they let their grip loosen up they'll get blown away from the table...
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:36 PM   #5
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A fork is not a shovel! FOrks should be used with the left hand only and knives with the right hand, also dont cut lots of pieces and then shovel it down your mouth

The angle at which you wrist and arm is much better with the fork "upside down", so you dont have your elbow sticking out and knocking the guy next to you of his seat. FOrks are meant to stick thinbgs and put it into your mouth, read small bites.

Now go visit Martha in jail for the rest of the lesson
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:42 PM   #6
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Couldn't agree with you more.
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:44 PM   #7
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I'm the kind of guy that eats cereal out of a mixing bowl with a soup ladle, I say do whatever gets the food from point A to point B.
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scofco
I'm the kind of guy that eats cereal out of a mixing bowl with a soup ladle, I say do whatever gets the food from point A to point B.
If it works for you, go for it.

You also might find a shovel at the local hardware store handy

Different strokes for different folks, but it is good to know the different ways of doing things. It might just come in handy one day.
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Old 04-25-2004, 08:19 PM   #9
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I don't know the answer, Bob, but gave it a whirl when I lived in England. Once I adjusted, it became far easier to maneuver around a plate. It also skips the switching fork hands for every bite. I also wanted to experience their culture more. So, besides developing a taste for fish and chips, England taught me both the "proper" use of a fork and how to shift with my left hand.

It's come in handy (pun intended). Of the twenty-four countries I've lived in on four continents, American is the only one that switches a fork during a meal. Of course, I'm now considered to have barnyard manners here, but have more important things to worry about.
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Old 04-25-2004, 10:07 PM   #10
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Ok, tell you what, I'm gonna give this a try this month. It looks pretentious, but that's coming from a guy who grew up eating with chopsticks

Bob
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:33 AM   #11
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trying living in countries where its considered extremly rude/improper to eat with your left hand .. I remember everyone would just stare at me .. until one of my host corrected me politely. Over there you cut with the fork in the left hand, and the knife in the right .. then place the knife down and put the fork in the right hand and then put it in your mouth ... "backwards" like Bob says ... but then again I've always done it backwards I guess. ... unless its pasta then I do it the "american" way.

This is why I loike getting take out and eating at home with your hands.
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Old 04-26-2004, 04:47 AM   #12
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What is this fork thing you guy's speak of?
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Old 04-26-2004, 05:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_98SR5
Seriously.

I would say that I've never, ever eaten with my fork upside down.

Bob
Were you watching Iron Chef America? I noticed that one of the judges did that.
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Old 04-26-2004, 06:39 AM   #14
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maybe we should all start digging holes with our shovels upside down.
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:51 AM   #15
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I guess I'm old because I learned to eat that way as a child with the fork upside down when cutting meat. I do change hands however and eat with my right hand when not cutting meat. It's either that or my parents taught me "proper" table etiquette. I grew up here in America.

It surprises me to see that many of you have never seen people eat that way.

My .02
G
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog-yota
You also might find a shovel at the local hardware store handy
This is why I prefer using a fork at japanese or chinese restaurants. It's much easier and faster to shovel with a fork than chopsticks!

However, I've given in to peer pressure cause all my co-workers and my born-in-japan wife make fun of me when I use a fork...and I'm japanese (american)!
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:11 AM   #17
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Use the fork, Luke....
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:25 AM   #18
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I always considered it rude not to respect other cultures traditions.
I am the kind of person to tell someone off if they told me a 'proper' way to do something.
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:35 AM   #19
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I read an article on this a while back, from what I remember, those who switch the fork+knife to cut meat are following the "American" style, versus those who keep the knife and fork in the same hand follow the "continental" style." Probably our way of rebeling against English rule?

Last edited by Mad Chemist; 04-26-2004 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:36 AM   #20
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Switching hands seems like a waste of energy to me. I just keep the fork in my left hand.
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