Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Today: Brush up on your etiquette basics to wow fellow diners (and make your mom proud).
The holiday season will be here soon, and with it come tons of parties. Before the onslaught of cookie swaps, company dinners, and your mother’s holiday brunch, take a moment to brush up on your dining etiquette. Even if you’ve learned it all before, a quick refresher course will help you feel confident and in control before breaking bread with your boss or etiquette-obsessed aunt. Here's how to mind your manners at the dinner table:
- First things first: Mind the little details -- you've heard them all before. Respond to invitations in a timely manner; remember that it's always better to be overdressed; be fashionably on time; bring a hostess gift; and remember to silence your phone and keep it tucked away and out of sight.
More: Hosting your own dinner party? Learn how to properly set the table.
- How to hold utensils: There are two proper ways to hold your utensils -- the first is Continental (or European) Style; the second is American Style. For American Style, hold your fork and knife as you would a pen. With your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right, cut a piece of food; place the knife down on the edge of the plate, then swap the fork to your right hand (if needed) and take a bite. Repeat. For continental, just keep your fork in your left hand when you take a bite.
- Foods that can be eaten with your hands, even in a more formal setting: Though this rule varies by culture, most allow that certain foods are too difficult to eat with a fork and knife: Among these are bread (which should be broken into bite-size pieces), chips, sushi (if you are not provided with chopsticks), and most passed appetizers. Otherwise, it's best to try to eat with a fork and knife when at the dinner table.
What etiquette questions still have you stumped? We want to hear about them in the comments!
This article originally appeared on Food52.com: Basic Table Manners: A Refresher