eating etiquette (how to eat...)
When serving soup, place the soup plates or bowls on an underplate. When the soup is finished or the spoon is laid down, the spoon is left in the soup plate, not on the dish underneath. If the soup is served in a cup, the spoon is left on the saucer.
Table manners for eating soup. Hold the soupspoon by resting the end of the handle on your middle finger, with your thumb on top. Dip the spoon sideways into the soup at the near edge of the bowl, then skim from the front of the bowl to the back. Sip from the side of the spoon, avoid improper table manners and do not to slurp. To retrieve the last spoonful of soup, slightly tip the bowl away from you and spoon in the way that works best.
If you want a bite of bread while eating your soup, don't hold the bread in one hand and your soupspoon in the other. Instead, place the spoon on the underplate, then use the same hand to take the bread to your mouth.
Table manners for eating french onion soup. To break through the layer of cheese to the soup, twirl a small amount of cheese on your spoon until it forms a small clump. Then cut the strand off neatly by pressing the spoon edge against the edge of the bowl; you could also use a knife or fork for cutting. Eat the clump of cheese and then enjoy the soup. If any strands of cheese trail to your mouth, bite them off cleanly so that they fall into the bowl of the spoon.
Table manners for croutons and crackers. Oyster crackers are placed on the underplate and added a few at a time to your soup. Keep saltines on your bread plate and eat them with your fingers. They can also be crumbled over the soup and dropped in, two or three crackers at a time. Croutons are passed in a dish with a small serving spoon so that each person can scatter a spoonful or more over his soup directly from the serving dish.
Table manners for other garnishes. Garnish soups with such optional toppings as croutons, chopped onions, or chopped peppers before you begin eating. With your clean soupspoon or the serving spoon, spoon a portion from the serving dish and sprinkle it directly into the soup; place other garnishes on your salad plate or bread plate. Put the serving spoon back on the garnish's underplate.
Because of it contains many different forms of seafood, a soup spoon and seafood fork, knife, and shellfish cracker are all used to eat this soup made with white fish, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and crab leg. When serving bouillabaisse, you should be sure to place a bowl on the table to collect discarded shells.
- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
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