Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seriously, where DOES the salad fork go?

Salad forks are the fork (other than an ice cream fork, which was the subject of a prior post!) that seem to move around more than any other fork. How many times have to seen a table, and wanted to move the salad fork to the outside of the other forks? Well, there may be a reason the salad fork is closest to the plate. Continental Settings assume the salad is being served AFTER the entrée.

Continental Setting

American Settings assume no such thing! If there are multiple courses, there will be multiple forks, spoons and/or knives depending on what is being served. The first utensil on the outside edge will be the first you will use, regardless of the style of settings. If the first course requires a fork, use the first one on the far left. If it requires a spoon, use the first one on the far right. The knives are used in the same manner ~ the first from the outside edge moving in closer to your plate as the meal progresses.

American Setting

Settings and etiquette are two different things, of course. The difference between American and Continental silverware etiquette is , for American style, you have your fork in your left hand, tines up, and the knife in the right. When you are done cutting your food, you lay the knife down and put your fork back in your right hand. For Continental style, you keep your fork in your left hand the whole time, tines down, and your knife in your right hand. The knife is used to cut food, of course, but is also used to maneuver the food onto your fork.

So now, you can simply look at the place setting, and know if your host is European (using the Continental Style) or if your host is using American Settings. Simple, isn’t it? So where DOES the salad fork go, really? :)

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