The War Of Left And Right: 3 Major Cutlery Practices From Around The World

To left or to right – that is the question! In our growing world of screens and entertainment, cutlery etiquette can get confusing. Should I be holding the fork in my right or left hand? Umm.. how on earth do I use chopsticks? Wait, am I supposed to eat with my hands? Oh, the struggle is real! More so in social settings. And because none of us like being uncomfortable or confused around others, we’ve decided to help you with your dining table tools! Here are the three most prevalent cutlery etiquettes that are sure to have your back wherever you are in the world and whatever you eat!

When in Europe

The War Of Left And Right: 3 Major Cutlery Practices From Around The World

The “continental” or “hidden handle” style has you holding your fork (with the pointy spades pointing down, of course) in your left hand, while the knife is held in the right, allowing you to cut small, bite-sized pieces. Once you have your piece ready, (gently) stab it with your fork and enjoy! In case you’re eating rice, potatoes or other foods that like to escape, use your knife to guide the placement of those escapists on the back of your fork (we know, what were our forefathers even thinking?). Hold your knife and fork in a way that they run along your palm, hold the handles using your thumb and forefinger, or just do something to hide the handles, and you are a pro!

American cutlery story

The War Of Left And Right: 3 Major Cutlery Practices From Around The World

To be an American expert (or to pass as one), hold the fork in your left hand and the knife in your right. Simple enough? Next, look at your delicious food, hold it down with your fork so that it doesn’t run away, and spear! Cut out a small piece of your food using your knife.  Now put the knife down, switch the fork over to your right hand, and start eating! Once you’re done with your bite, send your fork back to your left, pick up the knife and do it all over again! 

Fun fact: the American style was actually the original European style that colonists took with them to the States. While the Americans picked it, the Europeans dropped it. 

People say the American style is time-consuming (is that why they switched to burgers?), But there’s nothing like eating using your right hand, right?


The War Of Left And Right: 3 Major Cutlery Practices From Around The World

Asians are lovers of soup and rice, so, much of their food involves holding a spoon in their dominant hand. They aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, either. You’ll find in many South-East Asian countries the prevalence of flatbread and curry, something delicious and hearty when eaten using hands. Most of the Asian food is already bite-sized, so forks aren’t really needed. When needed, though, the spoons are replaced with forks and yummy food is had! 

When in Asia and using chopsticks, hold them in your dominant hand, secure them with your fingers and just pretend your hand has been extended. Act accordingly!

Pro tip: If you drop the food or fling it, laugh it out. Ten years from now, nothing will be funnier than that story. ☺

Liked knowing this? Check out Did You Know About These Breakfast Habits Around The World?

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