DO YOU CUT-AND-SWITCH?

If you’ve eve shared a meal with someone from another country, you might have noticed a difference in the so-called “Table Manners”, which to me, is really how one uses the utensils.  Back in 1967, when I was in Sydney on R & R (Rest and Recuperation), I had dinner with an Australian Girl.  (Yes, Dear, she followed me around the Cultural Museum all day, and she looked like she could use a good meal.)  And, she asked me: “Why do you eat that way?”  I probably wiped my chin (nothing there), checked my arms (nothing there), lap (nope); so, I said what do you mean?

Well, she was not used to “blokes” switching their knife and fork, specifically, from hand to hand…and, then, just reversing that process all over again.  Now, let’s say that you have a plate, with a piece of meat, mashed or baked potato, and a vegetable in front of you.  When she mentioned it, I had to agree with her: (being right-handed) I generally hold the knife in my right hand (for cutting) and the fork (for shoveling, the obvious reason) in my left hand.  Now, considering the fact that I will probably need to perform these two functions a few more times, why WAS I switching hands, back-and-forth?

The linked article, from Slate Magazine, provides a cute functional explanation, and with a historical perspective, http://www.slate.com/articles/life/culturebox/2013/06/fork_and_knife_use_americans_need_to_stop_cutting_and_switching.html.  Just think, in the early Days of our Country, we naturally assumed the habits of Europe–from whence our Forefathers came–but, they change, and we didn’t.

NOTE: I assume that you never expected to see a historical explanation of Table Manners on a Blog that has Posted about such issues as “Healthy Food” at McDonald’s, the Morning-After Pill and Dog Poop.

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  1. #1 by chestercat1 on July 7, 2013 - 11:25 PM

    Oh, how I loved this!! Having both English and Belgian friends, I’m often the odd person out!

  2. #2 by maxcat06 on July 7, 2013 - 11:26 PM

    Oh, how I loved this!! Having both English and Belgian friends, I often feel like the odd person out!

    • #3 by cheekos on July 8, 2013 - 2:39 AM

      Don’t worry about the Belgians, they probably don’t know if they are Flemish or Walloons. And, sacre bleu, the French, according to Le Monde, are too busy snooping on our Communications. But, they don’t have much judicial supervision.

  3. #4 by Marissa on July 12, 2013 - 1:49 PM

    I read that article too, Cheeks! It was interesting to see that the American way of cutting and switching was the original way in England – whereas now it’s seen as less refined!

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