French Table Manners Matter...

Old Feb 18th, 2013, 12:45 AM
  #181  
 
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I may only know weird people, but all the French I have met (from different "classes") on business or private occasions for any meal did not make 1 percent of all the fuss that I find mentioned here. Especially when it was a private occasion it was always very entertaining and relaxed - and a pleasure foodwise anyway.

IMO, it's a bit like making a trip to Europe sound like some massively complicated endeavour, which you can only survive if you study 6 months in advance, comply with a myriad of written and unwritten rules, and can brag about afterwards that you survived it.


Just as food for thought:

How many Europeans do you see switching to the US manner to cut first, and then just use fork??
How many would even waste one single thought on this matter before going on holiday to the US??

Or is this obsession on whether or not to eat with knife and fork when in Europe another item on the silly "How to blend in" or "How not to be a tourist" list?
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 05:40 AM
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<IMO, it's a bit like making a trip to Europe sound like some massively complicated endeavour, which you can only survive if you study 6 months in advance ...>

Thank heavens! I'll be in Paris in six days and was afraid I'd have to order all my food "to go," sneak it into my hotel room, close the curtains, and eat in the dark, lest anyone be privy to my ignorance. Ohh ... but of course, eating in the hotel room is unacceptable, as well. AGGHHH.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 06:49 AM
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This thread is just a discussion of different manners and customs, no one actually thinks that everything is some law do they? I wouldn't worry about doing or not doing anything said here, except keeping your mouth shut when chewing!!!

I am surprised that some are taking it so serioiusly.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 07:32 AM
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justineparis wrote: "This thread is just a discussion of different manners and customs..."

It's more than that: I'm trying to get it on with Véronique without her husband noticing.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 09:47 AM
  #185  
 
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LOL
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Padraig, I think you fluffed it
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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FMT2, yes she used the tongs method ( spent my summer holidays in Barfleur as a child) but garlic and white wine does not stain like curry sauce.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 10:27 AM
  #188  
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Are you kidding? I don't feel guilty not tipping American-size tips in France, precisely because it isn't French custom. I'd look ridiculous if I did that. One tips according to LOCAL custom, not what one does at home.>

exactly - most French - I'd say just about all French I know never tip because the Service Charge is included in the meal price - so tipping is like paying twice for service.

Actually I understood that it was customary to leave a few small coins like you may get in change if paying with cash but when I try doing this with my in-laws they invariably say no - no reason to do that - not sure they are typical but... only naive Americans leave big tips and waiters yes may work folks for that at times!
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 12:11 PM
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I confirm that my French friends leave nothing on the table after receiving the change unless it is no more than 0.40€. If you get a 50 centime coin, you take it with you.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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I see you're all finally beginning to understand French table manners: just like this thread by the end of French meals, conversations usually revolve around sex and wife swapping
Now to perfect your French table skills, you all need to learn some "chansons paillardes". I'll let you google that...
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Oh, your FMT1 wants a swap, does he?
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Old Mar 29th, 2014, 06:19 PM
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Interesting thread. My question was about using your knife to spread food on the back of fork. When you can use your knife to assist food to your fork in the up right position.
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Old Mar 29th, 2014, 06:23 PM
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I meant to describe was spreading food onto the back of your fork vs. using the prongs to pick up the food. Oh well.
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Old Mar 29th, 2014, 07:18 PM
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I still don't know what you're asking traveller111, but thanks for reviving this amusing thread.

Takes me back about 10 years, when DH and I were invited to dinner at the home of a family friend in Rome. We're Australian, there were several other guests.

The first course was prawns, quite small and not peeled.

Thank God we waited for the hostess to be seated. Prawns were delivered by serving spoon, DH and I dived in, peeling by hand. I was mortified to see every other guest peeling these small prawns with a knife and fork. That story has been great dinner party fodder over the years.

Now, how about we get onto the correct Indian way to use your fork and spoon ?
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 02:35 AM
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until you have seen a un-peeled banana eaten by a very attractive psychiatrist using a knife and fork you have not lived
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 03:49 AM
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This thread is quintessential Fodor's: OBSESSED.

I can't imagine a life where I allow anyone's food rules to get in the way of my eating pleasure. Of course, personal enjoyment must never be an excuse for bad table manners. Every professional chef I know (and several are French and famous) uses a great piece of bread to savor the last drops of <i>jus</i>.

Artisan butter, bread, and homemade marmalade in France? Couldn't imagine a day in France without all three.

One of my favorite NYC breakfasts starts with a tasty brew of freshly roasted Brooklyn Filter Blend beans from Toby's Estate to wash down a large slice of toasted Country Sourdough from Pain D'Avignon, which is smothered with Vermont Creamery Butter, and slathered with a dollop of Pineapple Preserves Marmalade from Stroble Farms. Sometimes my craving for these glorious delights is so bad, I create and enjoy the same meal for lunch. Pure heaven.
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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I couldn't care less what people think if I ask for butter to put on that glorious bread.
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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At our weekly family dinner at mi-mere's house I was at times upbraided quite emphatically about certain ways to eat - I remember her say, in French, we he's in France now...

some folks - maybe older ones - do take table etiquette seriously.
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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I am left handed so this is how I have eaten all my life except not tines down. This was a great video of how to eat properly with that fork and knife.
http://experiencelife.com/video/how-...ork-and-knife/
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 11:57 PM
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French glorious bread..... well it exists but not easy to find
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