French Table Manners Matter...

Old Feb 11th, 2013, 04:33 AM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,214
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Italians eat spaghetti just with the fork. It's a lot easier with fork and spoon but a spoon must be requested. Luckily they accept the use of the spoon by tourists - as I am hopeless with just the fork I need one.

I have met quite a number of young Americans who felt perfectly okay chewing their food with their mouths open. Now that was really disgusting and made me wonder about their education. Is that really common? Can't be, I hope.
quokka is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 05:23 AM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,866
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To clarify...

I twirl spaghetti with just a fork (twirled on the plate) -- like Italians.

My wife, who use to cut-and-shovel, now twirls with a fork on the spoon.

...and there is always a bit of pasta dangling from the fork the needs to be helped up with the fork after the main batch is in the mouth...or it can be slurped.

...am I giving too much information?

SS
ssander is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 05:25 AM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,866
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BTW...we're going to Venice in May...what's the local way of eating pizza there...knife-and-fork or pick-up-and-bite?

SS
ssander is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 05:32 AM
  #64  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<i>Luckily they accept the use of the spoon by tourists </i>

On the contrary -
In the 1950s with the advent of mass tourism to Italy, tourists were given (no kiddin'!) scissors to cut the long spaghetti into something they could eat with just the forks! Or they cut them in halves with the knife.

Whether or not you use the spoon is your business.
But it is the default silverware you will get - even in high-end Italian restaurants (outside Italy).

If you can do it with just the fork, fine. If not, use the spoon for assistance. But not in my presence, please:
I hate the fork and spoon method, as it often makes that screeching sound of metal against metal which drives me up the wall.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 06:07 AM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,860
Received 26 Likes on 5 Posts
No one has mentioned the "correct" way to eat soup--is this just common knowledge? I was taught to move the spoon away from one's lap, so as to not to have any mishaps of spilled soup, yet I almost always see people moving the spoon toward their mouth (and lap).
fourfortravel is online now  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 07:49 AM
  #66  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,361
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have read, traditionally, NO SPOON for spaghetti. The following thread somewhat confirms it.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...oon-Italy.html
kappa1 is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:41 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 114
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
kerouac: my inlaws are southern (Rhone valley) so not sure what your point was about rural vs urban fruit-cutting...unless your comment wasn't aimed at me?

FrenchMystiqueTours: I have never heard the verb "saucer" for the process of mopping up sauce with bread. Is it from any particular region? The only verb I have heard for this is "souper"...which means the Virginia "soppy" above makes perfect sense to me

PatrickLondon: let me refer you to the following poem regarding peas...! http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171639

Fourfortravel: I'm British, and was taught this also regarding soup, but this isn't something I've seen in France.
bdsbeautyblog is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:54 AM
  #68  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No, you are correct, Patrick. The table manners of other people are invisible to everybody in France except for PalenQ's son, who regularly appears to steer him wrong.>

Well I think the comments of French folk here simply debunk what kerouac says - seems my son was indeed correct - that many French and Europeans take umbrage with table manners of Americans - several posts from bona fide French folks above agree with this - my son grew up in France -kerouac grew up in the U.S. perhaps that is why he just does not get how the average bona fide French person thinks.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:01 AM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,886
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In the US pizza counts as a sandwich equivalent and is eaten with just the hands. In Itay I have often seen in eaten with knife and fork - but we use hands since it's always a casual place.

But I know eating with the hands tends to be less common in eutope.

We took a visiting German colleague out to lunch at a Chinese restaurant - and I can only assume his town didn't have one or he had never eaten there. And while we went merrily along eating the appetizers with our hands he tried to do it all with knife and fork. the curled lettuce leaf appetizers were almost as good as the ribs. then when we got the peking duck pancakes!!!
nytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:04 AM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bdsb - Not being French I can't tell you if saucer is a regional word but my French wife assures me it is an actual word.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:22 AM
  #71  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<perhaps that is why he just does not get how the average bona fide French person thinks.>>

As in the "average bona fide French person>> doesn't know that <<A chacun son gout>> is correct.

The "French son" is somewhat the legend here on Fodor's for not having a clue about France or French.

As for "saucer," that's the word my French friends/neighbors use also. Along with "faire chabrol (or chabrot)" when soup's involved.
StCirq is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:24 AM
  #72  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
my French son says (yes we know he does not know anything about France!) that he never heard of either soucer or souper used to describe the mopping up on the plate with bread. He can think of no one word to describe it.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:34 AM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Saucer is proper French and definitely not regional.
"Souper" does not mean mopping up. It means "late dinner".
There is a special spoon called 'cuillère à sauce".
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:34 AM
  #74  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Saucer is proper French and definitely not regional.
"Souper" does not mean mopping up. It means "late dinner".
There is a special spoon called 'cuillère à sauce".
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 12:09 PM
  #75  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let's talk about butter too.

Do you take some butter (with the butter knife, of course) and put it on your bread plate, then break up the bread and use the butter on your bread plate in smaller bits or do you take a whole chunk of butter and slather that on an entire piece of bread and then break up the bread?
easytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 12:15 PM
  #76  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If we're talking about France, it's not particularly customary to eat butter with bread. In America, where it is, I break the bread up first, and if I'm going to use butter, which I often don't, I butter the small bits.
StCirq is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 12:58 PM
  #77  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've never seen anyone served butter with the bread at a restaurant so it wouldn't even be an option unless you asked. And then you might get a strange look but I imagine they'd still bring you the butter.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 01:01 PM
  #78  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've witnessed Americans dining in France who were astonished that butter wasn't brought with their bread and called the waiter over to say he had "forgotten it." Yikes.
StCirq is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 01:43 PM
  #79  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,552
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
^^ He probably forgot to put ice in their drinks too.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2013, 01:54 PM
  #80  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 23,082
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
StCirq,

Since you bring up the expression à chacun sont goût, here's what I wrote to French friends (residing in France) and their replies:

There is an argument going on among English speakers who know French with the claim by one side that à chacun son goût is an archaic expression. Is that true?

<i>It doesn't immediately strike me as archaic, but I confess I don't recall hearing or reading it anywhere recently.</i>

Let's say that it either that (an archaic) expression or never much of a French expression. The 4 first pages of an "à chacun son goût" query to Google contain only English-speaking sites. The "Trésor de la Langue Française" does not have any occurrence of it in its corpus. "chacun ses goûts" is a relatively common expression, and most of the examples
quoted on sites for "à chacun son goût" are plain wrong.</i>

<i>The real expression is chacun son gout (without the a that makes it sound strange). Not archaic at all.</i>

<i>A chacun son goût is not really an archaic expression. I use it frequently.</i>

No it is not true….

<i>Je dirais plutôt: “à chacun ses goûts”, au pluriel donc. Assez peu usité, en somme, mais non pas à proprement parler archaïque. De la même façon, on utilise de moins en moins la formule: “Des goûts et des couleurs on ne dispute pas”...</i>

The only person to say that he uses the expression regularly is a former French cultural attaché.
Michael is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -