Jamie Oliver

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#1 Tue 30 Mar 10 12:18am

ddziak

Member
From Ohio, USA
Member since Tue 15 Sep 09

knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

In the last food revolution episode, I had a deja-vue experience when Jamie couldn't believe that the kids do not get any knives to cut their meat. 

When my husband (American) and I (German) went on our first date, we had dinner in an Italian restaurant. We both got lasagna. To my surprise at that point of time, I watched him taking his fork and knife, cutting the lasagna into bite-size pieces, putting the knife to the side and moving the fork back into his right hand to start eating his lasagna pieces only with his fork. I was shocked! I thought he hadn't learned any table etiquette. Today I know that I was simply inter-culturally ignorant because many Americans only eat with their forks...I have become very observant of this over the last years. Some even fight the meat without touching their knife (impressed!) or cut everything into small pieces before they start eating.

So, seeing Jamie being surprised that the elementary kids do not know how to use a knife and being shocked about the lunch ladies being surprised about Jamie being surprised reminded me of my experience.

I really don't want to offend anyone with this. I just thought that it would be an interesting discussion what the table and eating etiquette is in your country/culture. Germans, for example, think it is easier to eat Spaghetti with fork and spoon.

So, let's see if we can find some interesting differences here.

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#2 Tue 30 Mar 10 12:33am

janiz

Forum champ
From Gulgong, Australia
Member since Sun 23 Nov 08

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

For us, we eat lasagna with a knife and fork , spaghetti with a fork (and spoon if required) and other pasta..it depends on the shape and whether it will stay more easily on a fork or spoon (which ever works best tongue ). This is what we do in our home...I have no idea which is the correct way hmm but I find that if you use the wrong utensil you may also need a bib (to stop the sauces spalshing on your clothes) big_smile  big_smile

With meat we use a knife and fork...it is a bit hard to cut a steak with a fork yikes  wink

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#3 Tue 30 Mar 10 1:09am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

I use a knife, fork and spoon, but at one stage when I was growing up 'splades' came into fashion and a decade or so ago I was given the last remaining ones from my mum. I found them so useful for curries etc that I scoured op shops until I found more. At least half the time, that is what I use to eat.
They are really 'sporks' since they don't have a blade to speak of, but splades is what they were called when we first got them.
I saw people decrying the fact that kids are eating school lunches with the plastic version and laughed (nervously!), but the fact is, I love them!
I think I might be the only person in the world who does though! whistle

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#4 Tue 30 Mar 10 1:12am

Tara

Forum champ
Occupation Mother, Best Friend, home trained cook.
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sat 22 Dec 07

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

I was Canadian and Aussie trained, so I tend to mix it up a little.  I will use the knife and fork to cut the food, put down the knife and tranfer the fork to my right hand then eat what Ive cut, then Ill pick up the knife again and cut, but then use the fork in my left hand to eat with out putting my knife down.  This is my multicultural way of eating, it can be confusing at times for anyone watching.  My mother pointed out my strange way of eating sometime ago and explained the American way was to cut up everything first, put down the knife and use your fork in the right hand.  She was Canadian so I assumed she knew what she was talking about, but Id like someone to confirm that.

As for spoons, only in soups, cereals and icecreams and initially trained to eat it with spaghetti with a fork and spoon.  While in my teens I learned from a foodie family from Sydney, this was not the way the Italians eat spaghetti, they only use a fork, hence I was converted. 

I use fork to eat cake, I dont know what side of the world I got that from.

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#5 Tue 30 Mar 10 1:15am

Tara

Forum champ
Occupation Mother, Best Friend, home trained cook.
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sat 22 Dec 07

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

JoyYamDaisy wrote:

I use a knife, fork and spoon, but at one stage when I was growing up 'splades' came into fashion and a decade or so ago I was given the last remaining ones from my mum. I found them so useful for curries etc that I scoured op shops until I found more. At least half the time, that is what I use to eat.
They are really 'sporks' since they don't have a blade to speak of, but splades is what they were called when we first got them.
I saw people decrying the fact that kids are eating school lunches with the plastic version and laughed (nervously!), but the fact is, I love them!
I think I might be the only person in the world who does though! whistle

Oh I havent used a splade in years, their great for camping when you need one hand to hold the plate and good for eating cake too. big_smile

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#6 Tue 30 Mar 10 1:21am

mrpab

Forum champ
Member since Wed 23 Jul 08

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

ddziak wrote:

many Americans only eat with their forks...

(here goes MrPab cranking up that old broken record again ...
roll )
There isn't anything that one can say "Americans do this, Americans do that". America is a huge territory made up of populations from around the world. Every variety of table manners, cultural traditions, and food etiquette are well represented here. And we're OK with that. However you eat is fine!
In the Pablos' household, we use table knives, sharper steak knives, teaspoons, soupspoons, forks of various sizes, chopsticks, toothpicks and even fingers, all at various times.
At 7-11 they have a plastic combination spoon/straw/fork, maybe a stroonork? What are we to make of that??? wink

edit: oh, by the way we usually would cut one bite, then eat it, then cut another bite -- but that's just us!

Last edited by mrpab (Tue 30 Mar 10 1:24am)

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#7 Tue 30 Mar 10 1:32am

Tara

Forum champ
Occupation Mother, Best Friend, home trained cook.
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sat 22 Dec 07

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

mrpab wrote:

There isn't anything that one can say "Americans do this, Americans do that". America is a huge territory made up of populations from around the world. Every variety of table manners, cultural traditions, and food etiquette are well represented here. And we're OK with that. However you eat is fine!

Mr Pabs, I dont think anyone meant to totally generalise, nearly every country these days is multicultural but we thankfully still have some of our 'isms' left which make us unique.  I say that from being an immigrant child and seeing many differences without predjudice.

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#8 Tue 30 Mar 10 1:42am

mrpab

Forum champ
Member since Wed 23 Jul 08

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

oh, it's just me, I'm always a vigilante about that stuff ... but really, I haven't noticed anyone anywhere who only uses a fork ...  help

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#9 Tue 30 Mar 10 3:26am

ddziak

Member
From Ohio, USA
Member since Tue 15 Sep 09

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

mrpab wrote:

ddziak wrote:

many Americans only eat with their forks...

(here goes MrPab cranking up that old broken record again ...
roll )
There isn't anything that one can say "Americans do this, Americans do that". America is a huge territory made up of populations from around the world. Every variety of table manners, cultural traditions, and food etiquette are well represented here. And we're OK with that. However you eat is fine!
In the Pablos' household, we use table knives, sharper steak knives, teaspoons, soupspoons, forks of various sizes, chopsticks, toothpicks and even fingers, all at various times.
At 7-11 they have a plastic combination spoon/straw/fork, maybe a stroonork? What are we to make of that??? wink

edit: oh, by the way we usually would cut one bite, then eat it, then cut another bite -- but that's just us!

Oh MrPab, I did not want to offend anyone with this post. One of the things I love and admire about the US is the fact that so many different cultures and traditions co-exist. All I hoped to discuss are food-related differences, which we can share through that forum. How boring would the world be without these differences?

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#10 Tue 30 Mar 10 5:06am

mrpab

Forum champ
Member since Wed 23 Jul 08

Re: knife, fork and spoon - what do you use?

indeed ddziak, vive la difference! I wasn't offended by your thread. It's just that people from outside the US often tend to characterise Americans very narrowly on this forum, so I always feel the need to point out it's not possible to do that, that for every generalisation one might make about "many Americans", many contradicting examples can always be found. I'm sorry to aim my indignance in your direction, just one of my "hot button issues"! whistle

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