Surprising table etiquette tips

We all know that making a good impression on someone is contingent upon demonstrating good etiquette, but surprisingly, many of us actually don’t know very much when it comes to proper table manners. Sure, you can get by through putting your napkin in your lap and being polite to your servers, but there exists an entire world of the finer points of table manners that many of us simply know nothing about. Not to worry though, you don’t need a culinary certificate to eat with class. Just take a look at some of these surprising table etiquette tips and dine in confidence knowing that you’re being as polite as possible.

Distribution and placement
Obviously, most of the time it’s fine to simply place your various dishes on a table and pass them around as needed. In more formal settings, it’s important to take time to think about exactly where drinks, entrees and appetizers should go. According to Readers Digest, one of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re doing this correctly is through remembering the acronym B.M.W. – bread, meal, water. Moving from the left to right across the table your settings should follow this pattern from the perspective of the diner: bread plates on the left, meals dead center and water or other drinks on the right.

Soup spoons
It’s hard to think of the smaller details of silverware etiquette and get far beyond the notion of where to place your forks, spoons and knives. Surprisingly, there are actually specific ways that you are supposed to use these different utensils to deliver food into your mouth. In the case of soup spoons, for example, it’s important to note that the edge formed by the bowl of the spoon is curved. As Etiquette Scholar has reported, this is because soup is intended to be drawn in from the side of the spoon instead of from the front. Admittedly, you may need to practice this one a bit before using it publicly.

Salad fork, dinner fork
It can be intimidating, when you sit down at an unfamiliar table, to see a broad array of multiple forks and knives in front of you. How will you know which one to use for your appetizer and which one to use for dessert? While dessert forks are typically brought out with the dish, it’s a safe bet that you always want to move from the outside inward. The outermost fork will be for your salad or appetizer, the next for your second course, and so on.

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