Menu to Gentlemen Manners and more

The possibilities of the human mind are endless. Therefore, a person with a gift for leadership demonstrates outstanding potential and/or performance in the areas of social and personal abilities.

These abilities can and will be measured by his or her peers,through observation of daily behavior and than based upon personality characteristics, communication abilities and good posture.

SubTopic: Your Menu to manners
Note: Hint: no one can be expected to know every food and how to eat it. Do your best and see if you can find some of the rules that are associated with them to be false.

No matter how thick or thin, cut off one satisfying bite at a time.


With a knife and fork at a table, always get as much meat off as you can before picking up a bone. And as you wish at picnics and with family at home.


Acquiring all the meat from a partridge, quail, squab or whatever, with a knife and fork is unfounded. Except in uncommonly formal circumstances, cut off all the meat you can with your knife and fork, then pick up a tiny bone daintily and put it in your mouth, still holding the end of the bone with a dainty touch. Quietly, suck the meat off, then put the bone back on the plate. For an adventure, you can put the bone all the way into your mouth with your fork, suck off the meat and put the bone back on the plate with your fingers.


Bread is broken in relatively small pieces and buttered just before eating. You put the bread on your plate to spread it or hold a small piece in your fingers – never on the palm of your hand. Hot bread is better buttered all at once so the butter can melt in it, and this is all right, but you still break it one piece at a time to eat it. Bread may be used to absorb gravy or juices and to cover spoiled food. You can put a small piece in the plate, and stick your fork in it to wipe up the gravy and eat it.


The Rules: With a fork, if it’s sticky. In the fingers, if it’s dry.


Take the decorative paper cup, too, when it is passed.


Should be made crisp and with manageable pieces to allow you to break it with a fork, but if it isn’t, use your knife.

Butter/sour cream:

Spread it with a butter knife, or any other knife,use a fork
if you are putting it on something in your dinner plate.


SOLID: These (cranberry sauce, etc.) go on the dinner plate beside the food they come with, or on the butter plate, to be eaten along with the food not on the food.
LIQUID: Pour them on top of the food they go with.


Gravy should stay mostly on the meat, not on everything else on the plate, potatoes should be dipped in the gravy with your fork. Sopping up the gravy with bread (on a fork, not in the fingers)


Whole or with sandwiches, they are eaten with your fingers. With meat, slices are eaten with a fork.


The pitted kind, if they are very large, is eaten whole with your fingers, or in a few bites. If they have pits, since the pit is attached firmly, it is very hard to separate the pit from the meat in your mouth, so you may use your fingers and eat around the pit.


Take one at a time and eat with your fingers.


Put them next to the food they go with, or on the side of your dinner or butter plate and eat them on the fork along with the bite of food. Never dump it on top of the food you are eating.


If you need a few pinches of salt for dipping, as with celery, and there is only one salt shaker, put a little pile on the edge of your plate. If there is an open salt dish for several people and no salt spoon use the tip of your clean knife blade. If the salt dish is just for you, a pinch is taken in the fingers.

Not so simple foods


Made with two pieces of bread, use your fingers. Big juicy un manageable ones are cut up with a knife and then eaten with the fingers or with a fork. Open hot sandwiches with thick gravy need a fork and knife.

Spaghetti /Long Pasta/ noodles

Holds a large spoon with the bowl upright against the plate in your left hand and, catching a few strands of spaghetti with the fork in your right hand, turn the fork against the bowl of the spoon until strands are neatly wound around it in a modest lump. If you prefer you may cut the strands with your fork.


Cut like a pie, but eaten in the hand. Do not use a knife and fork. With a spoon, when cut up and served in a bowl.



ON THE HALF SHELL, RAW: They are eaten like clams.
COOKED: They are picked up with the fork, dipped in sauce, if any, and eaten whole or cut in half with a knife if they are too large.


UNSHELLED: Shell with clean hands and fingers and eat whole, dip them in the sauce, eat the shrimp and discard the tail.
SHRIMP COCKTAIL: please refer to crabmeat cocktail.
FRIED: Cut in half, if large; whole with a fork if small, dip them in the sauce, eat the shrimp and discard the tail.
FRIED FANTAIL SHRIMP: Pick them up by the tail (if it has the tail still on), Cut in half, if large; whole with a fork if small, dip them in the sauce, eat the shrimp and discard the tail.

You eat it with an oyster fork. If you run across a piece of hard membrane, just take it out of your mouth with your fingers.
HARD-SHELLED CRABS and Lobster : You may start anywhere you like, but most people first pull off the small claws and suck or chew the meat out of the open end. Then you lift out the body meat in one piece, cut it up with a knife and fork and eat it, dipping it piece by piece into the sauce. The coral and green material in the body is also eatable. The claws should be cracked before the crabs are served, but often a nutcracker comes with it, in case you want to crack the claws more. Break the claws with your fingers, take out the meat with your oyster fork or a pick, dip it in the sauce and eat it. You then use the finger bowl, or wet cloth supplied.
SOFT-SHELLED CRABS: Every part is edible. Just cut them up with a knife and fork and eat them.


ON THE HALF SHELL: begin by holding the shell with your left hand and lift the clam out using your oyster fork in your right. Slowly, dip the clam in the sauce and put it whole in your mouth.

STEAMED: You eat them with your fingers. The shells should be opened when you get them and you are given a bowl of broth and a bowl of melted butter. (Or sometimes the butter is melted right in the broth.) Lift the clam out of its shell by the neck and pull the body out of the neck sheath with the other hand. Put the sheath aside. Holding the clam by the neck, dunk it up and down several times in the broth to get rid of the sand, dip it in the butter, and eat it. After the clams are finished, drink the broth, if you like. A bowl to put the empty shells in is convenient, but if there is none, just pile them on the edge of your plate. As a rule they are never served under formal circumstances because they are too drippy

Fresh Fish:

A whole fish is easier to eat if you bone it. You hold it down with your fork, cut off the head, slit it down the underside and lay it open. Then you insert your knife under the front end of the backbone and lift the whole thing out, putting it on the edge of your plate. There probably will be some small bones left. These you take out of your mouth with your fingers after having cleaned them as much as you can and lay them on the edge of the plate with the backbone.


Pick them out of the shells with your fork, or pick up the shell and quietly suck them out of it. The shells go on a side plate so you can eat the sauce (which is thin and soupy) afterward. You do this with a spoon or by sopping it up with small pieces of bread held on your fork.


Commonly served with a special holder with which to grip the hot shell. Hold this in your left hand, pick out the snail with a pick or oyster fork in your right and eat it whole. If necessary, you may drink the juice from the shell by tipping it in your mouth (shell held in your hand) when it has cooled.


On toast, and never with a fork.

Frogs’ Legs:

These are eaten as birds are. (See Fowl)


IN A CUP WITH HANDLES: Take a sip with the spoon to test it is drinkable, if it not too hot and is desirable, drink it, holding the cup by one handle. When applicable, use the spoon again to get shrimps, vegetables or whatever from the bottom. The spoon goes in the saucer next to the cup with handles when you are through.

IN A PLATE: Scoop away from yourself with the spoon and drink the soup from the side of the spoon unless it’s too thick. If it is, then at the end is acceptable. The plate may be tipped, away from you, to get the last drop. Place quietly the spoon in the soup plate when you are finished.
IN A BOWL: Scoop up the soup in your spoon, dipping the spoon away from you. Afterward, leave the spoon under the bowl in the plate.



Pits go into your hand and back on the plate. If served like grapefruit, then they are eaten the same way. You may have to peel a whole orange with a sharp knife, or with your fingers when you are in a less formal setting. Separate the segments and eat them whole or cut in half if they are very large.


Simply peel it all the way and then break or cut it in pieces to eat, with the fingers or a fork.


With a spoon, but if large strawberries are served with the stem in a pile or bowl, pick up the berry by the stem, dip it, eat it and put the stem on your plate.
Stewed Fruit: Since it is eaten with a spoon, the pits are taken out of your mouth with a spoon and put on the side of the plate.


When it is served halved, lift out each segment with a spoon and eat it. Get what juice you can by scooping it up with the spoon. Don’t pick it up and squeeze it, except in private.


Best to eat with your hands, informally, but when they are served as a course, peel, quarter and core them and eat the pieces with clean hands and fingers.


STEWED: Eat the pit if unavoidable and remove the pit from your mouth with your spoon.
RAW: Eat them without peeling or cutting and put the cleaned pit back on the plate with your fingers.

Seedless grapes should not be a problem. You simply cut or break a bunch off from the stalk and put it on your plate. You eat the grapes one at a time. With seeded grapes, if you can eat the skin, place them in your mouth, separate the seeds there and drop them into your hand to put on the plate. Inedible skins should be separated with the tongue in the mouth, not by chewing. An easier method is to squeeze the inside into the mouth with your fingers, separating the seeds in the mouth. Incidentally, never pick single grapes off a fruit centerpiece.


Please refer to oranges that are not peeled.


Large pieces on a plate are cut with a knife and fork and eaten with a fork. Long rectangle sticks, served informally, are eaten with the fingers.


Please refer to apricots.


Quarter with a sharp knife and pull or peel off the skin, then cut it up and eat it with a fork.


Same as apples.


Rarely served whole because they are too juicy to eat gracefully a Persimmon, when served in the skin with the top cut off, eat like an avocado.


With the fingers. Large ones are eaten in a couple of bites, small one all at once, whole.


Please refer to Apricots.

When whole you quarter them with a sharp knife, then turn a quarter, skin side up, on your plate and holding it with your fork, peel (not cut) skin away from the fruit. The juicy part that remains is cut up and eaten with the fork. Mango juice stains cloth, so use paper napkins when eating. Or just eat them with a spoon if they are already prepared.


CANTALOUPE: With a spoon to hold the juice.
HONEYDEW: With either a spoon or a fork, its your choice.
WATERMELON: With a fork, after getting as many seeds out as possible. Seeds in your mouth go into your hand and then to the plate


BAKED: When the potato is already slit at the top and buttered, hold it with one hand and scoop out the insides bite by bite with your fork. If it is whole, do not take out the insides all at the same time and put the skin aside. Break it with your fingers , hold it with one hand and scoop out the insides bite by bite with your fork, after putting sour cream, butter, salt and pepper in it. If you want to eat the skin, do it by cutting it like meat, one satisfying bite at a time.
SHOE STRING AND POTATO CHIPS: Eat with your fingers.
FRENCH FRIED: Cut them with a knife in two if they are long and eat with a fork. Never, Never pick up the whole piece and bite off part of it.

Corn on the Cob:

Pick it up in your fingers at both ends. (Holders may be supplied and stuck into the ends) You season a couple of rows, eat them, then season the next few. Mix a pile of butter with salt and pepper on your plate if you like, so you can season all at once. A long ear may be broken in half., but it really is easier to eat when you can get a direct grip on it. There just is no elegant way of eating it, so you will most definitely not find it at formal dinners


When served split in half with the seed cavity filled with something, you steady the shell with the left hand and scoop out the contents with your spoon.

Take it in your fingers when it is passed and put it on the side of your plate. Salt it or dip it in a little pile of salt and bite it off bit by bit.


Cut off the tender tip with your fork, in several sections if it is tender enough and put it in your mouth. You eat only what can be cut with the fork. At home you might pick up the end in your fingers and bite off a bit more, but you never bite off so much that you must spit out a tough part.


Are enjoyed and eaten with clean hands, fingers and nails. Artichokes are eaten in two stages: First take off a leaf, then dip the soft end into the sauce, and scrape about a third of the leaf with your bottom teeth to get the tender part. (the inside of the leaf should face down towards the bottom teeth for easier management of the artichoke’s essence). Carefully, pile the used and uneaten leaves on the side of your plate. After the leave are all off, the”choke” and “heart” remains (you have just eaten “Arti”). Choke (named appropriately because if eaten, it may make you choke) are many fine tiny leaves with very spiky tips. (I prefer not to eat this). Lastly, gently scoop the choke out with your knife, leaving a “hallow” in the base. ( the hollow will be seen as a smooth creator with pore holes from the choke. Carefully cut up the heart with your knife and fork and eat it piece by piece, after dipping each piece in the sauce or squeezing lemon and sprinkling breadcrumbs on it.

Health issues & special food requirements
Dieting and allergies are not dinner conversation, so keep the details to yourself.
If you go out to dinner and some of your forbidden food is served, simply just say, “No, thank you,” refrain from explaining why.

When your host or hostess is familiar with your problem, he or she might plan his or her dinner accordingly or fix something special for you, but if it has not been done, never ask for a special meal to be made for you.
If all your food has been especially cooked or if you are allergic to some undetectable food so that you would have to question your host or hostess about every ingredient, it’s best to do your visiting after meals.
If you are the guest of honor in the above situation and your host or hostess insists on dinner rather than cocktails or an after-dinner party, about the only thing you can do is to explain the situation to him or her.

He or she may then change his or her mind about having a dinner party or he or she may offer to provide special food for you.

Then you may accept, but you may not properly ask him or her to provide it.
I respect a person with Elementary Manners
Conversational Courtesies

Interrupting: “Excuse me” “May I be excused? “is always a nice way to interrupt if it is unavoidable. Sometimes we might sound rude without meaning it. A simple “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know” is always a great way to answer a question that we really don’t want to explain.

When addressing an older man or woman. “Mrs.” and “Mr.” is usually safe unless otherwise invited by the person to use his or her first name. “Please” and “thank you” are essential every time you ask a person for something or is given something..


One’s clothing should always be appropriate and should suit your appearance. Your age, the place and the occasion all should be considered when you dress.
* Clean, mended and nicely pressed cloths are always the right thing to wear. For young ladies who may wear a hat one may keep her hat on, unless at the movies or theater where you are obstructing a persons view.
* Don’t wear transparent blouses without hiding brassiere straps under a camisole.
For young men that may wear a cap or hat, you gently tip your hat on a few occasions and take it off on others. Gentlemen should remove their hat or cap in an elevator of a hotel, apartment house, funeral procession and when the National Anthem is played or if the United States flag is passing in front of you.
* Type of hat or caps…

If the hat or cap has a brim
that is stiff, you hold it by
the brim.

If the hat or cap is soft you
lift it by the crown.

If you do not wish to lift
your hat or cap you may
just touch the brim of the
hat and gently nod.
* Do not ever greet anyone with food in your mouth.
* Anger Management

Simply, if someone says something to you that is inappropriate, simply remember” sticks and stones”. Walking a way from an unpleasant person is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself and for the other person. You immediately remove yourself from the unpleasant situation and the other person is left to think about what he or she has said.
If the person calls you a chicken. Honestly, does that comment warrant a second thought?????
No! because you already have learned of their inability to control his or her anger.
* Consideration for others

When an older person man or woman enters a room, unless there are many others present in the room, you should rise if you are sitting. Speak softly, don’t point or stare, and in public vehicles sit quietly with out putting your feet on the seats. Comments about people you may consider unusual, like a man with one arm or a lady with purple hair should always be kept to oneself.
* Grooming “Looking Good to YOU!!”
One should brush after his or her teeth each time your mouth comes in contact with any food or drink.

Keeping a travel toothbrush and floss on your person is a smart way to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean.

Sugarless gum can be an alternative, until you are able to go home and brush your teeth if you do not have a travel toothbrush and floss with you.

One should wash his or her hands as many times in a day as possible. Our hands touch many things in a day, (money, other persons hands, books, etc.) Our hands are considered very dirty and full of germs.

Washing your hands after each restroom visit and before and after eating anything type of snacks or food will help control self inoculation.
* Body scents *sniff*
Clean and fresh is always best. Anything bearing a label “made in Paris” is perfect anytime!

First SubTopic:
Linen napkin and Paper napkin
Linen and paper napkins should be used in the same manner.

You pick your napkin up when your host or hostess does and, if it is a small napkin, open it up entirely on your lap.

If it is a large dinner napkin, please leave it folded in half on your lap.

Never, ever…tuck it in your shirt or anywhere on your person.

Always use your napkin before you drink so you will not smear the edge of the glass. (men too..)

Always use your napkin after using your fingers to eat approved finger foods. Never lick your fingers after.

Never use your napkin to take anything out of your mouth. When you need to take anything out of your mouth take it out of your mouth the way it went in, clean the pit or bone as much as possible in your mouth, then put it in your spoon or fork with your lips, and then to the edge of your plate. With fruit that is eaten with you hands, you take the pit out of your mouth with your fingers.

When your finished eating, leave your napkin unfolded beside your plate–either side.

Please never roll your napkin in to a ball and throw it on the top of your plate.

Second SubTopic: Rules of the table

If and when you are served by a host or hostess, please be patient until he or she sits down and picks up his or her napkin before you do.

When there are many people at the table or in the room, it is correct to start as soon as a few people have been served.
Always sit easily, not slumped over in your seat. Posture is very key to presence.

Slowly escort your food into your mouth, never chase the food with your mouth in to your plate.
Never hover over your plate.
Only when eating, it is perfectly all proper to put your elbows on the table, one elbow is more graceful than two.

When you are finished with the meal never push your chair back, do not sit sideways with your knees crossed and never lean back with the chair resting on two legs.

When the meal is over, wait until your hostess suggests leaving the table, then push your chair back and get up. If a young boy or man has risen first, he should help the lady next to him with her chair.
Third SubTopic: Eating with utensils
The rule is: At the table the utensils to be used first are located on the outside of the plate.

It is fine to use your knife and fork either in the American way (changeover after each slice) or in the European way, with the fork in the left hand (tines down) the knife in the right, and the food put into the mouth with the fork still held in the left hand. (I perfer this way).
Forth SubTopic: More Rules
After using the silver never put it on the table or tablecloth or use it in a dish that other people eat out of. When you are not using it, leave it on your plate.

A spoon is left in your soup plate. It is left in an ice – tea glass if there is no saucer under it, but it is never at any other time left in a bowl, cup or glass.

When finished with any course, put the silver on the plate in such a way that it won’t fall off when the plate is removed. The handles go to the right and the utensils should be together and parallel to the edge of the table.

One bite at a time is the rule for slicing and eating food. Bread is also broken into one – or two – bite pieces and buttered one piece at a time.

Please don’t put too much food in your mouth, or speak while you chew, or chew with your lips apart making sounds.

Don’t mix things or mash food on your plate. If you want a mixture, put a little of each food on your fork. The saying “it all mixes together anyway” is inappropriate.

Liquids should not be taken in large gulps, but gently sipped.

Do not drunk while you have food in your mouth.

Reaching for objects on the table for yourself is ok as long as they are just as near to you as they are the person sitting next to you.

Acquiring the last morsel by using your knife or a piece of bread as a pusher is fine as long as you do not tip the bowl or plate.

Never use your fingers to push anything on your plate or bowl.

Getting the last bit of meat off a bone by picking it up with your hands is fine at home or informally with friends, but first cut as much off as possible with your knife as to not look like a prehistoric person. Do not to lick your fingers.

When you need to take anything out of your mouth take it out of your mouth the way it went in, clean the pit or bone as much as possible in your mouth, then put it in your spoon or fork with your lips, and then to the edge of your plate. With fruit that is eaten with you hands, you take the pit out of your mouth with your fingers.

Coughing or sneezing sometimes just can not be helped, just cover your mouth or nose with your handkerchief, not your napkin, cover it with something. If you must, leave the table, it will be understood if you are not able to say “Excuse me” until you come back. If you must blow your nose, do it as quietly as possible.

Comments about the quality or taste of the food, unless you want to say it is yummy, are taboo. Eat what you can, or don’t take any if you can’t, but do not make it dinner conversation.

Spoiled food or something that just does not taste right to you can be covered by using your fork to put it from your mouth to the plate. Cover it quickly and quietly, if possible, with a piece of bread or whatever you have on your plate. For foreign matter in the food such as bird feathers or the stems of fruit or a fish bone is taken out of your mouth – usually with your fingers– and put on the side of your plate. If you find a bug in your food just move it if you do not mind, or don’t eat the food if you do.

Fifth SubTopic: When hired help serves you

Take the food from the serving dishes yourself, you must wait until the hired help is on your left, pick up the serving spoon with your right hand and the fork with your left, and lift the nearest portion of food to your plate, stabilizing what is on the spoon with the fork.

You do not divide a turkey leg from the thigh, you put the whole serving on your plate. Never put anything from a serving platter and put it directly into your mouth. Put it on your plate first.

Never ask the hired help for anything directly, but speak to your host or hostess.

When the hired help passes the food, you need not need to thank him or her each time you take something from a platter, but you always thank her when you refuse
(“No, thank you.” do not just a shake of the head).

Sixth SubTopic: If you are the host or hostess

The host or hostess’ table manners are the same as anyone else, except that he or she must be alert to his or her guests’ needs.

If a guest refuses food offered, it would be very rude to insist that he or she indulge, this persistence puts the guest in the position of talking about his or her food problems, which is very rude of him or her.

The host or hostess should start eating as soon as his or her plate is served, so that any guests who are waiting may go ahead and eat. He or she should eat slowly enough so that no slow – eating guest is left to finish all by himself.

Thank you.
Please, move on through the other pages of this site.

It was a pleasure to have met you.

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