Table Manners – Eating Etiquette

  • Chew and swallow all the food in your mouth before taking more or taking a drink.
  • Eat slowly and carefully and chew with your mouth closed.
  • Finish what is in your mouth before talking.
  • Never put so much food in your mouth that you cannot chew comfortably (take small bites).
  • Sip your drinks, don’t gulp.
  • Food should come to you, not you to the food.
  • If the food or drink is too hot, wait for it to cool. Do not blow on it to cool it down.
  • Do not slurp your soup or drink, either from the glass or from the spoon.
  • Break the rolls/chapati with your fingers not with your knife. However a slice of bread can be cut with the knife into portions. A toast is cut with a knife into bite size pieces.
  • Butter only the portion you have broken, not the whole slice or half a roll at one time.
  • Always use a knife and fork at a formal meal.
  • Cut your food in bite-sized pieces, a piece at a time. Do not cut all your food at once.
  • Don’t lick the cutlery, especially spoon and knife.
  • Don’t waive the cutlery around.
  • Never use your fingers to push food onto your spoon or fork. Use the cutlery provided.
  • Eat the food in the manner in which it is served: don’t mash the food on your plate.
  • Do not scrape the plate. If some gravy or sauce is left, use a piece of bread to mop it up using your fork or just leave it.
  • If eating with your hands, use the clean hand for serving yourself and for your glass.
  • Don’t lick your fingers if you are eating an Indian meal.
  • Don’t use your hands for halving a puri etc. from the serving plate.

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Krishna Sahai
Krishna Sahai

Krishna Sahai took voluntary retirement as a senior Commissioner of Income Tax of the Indian Revenue Service to follow alternative paths. A multi-talented person, she is a trained Bharata Natyam dancer and has also published a book on the subject. Krishna has imbibed the old traditions of Avadhi culture from her family and is concerned about preserving the vanishing cuisines of India. She consults on financial and business matters apart from running a not-for-profit organization.

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