To start a meal, the knife and fork should always be held in a certain way: with the handles in your palm, with your forefinger on top of the handle, and your thumb on the bottom of the handle. The tines should be pointing down. The knife should be in your right hand and your fork in your left.

However, the WAY you use your knife and fork can depend on WHERE you’re eating. Americans and Europeans (and Canadians) have different dining etiquette when it comes to how one gets the food from the plate to the mouth. So, depending where you’re at, it’s a good rule of thumb to follow the phrase: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

American- style:
Using your fork (in your left hand) to hold down your food, use your knife (in your right hand) to cut off a piece of your food (NOTE: Make sure your piece of food is bite-sized). Place your knife down, onto your plate, and switch your fork from your left hand to your right hand. Pierce the fork (which is now in your right hand) into your piece of food and lift it up to your mouth (NOTE: chew with your mouth closed).

European/ Canadian- style:
Using your fork (in your left hand) to hold down your food, use your knife (in your right hand) to cut off a piece of your food (again, make sure it’s bite- sized). Then, continuing the use of your fork in your left hand, lift the food up into your mouth (again, chewing with your mouth closed).

When you’re done eating, simply place your knife and fork, side by side, neatly in the center of the plate. This is true for all styles of dining. This informs everyone you are finished with your dish.

Big No- No’s:
Holding your knife and fork like a caveman (i.e. gripping the handles in a fist), or using your fork to cut your food.

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