Hi, guys! Hope you kicked off the week pretty well? Like I always do, I talk here about things that interest me so I can talk to the best of my knowledge. So, about cutlery, I’ve had a pretty good knowledge of its use, not until I was faced with something greater than what I knew. Yeah, we were all taught at home or/and boarding school of our knives and forks, although way back, I kept wondering why we needed cutlery to eat chicken when it was obviously not tenderized. The chicken meat at restaurants then could be so tough, cutting through it was like a gym session. Na beta old-layer be dat. Years ago, I was invited to a formal dinner party. I talked the talk, walked the walk and knew I was on point fashion-wise, only for me to see something similar to this:
I swallowed beta spit first. I was like “What?!!…in Nigeria?!!!…How?!!” What do I want to use all these things for? I looked at my neighbors. They seemed pretty calm. I started rehearsing in my head the excuses I was going to give. I knew this couldn’t be good. My enemies were after me. This was a set up. Hahahaha. Not until we were called upon to be served, when one of the participant blurted “Dis kain plenty fork and knife, how I wan use all of them na?”. The thriving silence that filled the room suddenly ushered in bursts of laughter. That’s when another blurted out her confusion too. Then another…and another. My sigh of relief must have been felt by the person sitting next to me. They ordered that some of the cutlery be removed. I realized I even knew more than them. Na dat time my forming con start. I was even courageous to tell the butler when taking back the pieces of cutlery, to leave my ‘dessert fork’ cos I’ll need it. See pesin wey don die finish, don dey form. I used to think it was unrealistic for a Nigerian to eat with three-quarter of a formal set table items but I was wrong and corrected that notion. So let’s learn for fun and knowledge sake, shall we?
- Salad fork
- Fish fork
- Dinner fork (It’s four pronged and the biggest)
- Bread knife
- Bread plate
- Dessert spoon
- Dessert fork
- Place card
- Salad plate
- Soup bowl
- Service plate
- Salad knife
- Meat knife
- Fish knife
- Soup spoon
- Tea spoon
- Seafood fork
- Water goblet
- Champagne flute
- Red wine glass
- White wine glass
- Sherry glass (for liquor)
I must admit, this is aloooooottt! It still doesn’t make sense to me why this great number of items should be on a table but this is good knowledge. Some settings would have some while some would go all out and have everything placed . A factor that determines the items to be placed on a table is the Menu. Also you’d have to be very adventurous with drinking, to have all those glasses set for you. For those eating lobsters, there is usually a ‘lobster pick’ placed beside the fork(s). For those eating sushi, sometimes you are presented with chopsticks to eat it the traditional way. Good luck to you on that one! There’s a whole lot to learn from this art. Believe me, this is like scratching the surface of the book of cutlery. It’s a whole new ball game learning the intricacies. I go leave dat mata for mathias. Anyway, I listed some easy-to-do table etiquette to go alongside with using your cutlery:
- As soon as you sit, first thing you do is place your napkin on your lap. This shouldn’t go off you until you are done eating. If you need to excuse yourself for a while, place the napkin on your seat to show that you will be back.
- Never start eating before the others are ready.
- No elbows on the table. Firmly grasp your fork and knife when digging in.
- No stretching over table. Ask for an item to be passed to you.
- No slouching. Sit upright.
- If you are done eating, place both fork and knife together to your right. If you are not done, spread it apart in a ‘4:20’ clock hand way.
- Finally, no pinging! Okay, ping a bit to say how boring all these rules are, then continue eating.
Let’s think outside the box a little. Who knows? You could be called to dine with the Queen of England or be called to cast in a role in the ‘Downton Abbey’ series. Anything is possible. When it happens, remember Bubu taught you something. Anyway, while we are still dreaming of that day, a big shout out to that one cutlery that never falls short, always does what the mind wants, always divides and conquers…. FINGERS!!!
If you had such experience, please share. If you still have more to add to this list of items, please do.
pix credit: wikimedia.org/ hopefulromantic
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