©2008-2013 The Seductive Woman™
Good afternoon, lovely! REFINED, sophisticated manners are what separates a well-bred lady from the majority. When it comes to a woman's class or social status, it's not just what she does, but how she acts and reacts that separates her from other women.
The manners of the middle-upper and upper classes are much more formal, reserved, elaborate, elegant, refined, sophisticated and more cultured than the lower classes. *Smile*
This by no means implies that upper class people are better or nicer people, dove. The term "better manners" refers only to their form, not to their content.
That being said, in the upper classes and high society, there's a certain tendency to consider the manners of the lower classes as less desirable.
This indicates that the manners of the upper classes are used as an absolute standard in the high society, and deviations are judged to be bad. It's also true that good manners, including good table manners, are perhaps the most characteristic 'high class' or 'classy' traits.
In today's free finishing school lesson/etiquette class, we are going to learn how to eat certain foods like an upper class lady, or how a proper lady in high society does.
Let's begin our lesson...
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Avocado
When half an avocado, stone removed, is served for salad, and with just a dressing, the flesh should be eaten with a spoon like a melon.
When an avocado is stuffed/cut up, it should first be pared, and then eaten with a fork (like you do with any other salad.)
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Apples
Upper-class ladies will first cut an apple into quarters or eighths with fruit knife, then remove the core, pare, and eat with their fingers.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Artichokes
The thick, fleshy leaves of artichokes should be broken off, one at a time, with the finger and thumb.
The base of each artichoke should be dipped into the accompanying sauce, and the little succulent bit where the leaf joins the stem should be nibbled off with the front teeth.
The rest of the artichoke leaf should be rejected and laid on the plate.
After the artichoke leaves have been thus dealt with, the fuzzy choke (which has already been cut free from the bottom, and put back only to help hold the leaves in place,) should be lifted out with the fork.
The artichoke 'bottom' should be eaten by dividing with the fork, and dipping each piece into the sauce.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Asparagus
At the family table, short, firm stalks of asparagus may be eaten with the fingers. In formal/company meals, a fork should be used.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Bananas
An upper class lady doesn't bite a banana. She'll pull off the skin, place the fruit on a fruit plate, and eat it with a fork.
An alternative, classy way of eating a banana is to partly pull off the skin, cut across in half-inch slices, and eat each slice after cutting, while holding in the left hand.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Bacon (Breakfast)
Upper-class ladies know that semi-soft/semi-hard bacon should be eaten with a fork.
Advanced reformers of etiquette say that when the bacon is very crisp, brittle and dry, the strips can be eaten with the fingers. Otherwise, they would fly to pieces when being touched with the fork.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Berries
In the upper-classes, small berries and hulled strawberries are eaten with a teaspoon.
Strawberries with the hulls still on should be picked up by their short stems, dipped into powdered sugar, one at a time (if desired,) and eaten with the fingers.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady- Bones (of birds)
A drumstick bone (which has a sufficiently large portion of it free from flesh,) may be taken daintily between finger and thumb, or the thumb and first two fingers, and the meat eaten from it.
A bird bone should never be put directly into the mouth.
Although this method of eaten poultry is practiced in liberal circles, the use of the knife and fork is generally preferred by ladies in high society.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Bonbons
When bonbons are in paper cases, the bonbon and case should be lifted together from the container. Then, the bonbon should be picked out with the fingers and eaten.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Bouchees
These yummy wee cakes and pastries are considered to be finger foods. When bouchees are in paper cases, treat them like you do with bonbons.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Bread
Dry slices of bread should be broken, a bit at a time, into pieces suitable for eating.
Each bit of bread should be buttered while held in the fingers, then eaten.
Hot breads, rolls and muffins are sometimes split open and buttered before serving, especially at a luncheon. Otherwise, they're eaten in the same manner as bread.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Canapes
The quite crisp, dry kind of canapes that are served with/without cocktails, and often before the guests go to the dining room, should be eaten from the fingers.
When canapes are served at the table, as an entree or hors d'oeuvre, they're often softer, and should be eaten with a fork.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Candied Peel
Eat with the fingers.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Candy
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Cakes
Little cakes such as cookies or macaroons should be eaten with the fingers.
Slices of plain cake, rather dry, may also be classed with finger foods.
Rich, soft cakes, and cakes with fillings and frosting should be eaten with a fork.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Cantaloupe
When quartered or halved, cantaloupes should be eaten with a teaspoon.
Ladies in high society know that salt, rather than sugar, is the proper condiment for cantaloupe.
The highly sophisticated lady will add a dash of black pepper.
(See Melon Balls for cantaloupe cut into ball shapes.)
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Celery
Eat celery stalks from the fingers, dipping the ends into salt if you wish.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Cereal
A dessert spoon is properly used by an upper-class lady to eat breakfast cereal or porridge. It marks social un-sophistication to eat cereal with a teaspoon.
The cereal should be served in shallow bowls, or in the deep, saucer-like dishes that are often used instead of bowls.
It isn't proper to serve or eat cereal in breakfast saucers.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Cheese
Soft cheese should be spread on its accompanying crackers or toast with a small knife.
Hard cheese may be eaten with a fork or fingers.
It used to be permitted in many of European countries to eat hard cheese from the point of a small knife.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Cherries
Each cherry should be taken whole into the mouth, where the stone should be separated, and then removed by the thumb and forefinger, from the lips to the fruit plate.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Chops
Under certain circumstances, upper-class ladies may eat a chop with their fingers.
Chops should be cut from the ribs farthest from the shoulder. They should be 'Frenched' to the extreme baring, and have the bone scraped free from meat or fat.
Only the little 'eye' or noisette of choice meat should be left. The outside fat and skin should be removed.
The chop should be fried/broiled, and before serving, a dainty paper frill may be put around the end of the bone.
Hold the chop bone between the thumb and first two fingers of the hand. Then, eat the little 'eye' of meat from it.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Clams
When served raw, on the half-shell, or steamed in their shells, clams should be eaten with the oyster fork or any small fork.
If a sauce accompanies the clams, each clam should be dipped into the sauce.
If grated horseradish is the accompaniment, a little should be placed on each with the fork before lifting it from its shell.
Lemon (cut in quarters or eighths, lengthwise, ) may be squeezed from the ends over the whole clam.
When steamed, clams should (like oysters,) be 'bearded.' That basically means that the hard muscle is removed, but this isn't done frequently in America.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Corn On The Cob
Upper-class ladies know that at the home table, corn on the cob may be eaten from the fingers.
The cobs (cut in short lengths,) should have a little butter applied to two rows at a time. These should then be nibbled off, while the corn is held in one hand.
The cob may be held in the left hand, its end against the plate.
The kernels may be cut off by downward strokes of the knife, and then eaten with a fork.
**In high society corn on the cob is never served at a formal company dinner.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Croutons
If croutons are offered with a cream soup, or grated cheese with a clear one, these should be put right into the soup by the guest.
**This isn't permitted with any other form of accompaniment.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Eggs
The English fashion of eating the soft-cooked egg at breakfast, and from its little egg-cup, is to chip off a small 'cap' from the top, remove it, and then mix white and yolk with the egg spoon.
The next step is to add salt, and eat the mixture from the shell with the egg-spoon.
In the English upper-classes, a child is brought up from babyhood to do this without permitting the egg to flow over the shell or the egg-cup.
**People who don't trust themselves to perform this act deftly, break their eggs into a larger cup/container, mix and season them, and then eat them from that.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - French Pastries
Ladies of the upper-classes eat French pastries with a dessert fork, or with a fork of small size.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Gherkins
Very small cucumber pickles or gherkins should be picked up by the fingers and eaten like olives.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Grapes
Grapes, like cherries, should be picked up singly. Their seeds (and sometimes the skin,) should be separated while in the mouth, and removed from the lips, the same as cherry pits.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Grapefruit
In the upper-classes/high society, grapefruit is usually served cut in halves, with its juicy chunks carefully separated from the membranes and skin, with a small sharp knife. It is then ready to be scooped out with a pointed-tipped spoon and eaten.
The separation of the pulp is generally so imperfectly done as to leave much of it adhering to the skin, or with both the skin and membrane adhering to it.
The pulp has to be swallowed, or separated in the mouth, and removed from the lips like cherry stones.
Sometimes the juicy sections are served in glasses alone, and eaten with teaspoons.
The empty shell of both grapefruit and oranges - always so unpleasing to look at - should be turned upside down on the plate, after the contents are eaten.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Ice Creams
Ladies eat ice cream with a teaspoon/ice cream spoon/ice cream fork.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Ices
The dinner ice, accompanying or following the meat course, may be eaten with the ice cream fork (if firm,) or with a spoon if 'squishy.'
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Lettuce
Lettuce should be divided with a fork held side-wise, and eaten with a fork.
If the lettuce is difficult to divide with fork tines, use a salad knife.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Lobster
In the upper-classes/high society, lobster is served with the shells cracked.
Hold the claws in your left hand, and extract the meat with small fork or silver 'picks.'
An alternative way is to use special lobster fork. Even the slender little claws, full of delicious juice, may not be sucked in company.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Melons
Large melons, such as watermelon or honeydew, should be cut into sections.
Eat the sections with fork.
Eat the scooped-out halves of small melons with a spoon, a dash of salt, and perhaps a dash of black pepper. (See Cantaloupe.)
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Melons
Melons cut into balls should be eaten with either a spoon or a fork.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Muffins
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Nuts
Nuts can be eaten with the fingers (if salted,) or shelled.
If the nut's in a shell, crack it first with a nut-cracker, extract the meat with a nut pick, dip it in salt (if you'd like,) and eat it with the fingers.
How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Olives
Ladies eat olives like cherries, or they simply nibble the flesh from the stone.
Anyhow, dove, I do hope you enjoyed my article; 'How to Eat Food Like A Lady - Part One!'
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