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Dinning Etiquette…

At a recent dining etiquette seminar, one of the participants recounted an incident that I thought was very funny. She was at a formal dinner (boss, important client present), cut up a piece of steak and then discovered (to her chagrin) that she was chewing on a large piece of gristle. She just couldn’t swallow it. Eventually, she took it discreetly out of her mouth with her hand, and put it on a side plate. “What” she asked “was the correct way to deal with a situation like this”

My answer- Common sense dictates that you need to get the offending mouthful out of your mouth, QUICKLY- otherwise you risk choking. The general rule- if you have carried the mouthful to your mouth with a fork, then remove it with your fork. If you have carried something to your mouth with your hand (olive, lychee, cherry) then remove the seed/pip with your hand. Bad idea to leave something like a bit of gristle on your side plate.  The side plate is only cleared away before dessert.  No-one at the table should have to look at a half chewed bit of gristle. Put it on your dinner plate and cover it with something (bit of lettuce, a piece of bread).

Bad idea, as well, to remove it using your napkin. Many an unlucky diner has done just that, forgotten about it and put the napkin back on his/her lap- and created a mess on their clothes.

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