Earthly Soup Etiquette
Got a problem with facial hair in the soup?
Try out one of these "Etiquette" Soup Spoons
Or go straight to specific African, American, Asian,
Australian, English, and European customs....
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation TV hostess Dianne Buckner interviews Adeo Zcink, Etiquette expert in 11/14/2000:
BUCKNER: Did you know there are at least four different ways to eat soup? It's spoon and tilt away in Britain. Spoon and tilt toward in France.
ZCINK: You lift to the right, pass it over to the left.
BUCKNER: This palm posture requires some practice for Japanese miso, and in China?
ZCINK: The Chinese would hold it and they have a special spoon for it and they would hold the spoon and eat it. It's all right to slurp. It's not all right in Europe to slurp, but it's all right in the Chinese culture to slurp."
Sharon Huntingdon, "How Table Manners Became Polite":
Table manners are even older than tables. About 9,000 years ago, people cooked soup in pots. They dipped spoons of wood or bone into the cooking pot to eat. the first rules about eating determined who could dip into the pot first. Today some Inuit families in the arctic still follow the tradition of eating from a common pot. Men get to dip in first, then women and children. Sometimes they don't use spoons. They just pick out pieces of meat with their fingers.
Eating with the fingers is a common custom. For about a thousand years, Romans and Greeks ate while lying on their sides on couches, with their heads pointed toward the table. One hand propped them up, the other handled the food.... Eathing with the fingers never disappeared. Some Arab families still follow this custom. They use only the first three fingers of the right hand. In northern India, some diners use only the fingertips of the right hand, but in the south both hands are okay. In fact, far more poeople eat with fingers or chopsticks than se forks and spoons. But everyone has rules about eating politely.
Gaby De Meulemeester, Aalst, Belgium, on serving soup from a tureen:
My own 2 Cents amounts to very little, just a trick I learned from a professional chef years ago about how to serve soup without spilling it: After having filled the ladle with soup from the tureen, just lightly
dip the bottom part of the ladle back into the soup before transferring it to the soup plate. This will delay the forming of drops at the bottom of the ladle for a few seconds, enough to get the soup to the plate without spilling.