As a child, I was taught to use a knife and fork like this: fork in left hand, securing what you want to cut, knife in right hand, cutting. Put knife down, transfer fork from left hand to right hand, put food in mouth. Repeat.
My mother drilled this into me and my siblings. My family was not overly big on table manners, but taking that extra moment to put the knife down, and transfer the fork before putting food in your mouth, was considered a critical lesson.
I recently overheard two people -- Canadians -- talking about this. One of them said, in mock horror, "Do you transfer?" And the other replied in an are-you-crazy voice, "No, I do not transfer!"
I thought, did my mother teach me wrong? Have I been using some crude, impolite technique to eat my food -- all my life?
I heard this conversation a while ago, and finally remembered to look it up online. To my astonishment, the fork-transferring method of eating is considered American, and the non-transfer method is considered European, or as some people still call it, Continental.
I found various stories on this, such as "Put a Fork in It: The American way of using fork and knife is inefficient and inelegant. We need a new way. in Slate and Business Dinner Etiquette: American vs. Continental Style Dining on Workology.com.
Canadian culture is sometimes British-based and sometimes American-based, and I don't know where fork-and-knife usage falls on the British vs. American spectrum. So wmtc readers, how do you use your knife and fork -- transfer or not transfer?
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