Food Etiquette for Difficult Foods

Have you noticed that some foods are not exactly easy to handle for proper food etiquette? This page will review the top five offenders when it comes to difficult food and how to handle them. 

Imagine that you are are a formal dinner function, or you are at a business lunch and you are trying to make the right impression. And then...the unthinkable happens. Food arrives at the table that is hard to eat without offending others. What do you do? These tips and ideas will help you out in a pinch! 

Here are the top five offenders of food etiquette rules in no particular order:

Food EtiquetteBuffalo Wings or Ribs - These foods are not manners friendly because you are considered "strange" if you use silverware to eat them, and you appear to eat like an animal by using your hands. It is near impossible to make the right impression with this food staring back at you!

What to do: Luckily, this food is considered as more of a "casual" type of dish than something formal. So, you will likely not face this at a formal dinner. This is usually an enemy that will confront you at a business lunch. In this setting, it is usually not considered to be inappropriate to use your fingers. To make cleanup a little better, use a wet wipe for your hands and face. That way, you are sure to get all of the sauce and stickiness off. 

Food With Pits - What do you do if you are served food that has a pit in the center that you need to get rid of? Do you cut around it? Spit it out in your hand or plate? Foods that have pits can be another way to really offend people with improper food etiquette. 

What to do: The proper etiquette for anything that has a pit is to put the food in your  mouth, expose the pit, and quietly place the pit from your mouth to your spoon. The pit is then placed on a plate that is reserved for the pits (if one is present) or on the corner of your plate. 

Spaghetti - This is another difficult food to eat with proper food etiquette. People have a tendency to do one of two things with spaghetti - either they will slurp it up until all the noodles are in their mouth, or they splash sauce as they try and twist it up on their fork. 

What to do: The best alternative is to not order it if you can avoid it. If you have to eat it, then make sure you cut it up properly with your knife and fork. In fact, it is best to cut it up too much so that slurping will not be a necessity. Slurping is not only poor manners, but it is also a good way to get sauce on your clothes. 

Any Dish With Shared Sauce - This can be a nightmare and you need to be aware of avoiding the "double-dip." The double-dip is when you put a piece of food in sauce, take a bite, and then dip the same food that just touched your mouth back into the sauce. It is just like licking the sauce and expecting everyone else to eat from the sauce. 

What to do: If the table is sharing sauce, the polite thing to do is to spoon some of the sauce on your plate so that you can dip to your heart's content without offending others. They will silently thank you for this kind gesture of putting the sauce on your plate. 

Food EtiquetteCorn on the Cob - Eating corn off the cob can be an etiquette disaster. Corn stuck in your teeth, on your face, and eating with your hands. All of the elements are present for a perfect storm of bad manners. Usually, this is a food for casual settings, and if it is a formal meal, it should be cut off of the cob prior to serving. 

What to do: Corn skewers can help out a lot so that your hands are not getting messy. If you are using butter and seasoning, do it a row at a time so that it is not dripping butter. Bite and chew as silently as possible. As you are placing the cob of corn back on your plate, wipe your face with a napkin. 

We hope these tips on food etiquette will make these difficult to eat foods easy to handle. After all, proper eating etiquette is all about making the right impression on people.

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