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How to Eat Soup: An Etiquette Refresher January 22, 2006

Posted by Yvonne in Distinctions.
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Yesterday a few friends and I were at Fazio’s in SF for lunch, and the soup was Carrot Ginger, when all of a sudden there came a demand for this critical information:

From Vogue’s Book of Etiquette, Chapter 8 – Table Manners, Twenty-Three Rules:

#4: When soup is served in a plate, the spoon should always be filled with a motion away from the table edge. The old-fashioned ironclad rule used to be that one should drink only from the side of the spoon, tilting the soup gently into the mouth. This is no longer strictly observed, and neither is the rule against tilting the soup plate itself. If the plate is tilted, it should be away from, and not toward, the edge of the table.

#5 When one has finished one’s soup, the spoon is left in the soup plate, handle to the right, over the edge of the plate, parallel to the edge of the table; but it should never be left in a soup cup or any other cup. The spoon should lie on the saucer of the cup. Never, even for a moment, should a spoon be left sticking out of the cup.

I’m not sure how it fits in with the PhD, but I’m sure it’s quite important.

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Comments»

1. Donna Kuck - January 22, 2006

So, Yvonne, what is the correct etiquette when one is in an Oriental restaurant? Those little spoons can stand all by themselves and have a mind of their own. When sipping soup directly from the cup or bowl (I hope that is allowed?) I would presume one would tilt the bowl towards one’s mouth, not away. ­čÖé Sorry – caught up in a flight of fancy with this post.

2. Yvonne - January 22, 2006

Okay here you go, from the same source:

#6: Anything served in a cup with a handle should be drunk from the cup. For example, one might sipl of tea or coffee or souop; but after that, one should drink from the cup. If there are vegetables or noodles in the soup, they may, of course, be finished off with the spook after the soup has been drunk. But, on the whole, when anything is served in a cup with handles, a spoon should be used only for stirring and tasting.

But that’s all I got from the official reference book! My personal take on it is this:

  1. don’t ever put the used ladle (it’s not really a spoon, now is it?) on the table – ever.
  2. hope they give you a plate, or request one.
  3. if they don’t give you a plate, and there are paper napkins, well, I’d put it on the napkin and ask for an extra when they clear the first course.
  4. if┬áthere are┬álinens on the table, I guess it’ll just have to stick up in the air – but that’s clearly not the best. However, good etiquette is that you just try to make the best of every situation, and try not to be appalled or make a scene.

I’m going to call in the reinforcements on this one; let’s see if we can get Cynthia to lend some wisdom.


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