Even if you have impeccable manners and know which fork to use at dinner parties, there are probably a few etiquette rules you haven’t been following. For example, did you know there’s a certain way you’re supposed to eat your soup or twirl your pasta? To break down six etiquette rules when eating alone or with friends at home, we enlisted the help of Myka Meier, the official Uber Eats Etiquette Expert.
“With dining, it’s important to eat in a way that shows you are being respectful,” Meier tells ESSENCE. “The correct ways to eat certain foods were put into place to make less [of a] mess and show, through your actions, that you’re thinking of others first. Etiquette rules were put into place simply to help everyone enjoy and be thoughtful of others—and dining is no exception.”
1. Hold a champagne glass as low as possible.
According to Meier, when holding a champagne glass, “the lower on the stem that you hold, the more sophisticated a hold it becomes.”
“Holding the glass by the bowl is a no-no because you not only heat the liquid, but you leave fingerprints,” explains Meier.
2. Don’t clink glasses, not even when snapping the perfect Insta Boomerang video.
“In more formal dining situations, we avoid clinking glasses when saying ‘cheers’ because it could break your host’s glassware,” says Meier.
3. Don’t do this with noodles or soup.
“Never twirl spaghetti in a spoon and always scoop soup away from you,” advises Meier.
4. You can “remix” your food delivery.
“Often couples like delivery because it takes the work out of the meal,” Meier explains. “There is no grocery shopping, preparation time or cleaning involved, so you can just focus on enjoying the company! But dining in can still be a wonderful experience, even if the food came via delivery. To make the meal extra special, try setting the table with plates, glasses and cutlery from your home and, once the food arrives, you can plate it as a more formal gesture.”
5. It’s okay to still say grace before every meal.
“Saying a blessing over a meal, no matter how formal or informal, is completely up to the person or family hosting,” Meier says. “If a family is used to blessing a meal before enjoying, they should continue to do so, no matter who the guest is. The guest should adapt to the home, culture and customs they are in as a sign of respect.”
6. Your food “discards” belong on the upper left part of your plate.
“The upper left part of your plate is for discards,” suggests Meier. “Let’s say you had a lemon rind you didn’t want to eat; that would go on the upper left hand part of your plate. Or a fish bone. The bottom right is for sauces and butter.”