Don’t you just love summer? In addition to warm and breezy days, there are outdoor get-togethers with delicious food. How do you eat all of the "difficult" foods while looking marvelously well-mannered? Take heart. Picnics, barbecues, and poolside spreads are necessarily casual affairs, and it is appropriate to eat with your hands. Here are a few of the more popular difficult foods served during the summer. Let us know if you can think of others.
Watermelon. When served in slices and with seeds, eat with your hands and drop seeds into a cupped hand and place on your plate or napkin. If the watermelon is served cubed and in a bowl, then eat it with a fork.
Corn-on-the-cob. Butter and season (salt & pepper) only several rows at a time and eat with your hands. Do not eat like an old-fashioned typewriter – a row at a time. And don’t butter the entire ear of corn at once - you will create a mess. If you are lucky, your host will provide handles to push into each end of the ear of corn and use those to pick up your ear of corn.
Barbecued ribs. Another delicious food that is to be eaten with your fingers at outdoor parties. We recommend not licking your fingers. Instead, use your napkin.
If you are the host of a summer party, provide finger bowls, warm clothes and extra napkins. Your guests will be grateful.
What about other tricky foods served during business meals? How do you eat asparagus, artichoke, or spaghetti? Well, a business meal really isn't the time to order foods you aren’t absolutely comfortable eating. But sometimes you don’t have a say in what’s being served. When in doubt, wait and watch what others do. There is no need for you to be the first to dig in.
When eating asparagus - surprise, surprise - you may eat it with your fingers if it’s firm and served without sauce, but we advise against doing so at a business meal, when everyone else is using their utensils.
On the other hand, everyone has to use their hands to eat an artichoke. Gently pull the leaves off, one at a time. Dip the end (the non-pointy base) into sauce, if provided, then bring the leave up to your mouth and scrape off the edible meat using your bottom teeth. Discard that leaf and place it on the side of your plate or in a bowl, if one is provided. When you have pulled all the leaves you can, using a fork and knife, separate and push down the remaining leaves a bit so that you can get to and remove the fuzzy portion at the base (called the choke) from the rest of the artichoke’s heart and cut one bite at a time. Delicious!
And lastly, spaghetti is eaten with a fork only - no spoon. Twirl your fork directly on the plate, gathering only two or three strands of spaghetti around your fork to make a small, bite-sized package of pasta. Do not cut your pasta.
Practice makes perfect, so enjoy some good food.
Have a marvelous week -