Food Etiquette: Guide & Resources Directory
French Food Etiquette
Wine in France is customary with means, you should not refuse wine, just sip it slowly. In France the wine is carefully picked that will compliment your food and sometimes the wine will even change during your meal and dessert. Orange juice is offered after coffee by your host, this is an elegant way to let you know that it is time for you to leave.
Unlike the the Chinese the French believe in having the most honored position at the head of the table. The head of the table is the one individual that has the greatest importance and is seated first to the left and then to the right of the head of right. At dinners that a couple is hosting the one will be at the one end of the table, and the other at the opposite end of the table. Sometimes when a dinner party is being hosted and a couple that have split up arrive at the dinner party, the couple are seated next to people they do not know. This way the couple can be introduced to new acquaintances and start a conversation.
The French do not switch knives and forks like Americans. When you are eating a food that requires you to use both utensils then the knife stays in your right hand and the fork in your left hand. You do not switch back with your knife and fork between bites. If you do not know which utensil to use during courses, then it is best to start from the outside and work your way in during each course. If there are dishes in the center of the table then it is best to pass the dishes to your left and the last person to receive the plate will place it back on the table.
Like Chinese tradition, be careful not to add salt and pepper or any type of spice into your food, it is considered to be insulting for your host. After you are done eating place your knife and fork laid parallel to each other across the right side of your plate. If you are completely finished with you plate then place both your knife and fork down on the plate, this is the sign that you are finished and that the plate can be taken away from you. When you are not eating it is good table manners to keep your wrists rested comfortably above the table you are sitting on.
The French believe in smaller portions of food, but with a large number of courses. If you are in a French restaurant it is expected to eat and finish everything on your plate, this is to refrain you from asking for seconds. If you are in a French restaurant you can ask for more water with your food, but you can not ask for more wine. If you want more wine you are suppose to wait for your host to serve you, and if you are hosting you must make sure the glasses of your guests are filled at all times.
The French take much pride in the food they made and process. Eating well is a priority throughout the country. French food uses some of the world's finest seafood, which is the influence of the Alsace. If you move further down the countryside typical fare includes fine cheese, meats, bread, vegetables, and herb dishes.
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