Table Manners III: Do you eat European or American-style...

...with your knife and fork?

Spawned from another thread--I've always been fascinated by the difference. American style involves switching your fork from your non-dominant to your dominant hand after cutting the meat, European style does not. For a full explanation:

"There is an American style and the European or Continental style for eating your food. Either style is considered appropriate.

In the American style, you cut your food by holding the knife in your right hand and your fork in the left hand with the fork tines holding the food to the plate. Cut a few bite-size pieces of food, and then lay your knife across the top edge of your plate with the sharp edge of the blade facing in. Change your fork from your left to your right hand to eat, fork tines facing up. (If you are left-handed, keep your fork in your left hand, tines facing up.)

The European or Continental style is the same as the American style in that you cut your meat by holding your knife in your right hand while securing your food with your fork in your left hand. But, your fork remains in your left hand, tines facing down, and the knife in your right hand. Simply eat the cut pieces of food by picking them up with your fork still in your left hand with the tines facing down." Source:

I was brought up American style, but when I lived in England sometimes I'd use the European style. Also, do you think you should change styles based upon where or the majority of the table with whom you are dining?


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