Eating off other’s plates
There’s a scene in the movie Citizen Cohn where Roy Cohn is dining with some political heavyweights including New York’s Cardinal Spellman. At one point, Cohn leans over the table to nab a morsel off the Cardinal’s plate. While Cardinal Spellman was shocked and repulsed, for Cohn, it was just his way of saying, “Hey, I feel at ease with you,” says Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert/researcher and owner of The Protocol School of Texas. “No one will do this if they’re trying to make an impression on someone,” she says. But for everyone else—either due to arrogance or friendship—they feel welcome in coveting thy neighbor’s meal. Of course, that doesn’t mean we have to like it. “I have a friend who orders very little and eats off everyone else’s plate,” Gottsman says. “We all fight over who has to sit next to her.” But Gottsman has a simple solution. “If I lose and end up sitting next to her, I’ll order more. What can I do, she’s my friend. I love her.” These overly casual texting habits might annoy your friends just as much.
All this time you thought your slurping, lip-smacking friend learned to eat at a zoo. But as it turns out, there’s a good reason why he slurps his food: it tastes better that way. “Mechanically, slurping helps the flavor and smell to get to where it’s supposed to be,” says Shawn Adibi, DDS, of the University of Texas Health School of Dentistry. “Slurping agitates the food in one’s mouth allowing the food to spread out homogeneously over the tongue, touching all the taste buds. As it does so, it increases the secretion of the salivary glands.” Do it long enough, slurping becomes a subconscious—albeit noisy—habit. Here are surprising ways that foods trick your taste buds.