Keep your fork in the same hand
Obviously it’s easiest to cut food when the knife is in your dominant hand. After the food is cut, though, is where Americans and Brits differ. To keep eating with their stronger hand, Americans typically put down the knife, and put their food in the other hand to deliver that bite to their mouths. Brits, on the other hand (no pun intended), keep the fork on their non-dominant side when taking a bite. “It is efficient to dine and not have to do what I call the ‘zigzag’ style,” says international etiquette expert Sharon Schweitzer, founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. “When dining British style, you keep the knife and fork in your hands and don’t put it down unless you get something to drink or pick up a napkin to blot.” That way, they avoid the awkward silverware-switch between every mouthful. Check out other dining habits science says are annoying.
Only cut one bite at a time
To avoid that zigzag eating style, Americans sometimes cut up several pieces of meat before actually eating any. Then, once the fork is in the dominant hand, it’s easy to take a few bites without switching back. But cutting up multiple bites is bad manners, says Schweitzer. “That’s for children, when you’re three and four years old and your parents help cut your food,” she says. Your food will stay warmer if you keep it in one piece until you’re ready to eat each bite. This quiz will reveal how bad your table manners are.