Why you shouldn't place your cutlery haphazardly on the plate

The meal ends, you put your cutlery on the plate or next to it. Be careful however, depending on the arrangement of the cutlery, it is also possible to indicate that you have finished your meal, that you would like to be served again or that you simply hated it. A code even exists to indicate that you are taking a break, ideal to avoid any misunderstanding during service and the plate being taken away from you too early.

Why a language code with cutlery?

It all starts in the 18th century, with the need for European high society circles to maintain order and sophistication in formal dining. A question arises: how to communicate with staff discreetly, without needing to interrupt a conversation? By the positioning of the cutlery on the plate.

What lies behind the language of cutlery

If we perhaps no longer pay attention to it today, it would be a shame to miss out on mastering the art of the table. Who knows, maybe one day you will come face to face with a specialist. Above all, in the same way that the knife is placed on the right of the plate and the fork on the left, when you place the cutlery on the plate, the fork must always remain to the left of the knife, “tines” towards the high. As for the knife, its teeth must always be placed downwards if positioned horizontally, and to the left if positioned vertically. The only exception, however, is when you want to indicate that the dish was excellent: the horizontal teeth of the knife are positioned upwards.

Parallel cutlery: a sign of a delicious meal

You have finished your plate

The fork and knife are placed vertically in parallel on the plate: then you have enjoyed the meal. If you want to convey that the dish was not only good but divine, this time place the fork and knife horizontally, with the knife blade facing up. If you have enjoyed it but still feel full, position the cutlery, still parallel, but diagonally on the plate. Diagonally right or left, it doesn't matter, as long as the “head” of the cutlery remains up!

You're done but want more

Cutlery placed in parallel outside the plate means you want more! At least, that you are finished and that you would not mind a little extra service.

Whatever happens, as long as the cutlery does not cross, you signal that you have been received as it should be.

Triangle cutlery: to take a break

Handle of the fork towards the left end of the plate, handle of the knife towards the right end, heads of the two cutlery brought together towards the top of the plate as if to create the point of a triangle: you take a break. You haven't finished your dish but want to take the time to savor the dish.

Cross cutlery yes, but not just any way

By bringing the cutlery together as if to signify a break, but this time, with the teeth of the knife inserted through those of the fork, you mean that you hated it!

Small subtlety in the crossing of cutlery, if you place them in a cross, fork vertically, tip upwards, and knife horizontally, point towards the left, tines downwards, then you simply wait for the next dish.

You know everything !

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