American Style Dining aka Zig Zag Method

The American Style dining is also known as the zig zag method. As the name implies this method is normally used in North America.

While Eating

In the right hand, hold the knife. In the left hand, hold the fork. Cut the food in one small piece. Lay the knife on top of the plate, with the blade facing center of the plate. Now, switch the fork to the right hand, and hold it like a pencil with the tines up. Eat from the fork.

Resting Between Course

While on a break and the food is not finished, place the fork and knife in the four o'clock position. Both knife and fork should rest firmly on the place, and leave a gap between the knife and fork. This tells the serving person that the course is not finish.

Using Fish Knife and Fish Fork

The fish flesh is not as tough as other meat. The way to hold the knife would be differ as well. Instead of resting the second right finger on the back of the blade, rest the finger on the back of the shank. Gently use the tip of the fish knife to fillet the fish, or pick out the bones. Use the fish fork in the traditional way.

Finish Eating

After finish eating the course, put the knife and fork in the four o'clock position. Instead of keeping both knife and fork apart, put them side by side. This tells the serving person that the course is done and the dishes can be removed.

Quick Notes

  • Always wait for the host or guest of honor to start the meal.
  • Once picked up from the table, do not let either the fork and the knife touches the table again.
  • Only cut and eat one bite of the food at a time.
  • Never wave the utensils like a wand.
  • All utensils should be placed securely on the plate.

Both American Style dining/ Zig Zag Method and European Style dining shares many similarities. There is no right and wrong, just personal preference.

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If you have learned enough about American Style, click here to return to Eating Style Page.


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