I see that some people cut their bread at dinner and some break it, what is the right thing to do?
How you eat your bread will give away your etiquette level and it’s the first sign of confidence when dining.
I have mentioned a few times of research I have done with hundreds of people, and it shows that over 40% of people care how you deal with your bread. One person states, “It’s interesting to see who has proper etiquette at the table” while another says, “It shows me the person’s upbringing.” Obviously not all people are thinking this and their thoughts might range from these sorts of comments to “stop flicking me with your crumbs” to “I don’t know what I’m doing with my bread either!”
So here are the directions to help you through your future bread expeditions:
- Your bread plate is left to your dinner plate and to help you remember use a trick I call the B&D trick: Hold your hands out in front of you and make a circle with the index finger and the thumb of each hand and straighten your other fingers behind. Look at your hands you will see that your left hand is making the letter “b” and your right hand is making the letter “d” – so that means, b for bread and d for drinks. Your bread is on the left and your drinks are on your right.
- With your bread knife take some butter from the shared butter dish on the table and place that butter near the edge of your bread plate (if it is in a single serve wrapper you can take it out of the wrapper with your knife and do the same).
- You then break off (with your hands) a small bite size piece of bread and just butter that piece. Do not butter the whole bread; it’s not your morning toast!
- You eat that piece straight away and only break and butter the section at the time you are going to eat them. I see some people breaking apart the whole roll and buttering them all at once. Don’t do this.
- Finally, don’t dunk, dip, or soak your bread in your meal, and especially don’t clean up your plate with your final bit of bread. We have perfectly good dishwashers these days that will do this job for you, thank you very much.
So it’s that simple. You now can master the bread stage and move on with your meal.
Enjoy your new confidence and the game of etiquette.