USING A KNIFE AND FORK**
- With the tines facing downward (curving towards you), hold down an end-piece of whatever you are cutting (let's assume it's meat).
- Do not hold the knife or fork like a dagger, but rather, place your index finger along the top of each utensil, holding each at the end.
- Gently, using a sawing motion, cut the meat near the tines of the fork, so that you have one bite-sized piece.
- Lay the knife down (without allowing it to touch the table), and switch the fork (complete with pierced meat) to your right hand.
- Bring it up to your mouth, chew quietly, and swallow when the meat is sufficiently masticated.
- **This is called the American (or Zig-Zag) method of cutting food. The Continental (or European) method consists of not switching hands, and using the left hand for all fork-related activities.
SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW improve your table manners?When I was young my mother told me that the Continental method (she didn't call it that) was wrong and vulgar. That showing the back of the fork was low-class. Of course her parents worked for a very upper class American family here in the States and probably developed that idea from watching them eat. My grandparents emigrated from Ireland to the States. In my later life I came to the realization that The Continental method was a much more expedient way of eating with knife and fork. If I remember I use my knife and fork the Continental way.