Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Things I Don't Eat with a Knife Because I'm American

I am American, my husband is British. This means 2 things. One, we speak completely different languages ;-) and two, he ALWAYS uses his knife when eating a meal (or wants to anyway, if I don't give him a knife at dinner because I think it's unnecessary sometimes he can be convinced to eat with no knife...but not always)

Sometimes I find his knife skills admirable, sometimes I find it amusing and completely unnecessary. To quote my precious husband he can "dine with royalty" and amusing or not MY CHILDREN WILL HAVE HIS KNIFE SKILLS. They WILL learn proper rules for silverware and will eat their eggs with a knife...I make no promises that I won't make fun of them just like I make fun of Dom, but they will KNOW, they will have the skill set from the moment they pop out of the womb. Ok, maybe not THAT soon, but you know, right away.

Here's the thing, in America it's completely acceptable to not use your knife unless you're cutting a steak or something, and even then it is completely acceptable to switch hands after cutting and put the fork back in your dominant hand. It's like we've evolved the knife OUT of necessity. I THINK THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE and do not like that I had to learn how to use a knife in my 20's. I also do not like that when visiting other countries your Americanness is so blatant because you don't know how to use a goddamn knife! Anyway, since meeting Dom I've become better with my knife and for the most part I am completely comfortable using it. But, the topic for this post came about the other night at dinner, I'd ordered rack of lamb and almost immediately I discovered I COULD NOT EAT IT WITH A KNIFE AND FORK, I had to pick it up...for shame! Anyway, I wasn't actually embarrassed, I'll own my Americanness when necessary, but honestly whether I used the skill or not it would be nice to know how to scrape those bones clean without resorting to picking them up.

That being said, here are some things that DO NOT NEED A KNIFE, just because you have the knife does not mean you have to use it:

EGGS, eggs are soft no matter how you cook them, fork is sufficient to cut them, no knife.

BACON, bacon is to be eaten with your fingers not a knife and fork. Unless it's English bacon, but that's completely different.

BREAD of any sort, ie toast, biscuits (American biscuits not English biscuits which are cookies!), etc. I hate watching people cut up their toast at breakfast, just pick it up!

RICE, Indian and Chinese food served with rice do not need a knife.

MEAT ON THE BONE, this is where Dom's knife skills are admirable, he can get ALL the meat off the bone with his knife and fork, and like I said it would be nice to know how to do this, but I stand by my no knife declaration on meat on the bone, it's finger food.

CORN, both on the cob and off, no knife.

PIZZA, under no circumstances does pizza need a knife!

FRENCH FRIES, so cleverly designed to be eaten with your fingers, I cringe when people use a fork for fries.

Am I missing any other good ones? Anyone else have a non American spouse who makes you realize just how American you are when eating?


  1. I totally don't get eating any bread product with a knife. Just doesn't make sense. I'm not great with a knife (and am totally an American about using one) but my older sister saw to it that I at least knew how Europeans used knives when eating. At the same time though, I have no interest in "dining with royalty." :-)

  2. My Aussie husband says he was mortified when he came to the states and saw the way people used a knife and fork. I was of course embarrassed because it was the only way I'd ever been taught. To me, the way he used his silverware was strange. The sad thing is, even if you learn to do it properly and then take it back to the states, people look at you like YOU are the weird one. It's a risk I'm willing to take :)