jump to navigation

How ( not ) to drink soup December 27, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in life.

Time to make life a little harder. Some soup etiquette.

The Australian way :

The soup spoon should be held between your index finger and middle finger and secured by your thumb. Spoon the soup away from you toward the centre of the soup plate and sip from the side of the spoon, never from the front or point. The soup plate may be tipped away from you to get the last of the soup. Place the spoon on the soup plate between sips or when you have finished.

The reason for tilting the bowl away from you when you eat :

In the early 19th century, when shallow soup plates became fashionable in place of deep bowls, officers in the cavalry and horse artillery regiments discovered that every time a troop of soldiers thundered past the mess on horseback when they were drinking soup, some of the contents of the dish would be splattered into their laps, thanks to the reverberations of the hooves. Thus, they developed the habit of tilting the bowl away from them. It didn’t work, of course–hence the later dictum that no gentleman has soup for lunch.

Something European :

It is not polite to blow noses at the table or spit at the table and never put chewed bones back on plates (rather, throw them on the floor for the dogs). At banquets, two people share each soup bowl and use squares of bread (trenchers) to serve as plates.

The British are different :

And if the soup is too hot? Polite Edwardian children were taught to put down their spoons and wait a little while…never blow on it.

“To fill or even half fill a soup plate with soup would be in very bad style.” Why? Because full bowls could represent a host’s hope that his guest would not eat too much thereafter.

The Japanese way :

Forget everything your (Western) mother taught you about soup. The Japanese way is much more fun. You’re supposed to slurp to cool down the hot soup. You can pick up the bowl and drain the soup ( into your mouth !).

The American way :

Thick soup served in a soup dish is eaten with the soup spoon. If you want to get the last bit of it, there is no impropriety in tipping the dish away from you in order to collect it at the edge. Indeed you are paying a subtle compliment to your hostess by this demonstrating how good it is. Drink thin soups and bouillons served in cups, as you would tea or coffee, ;but if there are vegetables or noodles left in the bottom, eat them with the spoon, rather than struggle unattractively to make them slide from the cup into your mouth.

Here is something that will cause your head to spin.

Food, say a small amount of rice, is collected in a small pile on your plate, blended with one or more bits of curry, and then picked up with a twist of the wrist and held on the four fingers of your hand. The thumb remains free. Keeping the food level, maneuver your fingers to your mouth until the tips of your fingers are almost, or just, touching your lower lip. Don’t put your fingers into your mouth. Use your thumb to pop the food inside.

Thats ofcourse our very own Desi table manners.



1. Veronica H. Davis - July 3, 2008

I am searching for soup spoons with very deep bowls—for soup lovers to enjoy broth and soup ingredients. Where can I purchase such spoons?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: