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Old January 12 2013, 02:30 AM   #1
Grey
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Eating with your dominate hand

Ok, this is a dumb question, but it's been bugging me for awhile.

Usually when people eat with forks and knives, they put their knife in their dominant hand, cut, set the knife down, pick up their fork with their dominant hand, and then eat.

But I've found that when I eat, I pick up my knife with whichever hand (if I'm already holding my fork in my right, it'll be my left, but if I'm holding nothing in my right I'll cut with my right) and then use my fork in the opposite hand to eat what I've cut. I can cut/transfer food to my mouth just as easily with either hand.

But when I watch other people eat, they always eat only with one hand, whichever their dominant is. Maybe this is just a table manners fail on my part (wouldn't surprise me) but I've asked a few right hand dominant people about it and they all said they can't eat well with their left hands at all.

So I'm wondering: can you use both hands equally well to eat, or do you use only one? If the latter, is it just how you were taught or because you can only eat well with your dominant hand?

I'm ambidextrous, and I'm trying to figure out whether I'm actually just being a pig-headed barbarian eating with both hands or whether people don't usually do that because they can't actually eat that way very easily.
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Old January 12 2013, 02:34 AM   #2
Miss Chicken
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

I have a knife in my right hand and the fork in my left hand, and I use them together to eat. Using your knife, putting your knife down, picking up you fork, taking a bite and then repeating seems to be a very inefficient way to eat IMO.
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Old January 12 2013, 02:35 AM   #3
Yoda
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

Uhh, I can't say I give half a shit about table manners, so I could be wrong... But I thought the 'proper' way to eat was knife in dominant hand and fork in the off hand without ever switching. Which would make the fork switch the caveman maneuver.
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Old January 12 2013, 02:38 AM   #4
Grey
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

Oh, whew!

And I totally agree, it seems completely inefficient to keep switching the whole time!
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Old January 12 2013, 02:46 AM   #5
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

In this video the woman calls eating with a knife and fork together "European or continental way". She also shows the other way.

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Old January 12 2013, 02:53 AM   #6
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

I was taught that cutting pieces, putting down your knife and eating only with your fork is boorish and that only old rural people (and Americans) eat that way.


However: cutting one bite, putting down the knife, moving the fork to the right hand and then eating the piece is advice given to people that eat so fast that they don't realise they're full before they've eaten way more than they need. - Dieting advice, in other words.
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Old January 12 2013, 02:54 AM   #7
Trekker4747
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

I cut with my dominant hand and then use my (submissive?) hand to put the food in my mouth with the fork. If I really need to I can easily switch the utensils between my hands without needing to put either down.
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Old January 12 2013, 02:55 AM   #8
J. Allen
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

I cut the food, and then I eat it.
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Old January 12 2013, 03:09 AM   #9
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

I eat with my hands.
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Old January 12 2013, 03:16 AM   #10
teacake
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

I cut stuff with the side of the fork. Guess I don't eat steak much.
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Old January 12 2013, 03:30 AM   #11
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I cut with my dominant hand and then use my (submissive?) hand to put the food in my mouth with the fork. If I really need to I can easily switch the utensils between my hands without needing to put either down.
You mean, like, when you're eating against the clock, on a tall stool perched precariously over an active volcano full of lava sharks and putting a utensil down means running the risk of losing it forever in the fiery inferno of doom?
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Old January 12 2013, 03:34 AM   #12
Trekker4747
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
You mean, like, when you're eating against the clock, on a tall stool perched precariously over an active volcano full of lava sharks and putting a utensil down means running the risk of losing it forever in the fiery inferno of doom?
Sunday dinners at my parents' house can be a bitch.
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Old January 12 2013, 03:39 AM   #13
teacake
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

Chopsticks ftw. And the food you eat with chopsticks.
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Old January 12 2013, 04:04 AM   #14
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

Grey wrote: View Post
I'm ambidextrous, and I'm trying to figure out whether I'm actually just being a pig-headed barbarian eating with both hands or whether people don't usually do that because they can't actually eat that way very easily.
The ambidextrous thing probably has a lot to do with it. I would have a helluva difficult time cutting my food if I tried to hold a knife in my left hand. And while I could hold the fork in that hand and use it for eating, it would still feel incredibly awkward. In general, my left hand is useless for anything more complicated than holding something in place.
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Old January 12 2013, 04:24 AM   #15
Grey
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Re: Eating with your dominate hand

trekkiedane wrote: View Post
I was taught that cutting pieces, putting down your knife and eating only with your fork is boorish and that only old rural people (and Americans) eat that way.
Lol! I'm American, so that may be a factor with what I'm observing in others.

teacake wrote: View Post
Chopsticks ftw. And the food you eat with chopsticks.
Yes!

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
The ambidextrous thing probably has a lot to do with it. I would have a helluva difficult time cutting my food if I tried to hold a knife in my left hand. And while I could hold the fork in that hand and use it for eating, it would still feel incredibly awkward. In general, my left hand is useless for anything more complicated than holding something in place.
Yeah, see, that's what a lot of the people I asked about it said. So I wasn't sure if it was just ambidexterity or what!

I do a lot of things double-handed, and certain tasks are either left-hand dominated or right-hand dominated.

I use chopsticks best right-handed.
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