Sunday, 27 January 2013

Elizabethan Manners – Eating Food

Keep your hands and nails clean.

Keep your knife clean and sharp.

Cut your meat into small pieces and don't hack it into great gobbets.

Cut your bread with your knife, and don't tear it in great hunks.

Never put the meat into the salt cellar. Keeping the salt cellar clean was very important. You should take a little salt on the tip of clean knife and put it on your food. Never put spilled, dirty salt back in the cellar.

Don't leave your spoon in the dish when you are done with your pottage. Don't overfill the spoon and definitely don't spill it on the cloth! Don't slurp your soup.

Keep the cloth as clean as possible.

The French sources recommend that when you are given a drink, either drink it all or throw it away. English sources seem to indicate that it is rude to drink the whole thing.

Empty and wipe your mouth before drinking.

Don't throw your bones on the floor, but put them in a voiding bowl (so much for the Charles Laughton version of Henry VIII).

If food is dropped on the floor pick it up but don't eat it.

Don't stroke cats and dogs at the table.

Don't stuff your mouth, pick your teeth, make rude noises, scratch yourself, blow on your food, spit in the washing basin or across the table, spit up food into your dish, talk with your mouth full, or fall asleep at the table.

Don't put your elbows on the table. Considering that the table is typically a board laid on top of trestles, this could cause an unfortunate accident.

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