Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Etiquette Fourchette (Fork)

Press down on the fork handle and a micro-circular saw descends to cut off a piece of food from the plate then retracts back into a circular holder on fork handle
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The fork holds the food in place as the tiny circular blade, driven by a micro-turbine on a radial arm, zips back and forth through it. There are turbines manufactured that sit in the palm of the hand, run on propane and produce 100 to 200 watts. This turbine would strap on the wrist and drive a dentist cutter that is part of the fork. Maybe a tiny earplug on a thin string is attached to the fork.

This is for people who can't remember to keep one hand off the table while forking food into the mouth with the other; in eating establishments that demand this or when eating with the parents of a young heiress you are engaged to.

mensmaximus, Jan 04 2005

(?) US Table Etiquette http://www.cuisinen...utensil_howto.shtml
Both the circuitous "zig-zag" method and the "continental" styles are described with respect to how knife and fork are handled. [bristolz, Jan 05 2005]

[link]






       Wait, I thought this was a device to both cut your food and pick it up. I'm going to have to feed the etiquette punishment a bone.
Worldgineer, Jan 04 2005
  

       Where I come from, using a fork is an insult to the chef, because it means you think the food is too hot to be picked up by hand.
phundug, Jan 05 2005
  

       //This is for people who can't remember to keep one hand off the table while forking food into the mouth with the other//   

       Call me faux pas, but I've never heard of this particular mode of ettiquette before. Where does the other hand go? Under the table? Is using it for personal scratching acceptable?
zen_tom, Jan 05 2005
  

       In the lap, typically.
bristolz, Jan 05 2005
  

       no gaucho forks
Zimmy, Jan 05 2005
  

       So, if I'm eating a steak (for example), there are the following motions.
<knife in right hand> <fork in left hand>
spike steak with fork
in a sawing motion, cut off a piece of steak
<insert required ettiquette here>
bring fork up to mouth
masticate
repeat
  

       So, should I put my knife down and remove hand before chewing my steak? Is this an American/Canadian thing? I've never heard of this before, and I always thought we were reasonably posh.
zen_tom, Jan 05 2005
  

       [Worldgineer], the fork is sticking into the bite sized piece that is being seperated from the larger piece. The saw moves up two inches out of sight into its protective case and the fork lifts the food to the mouth. There are two inches on the fork handle where something like this can fit onto.   

       [Zen_tom], well yes. It's probably on the net but steak is mostly cut up at the beginning of the meal. When you think about it, things would look more relaxed through a meal if a group ate this way.
mensmaximus, Jan 05 2005
  

       In the US, etiquette dictates that you cut with the knife in the dominant hand and the fork in the other hand to brace the food as you cut. When you finish the cut, the knife is placed on the rim of the plate, sharp edge facing in, the fork is then moved to the dominant hand to eat the cut piece while the other hand goes in the lap.   

       After living in Europe, where they don't do all this switching around, I decided that the US etiquette is crazy and have adopted the Euro way.
bristolz, Jan 05 2005
  

       Holy fork this needs a sketch.   

       [zen_tom], I recently learned that European etiquette requires you to keep the unused hand in sight on the table, whereas in the states it's permissible to rest it in the lap. Probably has something to do with gun laws.
normzone, Jan 05 2005
  

       You'd think it was the other way round. Wow, I've never heard of this one before. It does sound pretty awkward - not to mention a bit over the top.   

       Might it be an instance of where an offshoot culture has preserved an old tradition well after it's lapsed in the originating nation? (or perhaps it's simply a case of me rationalising my uncouth manners)
zen_tom, Jan 05 2005
  

       All that trouble, I'd just stop eating.
blissmiss, Jan 05 2005
  

       I would have guessed that keeping your hands in sight was the earlier habit, and there wasn't enough of the upper class in the Americas to keep it going. Wasn't the table knife invented in by the British?
tiromancer, Jan 05 2005
  

       I can't see me happily chewing something so tough it requires a circular saw to cut off a mouth-sized piece.
po, Jan 05 2005
  

       I'm going to work. its morning. :)
po, Jan 05 2005
  

       Careful you don't hit the 'go' button while the fork's in your mouth.
paraffin power, Jan 05 2005
  

       when i was living in japan, it was suggested to me that using a knife and fork at the dinner table is a western custom to reinforce the hunting instinct.   

       The japanese then, it was suggested, historically come from fishing/farming beginnings, such that cutting things up is done in the kitchen rather than while you are eating in front of other people - favouring the far less aggressive use of two sticks.   

       so i find this knife symbolism interesting and partially a reason why i cringe when ever i see people who must use a knife even for meals that don't require them ie stir fries, pizza etc.
benfrost, Jan 05 2005
  

       Where I come from it's considered poor etiquette to accidentally cut your tongue off and spew blood all round the table whilst trying out some halfbaked item of cutlery/machinery.
stupop, Jan 05 2005
  

       What [bliss], [po] and [bristolz] said (although I never knew that about US etiquette! - how do you get through your portions like that??). Cut with most dextrous, fork with most sinister, repeat if necessary.*   

       *Occasionally fork chip, mushroom or tomato.
gnomethang, Jan 05 2005
  
      
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