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Eating Shrimp Cocktail in an Acceptable Manner

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You are eating shrimp cocktail at an upscale steahouse. The shrimp are large and tasty. Think Morton's, Capital Grill, Smith and Wolenskys, etc. You take a shrimp off the platter, glass, dish, whatever and begin to eat. Is it okay to take each shrimp with your hand and take three or so bites or should you take a shrimp from the platter and cut it up with your knife and eat the portions with your fork. Or is acceptable to use either method? What say you, Hounds?

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  1. I say - eat it how you like to!

    I suppose it does depend on your dining companions - ie - fork with work colleagues, fingers with family.
    (I don't think other diners or staff would care to notice how you were eating your shrimp)

    For my taste, I would choose a knife and for with shrimp cocktail, because I do enjoy eating certain foods better with utensils.
    I don't want shrimpy smelly fingers, and I enjoy the taste/texture sensation of the shrimp when it is cut neatly, a sopposed to a big chomp of it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: NellyNel

      With family.....hands.....hand to mouth

      With friends or business concerns........serving utensils.....once on plate hands or utensils......but I would lean towards the latter myself.

    2. I would pick up the shrimp. It has a handle, right? Must be there for a reason. I pick up oysters, also, 'cause they're served on their own little plate.

      1. OMG--1st are you male or female? It matters...but never take the shrimp from the serving dish to another dish...seriously..it will look ridiculous if anyone is watching. (incase your a girl) just eat it with your fingers and make sure you triple dip it (mindful of the horseradish, you don wanna blow junks..so just a taste on the first dip.haha) . Oh and if the shrimp are really big and juicy..you may want to ...oh never mind I forgot what I was sayin... just eat the damn thang already...and if your not payin get another one..However if your a guy...shut up and try not to look stupid. peace out

        1 Reply
        1. re: PsychoSarge

          I like this answer - just eat it!!!

        2. I personally think it would be ridiculous to take a knife and fork to shrimp cocktail, but you should eat your shrimp cocktail in a way that's most enjoyable to YOU. For me the best part of having monster shrimp cocktail is the experience of biting into the thick juicy flesh, which would be completely lost if you pre-cut it with knife and fork. It bums me out that people are so often sensitive about the 'proper' way of eating things. You paid for the food, and the only proper way to eat IMO is the way you want to.

          The ONLY thing I ask is, please remember there's also meat in the shelled tail area of the shrimp! It bugs the crap out of me when I see people leave huge chunks of uneaten meat on shrimp cocktail...those shrimp died for a reason people, at least eat all the meat!

          10 Replies
          1. re: joonjoon

            I personally think it would be ridiculous to take a knife and fork to shrimp cocktail

            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Especially if they use "shrimpy" shrimp !!!

            1. re: monku

              superlative adjective.....nice.

              1. re: fourunder

                Jumbo shrimp?

                1. re: monku

                  that's an oxymoron......tiny shrimp would be more appropriate.....small, small

            2. re: joonjoon

              "please remember there's also meat in the shelled tail area of the shrimp! "

              This is exactly the reason I eat shrimp cocktail with knife and fork. I use the fork to anchor, and insert the knife tip inside the tail and "flick" it to split the tail off, so I can eat the WHOLE shrimp.

              Then, at that point, I've already got my knife and fork in hand, so I might as well use them: to cut the shrimp in half, dip a piece, eat, repeat.

              I'm just not interested in using my fingers to pry off the last bit of shell. Not at a nice dinner, anyway.

              1. re: lhooq

                "I'm just not interested in using my fingers to pry off the last bit of shell"

                I've never had to do this with shrimp. Pinch the top and bottom of the shell until it cracks and the tail meat should slide out cleanly with the last bite.

                1. re: DarkRose

                  or gently bite down at the very end and the meat will disengage from the shell

                  1. re: DarkRose

                    My strategy is to bite down on the last tail joint to release the meat. Comes right out with your last bite this way.

                    I serve shrimp cocktail now after COMPLETELY removing the shell for this reason...now i can use the tail shell for making shrimp stock, and don't have to get pissed off at people for not eating the tail meat. :D

                  2. re: lhooq

                    I see no reason not to eat the tails as well, I enjoy the crunch...

                    1. re: lhooq

                      Well crap, I do. We're seafood-starved in the southwest and the best little bite is the section before the tail. I will not pass that by no matter what. I can do it fairly tidily, if you don't like what I'm doing please look elsewhere. It;s not like i'm licking my plate.

                  3. A shrimp cocktail is finger food. Eat it with your fingers. You'll look like Costanza if you use a knife and fork.

                    DT

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Davwud

                      But who cares if I look like Costanza?!
                      If I truly enjoy eating my shrimps with a k & F - - what's it to you guys???

                      1. re: NellyNel

                        They' re crazy of course......:0)

                        1. re: fourunder

                          Actually, Fourunder - I just got it!

                          :)

                        2. re: NellyNel

                          If I saw you eating a shrimp cocktail with a knife and fork I'd get a good laugh out of it.

                          As far as your question about who cares, as long as you don't it really doesn't matter. You're the only one who should so if you're comfortable with it, do it.

                          DT

                          1. re: NellyNel

                            If that's what you want to do, go for it! I thought the OP was just shy about eating shrimp cocktails with a k&f. If you like it, go for it.

                          2. re: Davwud

                            Or Jake & Elroy a la Blues Brothers!!!

                            1. re: monku

                              jake and elwood blues....

                          3. You're paying for it; eat it the way you want to.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: beevod

                              What if you're a guest and not paying.

                              1. re: fourunder

                                All the more reason to eat the way you want.

                            2. I've never seen anyone eat shrimp cocktail with a knife and fork. Even when they have transferred the shrimp from a serving platter to a cocktail plate, they still eat shrimp cocktail with their hands. I can't speak definitively to the etiquette, but I believe shrimp cocktail is meant to be finger food and not knife and fork fare.

                              1. First of all, I'm a guy. Secondly, I always do eat shrimp without a knife and fork. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something gross. And, yes, I agree with Joon that you shouldn't ignore the tail meat. It pushes out nicely with slight pressure when squeezed with the thumb and the first finger.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chowmensch

                                  I have no qualms about how it's "meant" to be done.

                                  I really really like eating it with a K & f!!!
                                  i enjoy the texture better if that makes sense.
                                  HOWEVER, if there is a big piece of meat stuck in the tail - you better believe I am picking that sucker up and sucking that meat out. No problem.

                                2. fingers all the way. no matter who i'm dining with.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: thew

                                    +1

                                  2. """"Shrimp Cocktail: If large shrimp are served in a stemmed glass, pick them up with an oyster fork or whatever fork is provided and bite off a mouthful at a time, dipping into the sauce before each bite.

                                    Large Shrimp: If large shrimp are served on a platter with sauce and no fork, pick up with your fingers, dip into sauce and put to your mouth. When eating shrimp with the tail still on, hold the shrimp by the tail and dip it into the sauce once. Eat it in one bite if it is not too large. Otherwise, eat it in two bites. Do not dunk the second bite into the sauce! Then discard the tail as you would olive pits or toothpicks.

                                    Deep-Fried Shrimp: Tail-on deep-fried shrimp is meant to be eaten with the fingers.

                                    Skewered Shrimp: If eating shrimp on a skewer, slide the shrimp off onto a plate (even if it is a paper plate at a cook out). Skewered shrimp should never be eaten like a corn dog.

                                    Oriental Dishes: When eating shrimp with the tail that are part of some orientail dishes or fried foods, remove the tail with a fork and set to the side of your plate or on a separate "discard dish" if one is provided."""""
                                    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Menu/D...

                                    ~~~~~~~~
                                    if it is just me and my family (and/or close friends), i'd pick up the shrimp. if i'm with non-family/close friends, i'd follow the idea: "use the fork provided."

                                    i'm a little biased about shrimp cocktail, as i'm an admitted hog. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573626

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      If the tail is kept in Oriental shrimp, it is usually meant to be eaten -- it depends on where you are. Sometimes whole shrimp are also consumed unshelled.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        believe me, i leave no shrimp tail left unscoured.

                                      2. re: alkapal

                                        Sounds like "bite and re-dip", which sounds nasty to me.

                                        Re: knife and forkers. Do it your way but don't criticise the majority if they don't.

                                        1. re: Akitist

                                          the re-dip is only when there is a personal dish.

                                        2. re: alkapal

                                          Anyone else find the recommendation to eat Oriental dishes with a fork hilarious?

                                          I'd like to see the guidelines for eating head on shrimp. Hehe

                                          "Shrimp Cocktail: If large shrimp are served in a stemmed glass, pick them up with an oyster fork or whatever fork is provided and bite off a mouthful at a time, dipping into the sauce before each bite." - seriously? This would drive me absolutely insane, trying to eat shrimp cocktail with a fork and taking bites out of it. Not only that, I don't think I've EVER been given an oyster fork with my shrimp cocktail. Not only that, how the hell are you supposed to finish the shrimp after you've forked it? If I fork the middle of the shrimp for stability i can't eat anything past where my fork is. If I fork the tail section of the shrimp it would be very difficult to keep it stable and not fall off the fork.

                                          I'm going on a little rant here as guides like this are one of my pet peeves. I'm of the opinion that "grossness" in etiquette comes not from using the wrong utensil or putting your napkin in the wrong place, but in your general demeanor while consuming said food. I've seen plenty of nasty eaters who eat with a fork and knife, chopsticks, spoon, whatever. Just because you're using your hands doesn't make things gross if you're doing it in a civilized way.

                                          I'm also of the opinion that "etiquette" should never get in the way of enjoying a meal - proper etiquette exists to support communal consumption of food in a civil and enjoyable atmosphere, not the other way around. I've used my hands to eat things at the fanciest restaurants; as long as I'm not bothering others by being slovenly or loud, they can go * themselves if they have a problem with the vehicle I choose to deliver food into my mouth.

                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                            joonjoon, I have watched a daintily just pierced on fork, shrimp head touched to mouth just enough to pretend to get some suction maneuvers. Whew, I could mentally see that person scratching off another bucket list of food experiences and having survived.

                                            1. re: joonjoon

                                              I was working as a "cater waiter" at one of the most expensive country clubs in the US, and we did a wedding reception that served 14 courses, french style. Which meant there were 14 (or more) pieces of silverware on the table. Even among the rich Paradise Valley folks, most of them would look to their tableside companions to determine which fork/knife/spoon to use. It was hilarious!

                                              1. re: wildwildwest

                                                Has anyone at this country club heard of replacing silverware after each course?

                                                1. re: joonjoon

                                                  Bringing each separate course's silverware to the table as they are served is considered English service. This wedding reception was booked utilizing French service.

                                                  1. re: wildwildwest

                                                    Thanks for the clarification. Learned something new today!

                                          2. +1
                                            it depends on who you are dining with and how large the shrimp are
                                            Steakhouses usually have very large shrimp, so I typically use the K+F

                                            1. I say eat it which ever way you wish to. But then I SO love to people watch. I would enjoy watching a humongous shrimp cocktail being served then eaten so daintily, tiny cut, tiny dip...does one spoon out the cocktail sauce onto the bread dish to dip tiny bite, hum...

                                              I also like seeing people order, get and dither over a boiled lobster. The bib and cutting into a lobster with knife and fork to then transfer bite sized piece onto seafood fork to dip into the butter. And folks think I bring my camera only to take pictures of my entree.

                                              1. Personally, I choose to eat shrimp with my fingers if the tail is still attached. And I am very annoyed to encounter a saucy shrimp dish where the tail is still attached and then I have to maneuver the tail off with my fork. If the tail is there it should be a tool used to get the meat to your mouth. Otherwise,take the darned thing off!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mojoeater

                                                  Yes, absolutely. Having to remove the tails from shrimp drenched in sauce, and then find a place to discard them drives me nuts!

                                                2. Maybe I'm just not getting out enough. I have never been served a shrimp cocktail where there was any question of how to eat it. It always came with a seafood fork! Often (but not always) the shrimp were hanging on the edge of the footed container of cocktail sauce, but it still came with a seafood fork. And was set it front of me so there was no question of setting it aside so I could re-dish the shrimp. Am I missing something???

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    Caroline 1, I enjoy your posts very much and am also still asking the question which you have posed: Am I missing something?

                                                    Most shrimp cocktails which I have had come in the familiar hurricane glass full of seafood sauce, with the very large shrimp hanging over the edge of the glass. The shrimp are peeled but the last joint of the tail and the tail itself are left on. About 35% of the time, the hurricane glass comes on a small plate with a Lilliputian fork sitting on a doily on the plate.

                                                    Two questions arise: (1) Am I supposed to eat this thing with the ridiculously small fork? If so, I imagine that I am supposed to stab it, but if I stab it in the middle, then how do I get at the shrimp meat from the fork to the tail? (Joonjoon's remarks above are humorously on point on this dilemma.) The only way to do that would be to eat the tail and the shell-on section just before the tail. No, thanks!

                                                    (2) The alternative is to note the "conveniently" provided shell and tail "handle" at the end of the shrimp and use it to dip into the shrimp sauce, ignoring the stupid little fork. But then the question arises . . . The fork was provided for a REASON--what was the REASON? I feel panic mounting . . . standing there with a half eaten jumbo shrimp in my hand . . . Have I erred? Have I committed a serious faux pas?

                                                    I don't know the answer to these questions but have one other observation. Why do shrimp producers bother leaving on the shell on the last section of the shrimp, along with the tail? It is just an annoyance and makes it hard to eat the meat in the last section. You can still grab the end of the shrimp, even without a shell and tail on it. The shrimp's dead! It's not like it's going to wiggle out of your fingers!

                                                    1. re: gfr1111

                                                      You use the fork to pry out any remaining meat in the tail :)

                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                        i just eat down until there's about a 1/2" of meat sticking out of that last segment of shell then pinch just above where the tail fins meet the shell and then the last segment of meat comes right out.

                                                        1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                          I do the same pinch and but of a twist and pops right out, no digging out required, faster to eat that way too.

                                                      2. re: gfr1111

                                                        LOL! I have long ago given up on trying to figure out how things work on the posts that show up on my profile page, but that is how I follow most discussions I'm participating in, and lo and behold, TODAY, a year and a half later, this thread has once again appeared. How about that? Anyway....

                                                        To clarify, in my response above I seem to have been thinking of those giant shrimp cocktails served in a giant container in which peeled and deveined shrimp are mixed with a ketchup/horseradish cocktail sauce and served with a fork so you don't get your fingers all ketchupy while eating it.

                                                        Obviously there is more than one way of serving shrimp in or out of cocktail sauce! So.... When the shrimp arrive with all but the tail and the last segment of the body's exoskeleton removed and hanging from the rim of a container of cocktail sauce, then the obvious protocol is to pick up the shrimp by the tail, dip it in the sauce, and asssuming it is not a colossal sized shrimp/prawn, pop it part way into your mouth, hold it with your teeth but not sever it, and pull the tail off before bringing the entire shrimp into your mouth.

                                                        And then there is the boiled (often in beer) service method in which whole shrimp, head to tail, are boiled in a liquid and served in a container with cooking liquid or even dumped in a huge mound on a picnic table a la clam bakes and lobster boil parties, when you absolutely must get your hands sticky gooey and your face smeared in order to eat the suckers. This service method is NEVER done in white table cloth restaurants. Brain sucking is personal choice. And for the record, I've never seen a cocktail fork offered on such occasions... For what its worth.

                                                        Beyond this, I find the presentation method for shrimp dishes in all forms, whether cocktail or tempura, as well as where you are when being served shrimp, makes how to eat it pretty self explanatory.

                                                    2. If a knife and fork are there (as C1 states a small cocktail fork) then that is choice 1 for me.

                                                      But I was recently confronted with a different situation.

                                                      In NOLA at Mr B's Bistro which is famous for their BBQ shrimp. I did not know what that meant but I ordered totally blindly. The server arrives with a paper bib, OMG. The he puts a stack of napkins and then the dish. 6-8 shrimps with their shells all covered in a brown BBQ sauce. So i start picking each one up with my fngers and peeled. The decision was one at a time or all at once. I chose the latter and peeled all the shrimp, placed back in the sauce. The server arrived with lemons which he squeezed in my cupped hands and then a towel to dry. Then i took my K&F and cut and enjoyed some of the absolute best sauce with some shrimp. So in that case it was both.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        j, there is no tidy way to eat bbq shrimp (also known as shrimp Minelli) I too, like to shell them all at once, but the only problem with that is scalding your fingers in the sauce. that was very thoughtful of the servers, but a basket of bread and later a finger bowl would have been good as well

                                                      2. Emily Post on eating shrimp:

                                                        "Shrimp Cocktail: If large shrimp are served in a stemmed glass, pick them up with an oyster fork or whatever fork is provided and bite off a mouthful at a time, dipping into the sauce before each bite.
                                                        Large Shrimp: If large shrimp are served on a platter with sauce and no fork, pick up with your fingers, dip into sauce and put to your mouth. When eating shrimp with the tail still on, hold the shrimp by the tail and dip it into the sauce once. Eat it in one bite if it is not too large. Otherwise, eat it in two bites. Do not dunk the second bite into the sauce! Then discard the tail as you would olive pits or toothpicks."
                                                        http://whatscookingamerica.net/Menu/D...

                                                        Makes sense to me.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                          i posted the same quote on feb 18. LOL!

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            So sorry I missed it! Great minds.

                                                            I used to read Emily Post as a teenager like some kids read sport statistics. She's my go-to-gal on how to do stuff politely.

                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                              i always felt like i needed to find out the "proper" way to do things. i did not want to be a social pariah. ;-)).

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                I love her definition of etiquette: "Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.

                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                  absolutely. this is why I also love Judith (Miss Manners) Martin's advice. simple common sense, don't gross me or pass on your cold and sheesh eat your salad nicely with your fingers if you want, just don't shake my hand after. I was in DC last April and had the lamb chops at RIS and thought, eh they're frenched and it's late and I'm in a corner, so yeah I grabbed em by the bone and ate them like a chicken leg at a picnic. although I didn't make weird slurpy noises and smear them around my face (however tempting that was) but it is sort of the same concept mechanically as shrimp.

                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                    several restaurants serves lamb chops this way and refer to them as 'lollipops' and encourage you to eat them this way.

                                                        2. "Eatitwityafingers" Pinch da tails!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                            "Datswatido" Woiks fa me!

                                                            1. re: MacTAC

                                                              Yeah, ya rite!

                                                          2. If it's in a nice restaurant I'd use whatever cutlery made sense. In the case of shrimp hanging of the side of a bowl, I'd use a cocktail fork or a salad fork. If it were on a plate, I'd use a knife and fork. This is all done because I don''t want shrimpy smelling hands while I'm at a nice restaurant in my nice clothes.

                                                            Furthermore I'd eat the shrimp in a way that would help prevent the darn things falling into my cleavage. My bosom is such that it makes for a nice shelf for stuff to fall on whilst eating. And I'm occasionally clumsy. This has happened with various foods, in various places, and it's terribly embarrassing. The most memorable occasion was with some sashimi right in front of my boss. He laughed for a good two minutes, and I did too.

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                              """"My bosom is such that it makes for a nice shelf for stuff to fall on whilst eating."""

                                                              LOL! well....at least it doesn't fall on the floor, and you can pick it up and eat from there....

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                or save it for a snack later for a favored companion

                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                  *Chortle!*

                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                  Always thinking! Always thinking!

                                                                3. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                  If it is a really nice restaurant the lights will be so low that noone will be able to see what you are doing.

                                                                  Let's move the question up a notch. What if the shrimp are served with head and shell? Is it ok to suck the 'brains' out of the head?

                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                    Yes and I think it is expected. Why else include the head?

                                                                  2. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                    Unfortunately,i've seen this happen with communion wafers in church...yikes

                                                                    1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                      In a proper restaurant, the proper silverware to use would be those at the most outward of the place setting, at least if the captain/waiter/server is paying attention.

                                                                      Example: If you're being served a soup course, then the soup spoon should be the at the outermost edge of the plate.

                                                                    2. I understand the argument about not wanting smelly hands, so use utensils. But, it just seems like diners get overly self conscious when dining in finer places. I'd opt for using my hands but then again, if I were dining with a boss and/or the MO of the table in general was to use utensils, I'd go with the flow.

                                                                      1. As long as you aren't doing a four in hand move with a shrimp stuck in between each finger and also the thumb, no one should complain.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: SanityRemoved

                                                                          Shrimp knuckles!

                                                                          1. re: small h

                                                                            that beats olive fingertips 9 times out of 10.

                                                                            http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3561/3...

                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                              Chortle!

                                                                        2. I thought the tails are there to hold on to when you pick them up. As long as you suck the meat out of the tail. I have never even thought twice about that. I've seen people eat pizza with a knife and fork and I can't imagine that either.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Floridagirl

                                                                            Me too on the pizza. What is it about eating with company that I feel I need to use utensils. It's counterintuitive to me. Pick it up and eat!

                                                                          2. I keep thinking of the Blues Brothers in that scene, in an up scale resto, eating shrimp cocktail.

                                                                            1. I truly enjoy shrimp cocktail w/cocktail sauce AND a squeeze of lemon. I use my fingers and when I am finished, I always squeeze lemon on my hands. No shrimp-y fingers.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: laliz

                                                                                my cat loves to lick my shrimpy fingers when i get home!

                                                                              2. I would eat the shrimp cocktail with my hands and holding the tail as shield protector and dunk that bad boy into some shaved horseradish and sauce and not give it another thought..
                                                                                I've been in many corporate business meetings and if someone else took to their shrimp cocktail with a knife and fork (not cocktail fork), I would be so calling them out on it...unless, it was served as a Mexican shrimp cocktail with avocados, lime juice chopped up shrimp, then a fork is in order.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                  oh ho! the MEXICAN shrimp merit a FORK! ;-D.
                                                                                  ~~~~~~~
                                                                                  shout out to the captain.

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    LOL...you always crack me up!

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      I feel like I'm caught in a Forest Gump scene. You know the one where he and Bubba are discussing the many ways to prepare shrimp.

                                                                                    2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                      why would you call someone out on the way they were eating? choose peace, in all situations and let people enjoy themselves!

                                                                                    3. Whatever turns your crank. I eat pizza with a knife and fork out of personal preference not because someone said I should or shouldn't.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: 02putt

                                                                                        You're on the wrong post.
                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/500778

                                                                                        1. re: 02putt

                                                                                          same here, up until the crust:center ratio is no longer floppy, then hands. also cuts down on the hot cheese roof of mouth burn.

                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                            exactly the way I eat it. Hate those stringy things hanging from the roof of my mouth the next day.

                                                                                        2. If Emily Post says use a fork if provided, that works for me. Also you can always follow the lead of your host or hostess. Whatever she/he does is by definition correct, no matter how silly you think it looks. Whatever way you do it, just don't make a mess.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                            emily post has been dead half a century years. her book on etiquette was written nearly a century ago. manners evolve. to think what was written that long ago holds across the board is absurd.
                                                                                            time to let go of emily post-mortem

                                                                                            1. re: thew

                                                                                              Just last night, I ordered the shrimp cocktail at the legendary Gotham Bar and Grill... Suffice it to say, I ate my shrimp with knife and fork, and when I proceeded to grab my last shrimp (of four) sadly, it fell to the ground. I looked around carefully to make sure that nobody noticed, picked my poor piece of shrimp off the floor, placed it onto my plate and continued to consume my shrimp with "manners."

                                                                                              1. re: sircynic28

                                                                                                off the floor? ick!

                                                                                                1. re: sircynic28

                                                                                                  good for you! the 5-second rule prevails!

                                                                                                2. re: thew

                                                                                                  Emily Post is a brand name at this point. Her descendants (who are very much alive) continue to update her etiquette guides to account for changing times and customs. To refer to "Emily Post" the book is indeed accounting for the way manners evolve.

                                                                                              2. Most good restaurants will provide the appropriate utensil at the time of serving. If they don't bring one use your fingers. Many appetizers are eaten with the fingers.

                                                                                                1. I think two or three fingers english-teacup style is appropriate in a formal setting if you don't mind getting them dirty, because shrimp is served with shell. Handle the same as bread, lobster, stone crab, artichokes, and anything else requiring better finesse than a fork and flying delicacy (funny from me because I sometimes eat wings with a fork and knife.)

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: nikachu

                                                                                                    Chicken wings?!

                                                                                                    now THAT"S weird~

                                                                                                  2. I think the service of the cocktail is an indication of how to eat it. It comes with a small pronged fish fork. I take the shrimp in the shell, dip in sauce, set on the small plate holding the cocktail, and use the fork to release from the shell and eat it. It does not come with a knife and fork