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Pizza and utensils

Can someone please explain this phenomenon to me? I vaguely understand why one would use utensils with deep dish, but thin crust? really? Is it just where I live (Rhode Island)? Maybe if you get a pizza in a fine dining restaurant, etiquette dictates it, but in a pizzaria? Boggles my mind!

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  1. Yep, I'm the guilty one. Sometimes the pizza is too hot, or too saucy or too heavy and floppy to pick up right away, so just to get going on it ASAP, I'll cut it up and eat the first pieces with a fork.
    Plus, my mouth is too small to get around a big piece without smashing a big pizza sauce smile onto each side of my face.
    Sometimes it's just physics.

    1. When I was traveling in France and Italy I noticed most everyone used utensils for their pizza, even in casual places. Heck, in France they even used utensils on sandwiches sometimes. Dunno if that is still the case as this was quite awhile ago.

      2 Replies
      1. re: givemecarbs

        Not too much with sandwiches, but pretty common with pizza -- French pizza is usually a very thin crust, and you usually get a whole pizza to yourself (about 12" diameter). They don't cut it when they take it out of the oven, so you have to cut it somehow!

        Because the crust is so thin, about 1/3 of the slice (from the point) is too thin to pick up, so a fork and knife eliminates the flow of lava-hot sauce and cheese down your fingers and chin.

        1. re: givemecarbs

          Yes Europe very much so still uses utensils to eat their pizza and it is very irritating that because of this most places will not cut the pizza in to slices for for you! But I adjusted and I do really enjoy the thinner crusted pizzas.

        2. No idea. I love to eat with my hands and will embrace any opportunity to do so. Pizza is just made to be eaten by hand!

          1 Reply
          1. Mr Joe

            There is another reason for the knife and fork. Some pizza makers are not that good and serve a pizza that just cannot be lifted to the mouth. and the center points will tilt over and you loose all the good stuff. So for many pizzas I use the 2-step. I cut the tip of the slice until I feel confident that I can safely lift and enjoy phase 2.

            1. Policy at one of my favorite Italian restaurants: If you order pizza and eat it with utensils, they remove the pizza, tear up the check and ask you to leave.

              9 Replies
              1. re: beevod

                I think that restaurant is one my favorites too!

                1. re: beevod

                  In the country of Italy, pizza is always eaten with utensils. So your restaurant must be Italian-American.

                  1. re: 512window

                    I don't think that is always so, at least not from my memory. If you get pizza from a vendor on the street--I remember one with artichokes--it is often cut, set onto a piece of paper and handed to you. No fork or knife involved.

                  2. re: beevod

                    That is the epitome of a a-hole owner. I would love to know the name to totally avoid that self important jacka$$

                    1. re: nobadfoodplz

                      ah, but any different from snooty places that require a jacket, or will give you a skeevy loaner? Those are the self important places I avoid

                    2. re: beevod

                      Can I please get the name of that restaurant beevod? I will go there with a big party of people and we will each order a pizza and eat with utensils until they stop us. Then I will bring a new group of friends(who would turn down free pizza?) to do the same thing until that restaurant realizes how stupid they are.

                      1. re: BKK Brendan

                        Please post time and date, would love to go there as well.

                        1. re: BKK Brendan

                          imagine the fun of having a table full of people who all eat the pizza...without hands OR utensils.

                          You know, just to make the point of how ridiculous their policy is.

                        2. There's a reason why the bottom and ends have nice clean breading.

                          1. Reason to use a knife and fork...................

                            I weigh too much. Therefore, I never eat more than two complete slices of pizza. I then use the fork to eat the toppings off additional slices and use the knife as a pusher. I just don't need the additional bread.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bagelman01

                              Damn the bread and a few carbs, head straight for the cheese and meat!

                              1. re: bagelman01

                                Similar situation here, bagelman. Mrs G uses knife and fork and doesn't much care about toppings. Give her naked crust and she's a happy camper. Me; just the opposite. I'll eat the crust but would rather fill up on the toppings.

                              2. I had braces when I was in my teens. It's really hard to eat pizza with braces and can be painful if they have just been tightened. Plus, the cheese tends to stick and string with the braces brackets. It worked out much better then to use a knife and fork and cut bite sized pieces.

                                1. When I get a nice hot pie straight from the oven, I usually use a knife to cut the tip off the first slice or two, so as to keep it from flopping around. This could be solved by doing the "fold", but again, with a hot piece (and who doesn't want a hot piece!) toppings tend to dance around...besides the fold is akin to eating caviar with stainless, or sprinkling the cheese product in the green container on pasta, or licking the ice cream bowl (ok, THAT I do). When the pizza cools alittle the utensil thing isn't necessary. Pizza is meant to eat with your hands

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                    It's cultural -- if you were raised to eat it with utensils, it's wrong to eat it with your hands.
                                    If you were raised to eat it with your hands, it's wrong to eat it with utensils.

                                    If you're at home, eat it with your feet if you want. If you're in a restaurant and especially if you're in a different country/culture, just take a quick glance around and see if anybody else is eating it your way.

                                    it's pizza. It's just not important enough to get fussed over.

                                  2. Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where everyone starts copying George eating a Snickers Bar with a knife and fork. Me- I'm a hands guy hands down! Pizza, fried chicken, ribs, heck I'll even pick up a pork chop once in a while just to gnaw on it. What a barbarian I must be!

                                    1. I use utensils for a very practical reason: I wear contacts and love jalapenos on my pizza. I can control the stability of the peppers on each bite and not have to pick up the ones that fall off. Jalapeno juice + removing contact lenses (yes, sometimes even after thorough washing) = PAIN!

                                      If jalapenos are not part of the meal equation, then I use my paws ;)


                                      1. I spill pretty much anything I eat on my shirt. Pizza sauce/grease etc., is next to imposible to get out. Utensils reduce the occurrences of spillage by a huge amount. :P