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Jan 4, 2012 03:31 PM

What do you think about double dipping?

Before the Sienfeld episode, no such concept existed.

Now I can see not double dipping at a party, where there are many people, and a disease could spread. But if you and a friend are sharing a plate of spring rolls, I see nothing wrong with going back for more sauce.

If not, then what about using chopsticks...that's got to be just as dirty.

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  1. Double dipping, both in name and concept, existed long before Seinfeld. I remember a no double dipping rule among my swimming teammates in the 70s whenever someone brought chips and salsa, a favorite snack, to practice.

    My rules: if it's just family or close friends and all consent, it's fine. If at a party, in a public place or anywhere else,or if one in your party of family or friends doesn't want to, it's not okay.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Isolda

      Agreed! except for your bit about the 70s. I have no memories of the 70s ;)

    2. A waitress long ago settled it for me:

      If you love 'em, you let 'em double dip.

      Casual cocktail party? Break that chip in half before you dip if you plan to double up.

      1 Reply
      1. <If not, then what about using chopsticks...that's got to be just as dirty.>

        According to the chopstick etiquette I've read, you serve yourself from a communal platter using the ends of the chopsticks that don't touch your mouth.

        I don't double-dip unless I'm at home, although I don't think I'd notice if anyone did this at a party or at a restaurant. But I got yelled at by an old lady at Fairway because she didn't see that I'd torn my bread into pieces and hence was *not* double-dipping the olive oil. I swear. Fairway is full of crazy old ladies. Someday I'll be one of them.

        19 Replies
        1. re: small h

          So you use the ends that are in your hand? That's gross too.

          1. re: southernitalian

            If are that grossed out by human contact, you shouldn't be eating any shared dishes anyway, with or without dip.

            1. re: southernitalian

              I hesitate to bring this up for fear of giving you nightmares, but hands have touched your plate, your silverware, your water glass, and probably some of your food. Also note that the lime wedge in your drink did not squeeze itself.

              1. re: small h

                I know all that! I'm not squeamish by a long shot. You'd be amazed by the crap I'm willing to try. Just curious. So if I'm eating sushi with friends and we're all taking pieces off a shared platter, I'm supposed to turn the chopsticks around and use the end I'm not eating with? I've never heard that!

                1. re: southernitalian

                  I only know what I've read, and it was definitely about Chinese food, not Japanese. I think it just applies to casseroles and noodles and the like - stuff you would spoon out if you had a spoon. Although tigercrane, downthread, is contradicting this. Someone needs to break the tie.

                  1. re: small h

                    Given what I've read on CH about the Chinese having no issues with gobbing huge streams of phlegm wherever they need to, I'm thinking this is a Japanese, SE Asian issue. As it refers specifically to sushi, I'm fascinated,

                    1. re: small h

                      I'll break it, small h. While eating hot pot with my Chinese friends, I was instructed about turning the chopsticks when dipping into the communal pot. Makes sense it would apply to "stuff you'd spoon out if you had a spoon," too for the same reasoning.

                      As to sushi, I'm only touching MY piece and sharing with people I'm close to, anyway, so it ain't no thing to me. :)

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        Yes, this sounds reasonable and correct.

                        And @southernitalian, while I've seen (elderly) Chinese people spit on the sidewalk or the subway platform, I've never seen them spit on their own or anyone else's food.

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          I have heard of the turn the chopsticks around trick, but I've never seen it done. I'll ask my chinese friends about it. Seems like a good solution.

                      2. re: southernitalian

                        Regarding sushi, it is finger food. When one takes a piece of sushi from a common plate, it is only necessary to touch the piece taken. If it is eaten in two bytes, it is held between bytes, never returned to the plate. This is not at all comparable to double dipping.

                    2. re: southernitalian

                      Chopsticks are held in the middle, not at the end.

                    3. re: small h

                      You won't be a crazy old lady, you will just have a hilarious mind!

                      1. re: boyzoma

                        Aw, thanks! I'm trying to hold on to my mind. I eat plenty of fish and do the crossword puzzle every day. But I've also started offering cough drops or tissues to people on the bus who seem like they need them, and giving loud children the stink eye, so I may already be well on my way to crazy-old-ladyhood.

                        1. re: small h

                          nah, that's just reaching the plateau of "and WHY do I need to put up with your inconsiderate self?"

                          Cough drops and tissues have that undercurrent of "if you were a real adult, you'd be carrying these yourself" - and giving loud kids the stinkeye - -well, you get that ability as soon as you bear one of your own. The "Mom glare" is universal.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            Interesting. I hadn't considered that giving a sneezing person a tissue could seem like a passive/aggressive way to say "grow up." Live & learn. I haven't given birth to anyone, so my glare is not a mom-glare. Just a regular-glare.

                            1. re: small h

                              Agreed, I can give a pretty good stink-eye glare to loud unruly kids in public settings, yet have not given birth to anyone either. I've even been known to defend my space verbally if they trample into it (running wildly and stepping on my tender feet etc.)
                              It's nice when people respect each others space and for me that includes not double dipping . . . there really are lots of pathogenic organisms that may be transferred in such situations, and people carrying them may not always appear to be "sick". For example when someone isn't diagnosed yet with chronic oral infections (periodontal diseases and caries), or is in the incubation window of a general infection like the flu.

                              1. re: small h

                                For some people, *breathing* is a passive-aggressive tendency.

                        2. re: small h

                          >>>>>According to the chopstick etiquette I've read, you serve yourself from a communal platter using the ends of the chopsticks that don't touch your mouth.<<<<<

                          I've had Chinese meals all over Asia since the 70's and have seen serving pieces used a lot (usually at higher end restaurants), but I've NEVER seen a diner use the opposite end of the chopsticks they're eating with to serve themselves. If they do pick directly from the 'communal' platter it's always been with the same set they're eating with. Me too!!! "When in Hong Kong.................."

                          1. re: Midlife

                            I freely admit that what I wrote is based not on first-hand experience (I don't have any), but rather on knowledge from other sources. Your first-hand experience is certainly valuable, but do consider that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. In other words, just 'cause you ain't seen it, doesn't mean it don't happen.

                        3. I was raised to NEVER double dip unless you're at home. That made the Seinfeld episode in question particularly hilarious for us. I even now make a semi-joke when I'm out with a friend for dinner "Just so you know, I'm gonna double dip, too bad for you!" Even with that, I feel too guilty to actually do it, haha. I'll usually just break whatever i'm eating in half and dip each. If it's something like an eggroll, I'll dip one end, bite, and then dip the other end.

                          1. I typically try not to do it because I know it bothers people, but I think the whole concept is kind of silly. Is it because people are grossed out about catching a cold or something? In any situation where people are grabbing food from a communal area and breathing all over each other, they're probably going to get each other's germs!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: caseyjo

                              I think highly increased awareness of immuno-suppression related to cancer, AIDS, and a host of other ailments has made people more aware of unnecessary risks in social settings. It shows courtesy to those who may be more immuno-suppressed, without requiring them to self-disclose.