Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Respectfully Yours: How to eat pizza

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I was engaged in a friendly debate recently on what is the right etiquette for eating pizza. When, if ever, is it OK for someone to eat pizza with a fork and knife? I say eating pizza with your hands is totally acceptable. Am I right?

Dear Reader, This answer depends entirely on your location and who you are eating with. Many foods are meant to be eaten with your hands.

Wraps with fillings may fall out, tacos, crispy bacon, and corn on the cob should be eaten with your hands.

Depending who you ask, how you eat your pizza is a complex maze of confusing rules.

Pizza is ordinarily a casual food item. That’s part of its appeal.

When we start adding fine-dining into the mix, some of the fun of pizza disappears. In a more formal dinner setting, where pizza is the main entrée, use a knife and fork to cut it into smaller pieces. If you’re still unsure, watch the host and follow suit.

Americans think of pizza as a finger-food. In New York City, they are likely to fold their pizza in half. While in Italy, people eat pizza with a fork and knife.

If you are in a casual restaurant or at home, the answer may be, “Eat with your fingers.”

If you are dining in a more formal restaurant where a meal is served, then it’s better to opt for a knife and fork.

To add to the confusion, if the crust can’t hold its shape when picked up, using silverware is acceptable regardless of the setting.

Whenever you’re unsure about using your silverware or your fingers, do what is most effective while considering the level of formality of the dining experience.

Respectfully Yours, Jacquelyn

Have a question? Email: Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation. All Rights Reserved © 2018 Jacquelyn Youst