Do table manners dictate finishing everything on the plate, or leaving a little bit of food?
August 23, 2004 9:07 PM Subscribe
Do current table manners in your part of the world suggest you should finish everything on your plate or leave a little? [More inside.
posted by MiguelCardoso to Society & Culture (34 answers total)
Traditional etiquette everywhere seems to be moving in the Japanese direction - "eat it all up to show you appreciate the bounty offered you." However, in some cultures (Asian as well as European, as far as I know) cleaning your plate is taken to mean you want more - or, at least, that you could perhaps have done with a little more, thank you very much. Hence the old rule that you should leave just a little, to show that you've had your fill or, in the more dainty, genteel versions, that you aren't a pig.
Where do things stand nowadays, in your neck of the woods, inasmuch as table manners still matter? As someone who has many foreign friends I confess I'm befuddled. For the record, I still follow my parents' rule: always ask for second helpings and then leave a little. But, increasingly, I find my hosts offended by less than thoroughly wiped and hoovered plates...