British etiquette expert William Hanson teaches people to eat like assholes.
Here’s an excerpt of him teaching etiquette on British TV show Let’s Do Lunch With Gino and Mel, Gino (who is Italian) as Hanson’s foil:
Asshole: No…this is how we eat peas.
Gino: First of all, the spoon is much easier because it goes in the spoon easily and you can shovel it in your mouth.
Asshole: No, we use a fork. Like this. Then we push the peas, with the back of our knife, onto the fork like this and eat it like this. The tines of the fork should always be facing down. (Fork turned down).
Gino: So by the time you finish the peas, my steak will be cold, my mashed potatoes will be freezing cold, if we do it one by one the way you do it.
Gino has a point, Anglo dining etiquette is inefficient, it makes eating a lot more cumbersome than necessary. What’s the point of etiquette then? From Wiki:
Etiquette is the set of conventional rules of personal behaviour in polite society, usually in the form of an ethical code that delineates the expected and accepted social behaviors that accord with the conventions and norms observed by a society, a social class, or a social group.
So the point of Anglo dining etiquette is to teach people to look down on those who prefer to not make dining out a tortuous experience. In other words, it teaches people to act like assholes, bullies really. But it doesn’t have to be like that, here’s my counterpoint definition of etiquette:
Good etiquette: rules of conduct to maximize ease and efficiency and to keep costs down while benefiting the greater good.
Bad etiquette: rules of conduct that allows one to covertly spotlight one’s narcissistic needs (eg. recognition as world’s nicest and classiest person) at the expense of the greater good.
Which is the purpose of etiquette in most non-Anglo cultures, it’s a way to lubricate social interactions instead of complicating them. How complicated? Check this shit out.
How to Eat Soup Like an Asshole
Summary of steps:
- Position your body two hand widths away from the table
- Use correct spoon, the one with the largest bowl
- Spoon soup at and toward twelve o’clock side of bowl using the outer edge of spoon. (Am I losing you)?
- Gently scrape off soup that’s on the bottom of the spoon along the twelve o’clock edge of the bowl.
- Bring edge of spoon that faces you to mouth without spilling or hunching over.
- Sip soup without making noise
- Repeat process, inserting a chopstick up the ass each time.
Got it? Didn’t think so. And that’s a good thing, only fucktards think it’s ok to serve and eat soup this way. To begin with, what’s with the shallow bowl and the plate it’s on? Sure, it looks kinda pretty, but so does Paris Hilton’s pussy, doesn’t mean you should serve sushi on it.
And as Gino points out, how long is eating it this way going to take? What happens to the integrity of the soup if it takes someone 10 excrutiating minutes to finish it? The good news is that there are a few American chefs who reject tormenting their customers that way by instead putting soup in a teacup from which they drink, no spoon involved.
How to Eat Miso Soup and Ramen Properly
Here’s how the Japanese eat miso soup: no spoon, chopsticks only. Some of you are like, WTF? No, fuck you, you’re the weird one.
How to eat miso soup Japanese way:
- With one hand, bring bowl of soup to mouth. Start drinking.
- Use chopsticks in other hand to pick out floating pieces of food.
- Repeat process
That’s it, it’s easy as fuck as long as you know how to use chopsticks. But it feels unnatural to most Americans because they’ve been trained to think of drinking from a bowl as vulgar. Well how the fuck so? Because some asshole said so?
Here’s a video on how to eat ramen, a dish Americans love but look awkward — like some fat guy trying ballet for the first time — while eating.
- You can use chopsticks only or use chopsticks to put food on big spoon and eat from spoon. (I prefer the latter method to prevent hunching, which is bad for you).
- You can slurp if you want. (He does).
- “Ramen is an open format, you can eat it any way you want to.”
- “But one thing I want to emphasize is that you shouldn’t take too much time to eat this because the noodles will expand…it shouldn’t take more than five minutes for you to finish.”
This chef eats with chopsticks instead of shoving them up his ass. The only hard rule involves the integrity of the food: finish within five minutes or you’re ruining the food that someone worked hard on for you to enjoy. How you finish your ramen is up to you, and that includes drinking from the bowl.
Contrast this approach to food to the asshole way of dining. Which is more fun, which makes food taste better? Which turns eating into a cumbersome social competition? Do you prefer to enjoy your food, or would you prefer to show off your fake good breeding while eating?
How to Eat Soup
Sometimes I fuck with customers. Let’s say I’m making ham soup and purposely cut the ham too big to fit on the spoon. Then I watch, do they struggle through using a spoon, or do they switch to a fork to eat the ham and drink the broth from the cup, which is the sensible act to do?
So how should we eat soup without looking like assholes? Serve and eat it in any way you want, not how others want you to eat. Which is going to be tough if you care about what others think of you. (In which case you have serious problems). At any rate, that’s all there is to it, once you block out etiquette, your instincts will tell you how something should be eaten.
How to Eat Chinese Style (chopstick hack)
Southern Chinese food is typically served with a bowl of rice and an assortment of dishes. This creates an awkward situation for many gweilos (foreign devils), especially if they want the cultural experience of using chopsticks. Here’s what you’re supposed to do: use one hand to bring bowl of rice off the table, use chopsticks to grab whatever you want to put on rice. Bring bowl close to mouth, use chopsticks to put whatever you want into mouth. So the space between grabbing something with chopstick to bringing it to mouth is shortened, making it less likely that you’ll drop what you grabbed and become frustrated. If you want to get really Chinese, bring bowl to mouth and use chopstick to shovel food in your mouth. Make as much noise as you want. It’s actually very easy, very natural to eat that way, far easier than using a knife and fork. It’s jarring to watch Americans switch knife and fork from one hand to another for the sake of propriety. (Stop switching)! Video showing you how it’s done below.
Pet peeve: Chinese restaurants that serve food on plate and then give you chopsticks to eat with. That’s a mismatch of cultural habits. In this case, a knife and fork and spoon make more sense. Chopsticks work best when the food is served Chinese style, not on plates, which in Chinese dining is only used as the place to hold food and discarded bones.
Why We Eat Like Assholes
Because we’re fake as fuck. An asshole is someone who makes up bizarre and arbitrary rules of conduct solely to exclude those who won’t play along. Play anthropologist and look around: you can probably make sense of why Ethiopians, Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, Indians, Peruvians, Italians, Rednecks…eat as they do. And then you get to Anglo cultures and see some stuff that makes sense, and then a bunch of stuff that make no sense. Where assholes tell other assholes to do stupid shit, to act like piece of shits who make ugly shit, fucked up shit, crazy shit, worthless shit, and dodo shit that’s somehow perversely considered as elegant and charming by those who look like monkey shit. Where politeness is confused with civility, niceness with kindness, and eating with a chopstick up one’s ass with good breeding.
Compare the above two “How to” videos again, pretend you’re an alien studying human behavior this time around. Which culture do you find bizarre, the one with a bunch of precise rules that make it harder to eat, or the one that only has one hard rule — finish ramen within 5 minutes to ensure integrity of noodles — everything else is up to you?
Sane people don’t make life harder for themselves. And did you know that the Japanese eat sushi with their hands? Nom nom.