SOUP ETIQUETTE – Western Style
How does one eat soup today?? With so much Asian cuisine in our modern diet and the variation in eating utensils, serving methods and cultural customs, it can all be a bit confusing! In this article I present the Western practice.
Scoop your soup spoon away from you towards the far side of your bowl and sip the soup from the side of your spoon. Do not put the whole spoon in your mouth and also do not blow on it if it is too hot – rather, wait a few moments or start slowly with small, careful sips as it begins to cool. In some Asian cultures it is quite usual to slurp ones soup – this is not considered acceptable in a Western situation.
If you are having a bread roll with your soup, it is proper to tear it apart with your fingers (not cut it) – into halves, if small, or pieces as you proceed, if it is a large roll (and then butter the pieces as required). If the butter is served as a slab or in a bowl for all to share, remove your portion with your butter knife and transfer it to one side of your bread plate, resting your butter knife on the plate. Butter your bread from this portion thereafter. It is not essential to use butter at all – many diners prefer plain bread with their soup.
If a call is disconnected before completion, the person who originated the call should be the one to ring back.
In the absence of a specific arrangement or an emergency, avoid calling someone at home at obviously inconvenient times – mealtimes (and nap times) and of course not before 9am or after 8.30pm. Be very conscious of time differences when making interstate or international calls.