Life Lessons

How to Eat Bread

Learning how to eat bread the proper way at a formal dinner table is more important than one might expect. This is because bread is the first thing people usually eat at a formal meal, before appetizers, main course and dessert. Therefore, if you don't eat bread with the best manner possible, it is easy for your companions to spot what you are doing wrong and judge your upbringing accordingly.

Why is it very important to eat bread the proper way?

When food is not yet on the table, everyone has time to look at you and what you are doing. In contrast, when the appetizers are already served or the main course is served, people will start concentrating on their own food rather than watching what you are doing. First impression counts and eating bread properly with elegance is sure to make an impression.

Table Manners: Bread Dish on Right or Left?

In table manners, the bread dish is generally placed on the left hand side while drinks are placed on the right hand side. Leave the bread dish on the left hand side. At any formal dinner table, you should never ever move your dishes yourself, even if you spill. Wait for the attendant to move your dishes for you. It is not your job to tidy the dishes or make them more presentable.

Bread Manners: Eating bread the proper way

When bread is served, do the followings:

  • use your hands to break ONE bite size off the bread. Do not use a knife to cut the bread and do not break the bread into more than one piece.
  • use the bread knife to put some butter on the BITE SIZE piece of bread.
  • put the bread knife down on the bread dish.
  • put the bite size piece of bread into your mouth fully. Do not bite off the bread.
  • enjoy your bread by chewing thoroughly with your mouth closed.

Once you have finished with that bite size piece of bread, repeat the process starting with breaking off another bite size piece and so on. Remember, the whole time you are eating your bread, you must:

  • sit up straight
  • not put your elbows on the table
  • not bend your back to eat (instead, bring the bread to your mouth)