English people use a small spoon to stir their tea, therefore the spoon is called a ‘teaspoon’. French people use the same sized spoon to stir their coffee so it’s called a ‘une cuillère à café’ = coffee spoon. In France, soup is traditionally eaten for the evening meal. The ‘cuillère à soupe’ is a very big spoon that we would call a tablespoon. Forks are often put on the table with the tines pointing down, as it is considered safer and more gentile. Many Frenchmen carry a pocket knife ‘un canif de poche’. The origin of the word possibly comes from Old English when the ‘kn’ of ‘knife’ was pronounced. Desserts are eaten with a spoon, even if it’s a cake or a tart. Cutlery used for an ‘entrée’ is kept to be used for the main course, even in restaurants. Amongst friends you are often expected to use the same plate and utensils for both courses. If you want a clean plate, there is always bread available with which the sauces  can be mopped up .

 

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