Are you still doing the "cut'n'switch" while eating?

Something my American buddy called the "cut’n’switch"came up while we’re having dinner, after/while/during myself making fun of him for his clumsy eating habits.

For some weird reason he’s only ever using one hand (in his case the right one) while eating and only picks up the knife when he has to cut something, for which he has to switch the fork into the left hand to cut with the right.
Then the knife gets put down and the fork is back in the right hand.

While everyone else used the fork in the left hand and knife in the right - all the time.

I’ve only ever seen kids do this,people with some impairment or have some coordination problem.

While I found this, I wanted to ask the dopers input if this is still the normal style of eating habit in the USA?

I do, mostly. A few years ago, I worked for a company headquartered in France and I made frequent trips to their head office. While there, it was obvious that I was “doing it wrong”, so I started to use my fork with my left hand. Now, I rarely leave the country, but about half the time I find myself using the fork with my left hand.

Yup, that’s how we do it.

I’ve gotten better and somewhat trained my left hand to do it. Part of this is because I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel in my right hand and have been trying to do more with my left hand - I was nearly mono-dexterous! So I keep trying to train my other hand.

But a particularly messy food, I might still switch, just to be safe. The other reason I don’t always mind switching is it kind of forces you to slow down on the food and not eat it too fast.

My guess is no. My Mom showed me the hand switching thing 25 years ago as kind of a joke. Like it’s the “proper” thing that only rich people do, and we all know they’re crazy. Neither of us actually ate like that. I’d bet that you would have a higher percentage of people using it in America than other places but it hasn’t been a fad for 60 years.

Yes. When eating European style, the fork is usually held with the tines in a downward curve, the better to pin down food that must be cut. Alas, that also means that bite-size pieces of food must then be very firmly speared with the fork, and they can fall off as they near the mouth, or worse, the shirt.

You’ll note that when Americans transfer the fork to the right hand, the tines are then curved upwards. This means that the fork also gains some scooping potential. Food can be cradled in the upward-facing curve of the tines.

There are, of course, advantages to each system. Some years ago, traveling in Australia with my husband, we were seated at a cruise table with an older German lady, who traveled with what appeared to be a paid companion–someone much less wealthy who provided companionship, and constant go-fer services. ("Would you go for my glasses, Emma? I left them on the sundeck…)

German Lady watched us cutting our pork chops one night and sniffed, “In Europe, we are taught that it is rude to put the fork in your other hand.”

“Really?” I inquired. “Different cultures have different rules. In America, we’re taught that it is rude to criticize the table manners of guests.”

She didn’t speak to us for the rest of the cruise.

I cut with knife in right hand and lift food to mouth with fork in left hand. I’m sure I have no manners, but people are too polite to point it out.

Since the OP is asking about personal experiences, let’s move this to IMHO.

I’m sure we’ve had many threads on it. It is essentially universal for American right handers to switch the working tool to the dominant hand during dinner. Not seeing someone do it is so rare as to be remarkable, as in literally remarked upon.

Left handed American. Fork in the left hand, knife in the right hand. Never switch.

I’m left-handed and never switch. I don’t recall anyone ever remarking upon it. I eat out a decent amount and definitely see some people do the switch, but I’ve never thought of it as universal.

So you cut, then switch to fork and eat, then switch back to knife and cut, then switch to fork and eat and so on? I’m American and never noticed anyone do that. Granted, I don’t pay close attention to table manners as I don’t really know what’s proper in the first place.
But if I have a steak or some food that requires a lot of cutting, the fork stays in my left hand and the knife in my right.

Right handed American. Fork in the right hand, knife in the left. Never switch.

Generally, one doesn’t do the fork switch with every bite. Plenty of foods don’t need to be cut up–they arrive on the table in bite-size pieces. Some may be partially consumable with just a fork. (Think: baked potato. Slice once, add butter, eat insides, then–if you like potato skin–cut the reminder into bite-size bits.)

When I’m eating a steak, for instance, I would cut about 5 or 6 bites, eat those, probably interspersed with vegetable/starch bites, then pick up the knife, cut some more, put down the knife…

As a kid, I was taught that you don’t eat all of one item first and you don’t have to exactly rotate bites of each food on your plate either. (Kind of OCD, that last.) I was taught that even if you hate hate HATE Brussels sprouts, you must eat at least one bite to be polite. (Although I always claim to highly allergic to liver–a giant lie.)

I really can’t imagine how anyone can eat rice or peas without turning the fork so the tines curve upwards. I also don’t get why anyone would leave their primary eating instrument in their non-dominant hand. We’re mostly right-handed, us humans.

Let me the first to quote this:

I eat my peas with honey.
I’ve done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on my knife.

Presumably you know there are cultures where it’s considered a major insult to use the left hand for anything to do with eating? The left hand is used to …ahem…cleanse oneself after toilet functions; then that hand is rinsed off. But still not acceptable for use in food consumption. There’e a great scene in a Jimmy Stewart movie where he’s trying to eat roast chicken in a Moroccan restaurant with only his right hand and no cutting implement. Eventually, he is so exasperated that grabs the chicken with his left hand so he can wrench off a drumstick…and the restaurant goes into shock and outrage.

I myself switch and I have never seen any American who did not. I’m amazed at the Americans in here who say they don’t switch. I’ve lived in California, Illinois, and now Texas. All I see are switchers. Next time I have a chance to observe I’ll see if they are all around me and I just never noticed, or not.

I blame the “Protestant Work Ethic”. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m left handed and I never switch. I had to actually mime the action described in the OP before I could make any sense of it.

I think you’re just not noticing. I know that I have no idea how even my family members use their fork and knife and whether they switch or not.

I am American but have never eaten American style, always European style. I happen eat left-handed, don’t know if that matters.

I don’t notice if people do it one way or the other, nor care, although I do look askance at someone holding their fork vertically in a fist.

Also, unless I’m eating steak, or something particularly tough, I don’t use my knife much - I do most of my cutting-off-of-bites with the side of my fork.