Thursday, March 15

On Eating A Burger

The Brits call a 'hamburger' a 'beef burger'. More unusually, they choose to eat their burgers using cutlery (case study A: Justin).

Shortly after arriving in London, I have a business lunch where the main orders are beef burgers. Having no experience of the proper etiquette, and assuming one's hands are the universal approach towards a burger's consumption, I dive in, failing to notice the protocol : knife and fork. All eyes on me. Conundrum : once engaged with hand-to-mouth, does one simply switch tactics, drawing attention to an improper style? or continue suggesting : in America, this is how we eat a hamburger ?

Justin notes: "In fact, eating a burger with cutlery in the company of someone else who is eating with hands is rude (superior behaviour). Similarly, eating a burger with hands in front of someone eating something that requires cutlery is also rude (making what they see much more casual than the general tone of the meal)."