Author Topic: What to do when you can't keep chewing?  (Read 3177 times)

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cwm

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What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« on: June 11, 2013, 04:41:51 PM »
I was surfing elsewhere, and came across this gem. http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2013/06/11/steak-etiquette/?hpt=hp_bn11

The question it boils down to is this: when you're out to eat and get a bite of something (gristle of steak is the example given) that chewing won't actually do anything to, what is the polite thing to do? Spit it into a napkin? Back onto the plate? Swallow it anyway?

Warning: the language in the comments on the original article are somewhat lewd.

BarensMom

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 05:13:40 PM »
I always spit it into a paper napkin/tissue and either hide it on the plate or take it to the restroom.

Chip2

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 05:23:34 PM »
I was taught to discreetly remove it from your mouth and place it on the side of your plate just like you'd do with a bone. My mom told me things like this happen and are nothing to be embarrassed about, but not to raise a fuss over them either.

DavidH

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 05:24:42 PM »
As I recall, the best answer is to swallow the offending bite if possible.  If not, my understanding is that food is conveyed from the mouth in the same way it is brought there.  If a fork brought it to the mouth, it is discretely spit/put back on the fork and conveyed to the rim of the plate there. 

That said, I'd discretely deposit in my napkin rather than leave it in plain sight. 

rose red

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 05:29:28 PM »
I would spit it into a paper napkin, but not sure what to do if I have a cloth napkin.  Maybe go to the washroom?

LadyL

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 05:30:08 PM »
I have also heard the rule of "how it came in is how it goes out" - so if you ate it with a fork, you spit it back onto your fork and put it on your plate.

A word of caution about trying to swallow gristle or tough meat - I did this at a bbq recently, but it was more like a piece of meat mostly split in two held together by gristle. When I tried to swallow, the pieces arranged themselves such that they blocked my airway - I was choking. I couldn't swallow the piece and I couldn't breathe. I didn't realize the severity of the situation in that moment, so I tried to force it down by taking a sip of my drink, but the fluid had nowhere to go so it came back out, and the force of me spitting out the drink dislodged the piece and it came back up. I was super lucky that it kind of took care of itself that way.

magicdomino

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 05:31:06 PM »
As I recall, the best answer is to swallow the offending bite if possible.  If not, my understanding is that food is conveyed from the mouth in the same way it is brought there.  If a fork brought it to the mouth, it is discretely spit/put back on the fork and conveyed to the rim of the plate there. 

That said, I'd discretely deposit in my napkin rather than leave it in plain sight.

Just don't pick up the napkin, forgetting that the offending lump is there.  It may go flying across the table.   ;)

MrsJWine

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 05:33:08 PM »
I had no idea putting it back on your plate was considered okay manners. That would seriously gross me out. I have... issues with chewing and mouth noises, though, so take that with a grain of salt. It is something to keep in mind when you're out with other people, though; I can't be the only one.


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m2kbug

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2013, 05:39:19 PM »
Partially chewed food on the plate would be disgusting.  Spit it into a napkin and place it on the side of the plate.  If cloth napkin, I would think you would do the same, though you would have to ask your server for a new napkin, perhaps they could dispose of the old one, and its contents, at the same time.

DottyG

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2013, 05:43:01 PM »
Quote
A word of caution about trying to swallow gristle or tough meat - I did this at a bbq recently, but it was more like a piece of meat mostly split in two held together by gristle. When I tried to swallow, the pieces arranged themselves such that they blocked my airway

This.  Never try to swallow it.  Whatever you do, be it spit it into the napkin or into your hand or whatever else, don't try to swallow it.


Shoo

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2013, 05:43:04 PM »
Partially chewed food on the plate would be disgusting.  Spit it into a napkin and place it on the side of the plate.  If cloth napkin, I would think you would do the same, though you would have to ask your server for a new napkin, perhaps they could dispose of the old one, and its contents, at the same time.

This, exactly. Spit it into your napkin and then get a new napkin.

m2kbug

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2013, 06:05:35 PM »
Partially chewed food on the plate would be disgusting.  Spit it into a napkin and place it on the side of the plate.  If cloth napkin, I would think you would do the same, though you would have to ask your server for a new napkin, perhaps they could dispose of the old one, and its contents, at the same time.

This, exactly. Spit it into your napkin and then get a new napkin.

To add, if cloth napkins are used in someone's home, I think I would just excuse myself to the kitchen or bathroom with my napkin and dispose of the food myself.

Marguette

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 09:06:44 PM »
My take: Put the napkin—or a tissue— in front of your mouth with as little fuss as possible and discreetly pass it into the napkin (“spit” isn’t really the word to describe it). Do not peek at it. Pass it into your lap where it will be out of sight and everyone else can pretend it doesn’t exist — if they even noticed at all. Dispose of it when you have an opportunity.

I’m astounded that “out the same way it went in” was ever a rule (never heard of it). I would be majorly grossed out to see someone put chewed food from their mouth back onto their fork.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 04:53:08 PM by Marguette »

TylerBelle

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2013, 09:33:40 PM »
I've been in this situation. I ended up swallowing it. It went down, but not without some discomfort.:P.
 
As mentioned, I, too, recommend putting it in a napkin, paper would be best, but if all you have is cloth, that'll work, too. As for putting it back on the plate, yes, it can be icky, though I'd think one could do so discreetly and any dining companions would probably not even notice. And if they did, as long as it wasn't staring at them straight in the face, the ick factor would be at a minimum.
 
The bottom line is the offending piece of food coming out of the mouth can be dealt no matter how nasty it seems, whether placing it in a napkin, on a plate, etc. Removing it is such the better option than trying to be inconspicuous with the dilemma (as I did), and perhaps end up choking as a result.
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Pen^2

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Re: What to do when you can't keep chewing?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 10:02:45 PM »
The point here is that you want to remove the food from your mouth without making a big display of half-chewed food to other people. So if it's gristle, fat, or otherwise gross-looking, discreetly get it into a napkin. Wipe your mouth and spit while doing so. Then close up the napkin (don't leave it open for all to see the contents) and sit it next to your plate, or bin it if possible. Regurgitating it onto a fork is much more visible and not always the best way to go. I've seen far too many people 'miss' the fork when trying this. Even if they don't, the resulting mass on the fork is unpleasant. Be courteous of other diners and just use a napkin.

If it's a bone that you didn't realise was in the mouthful of food, it can sit on the plate if it's clean (not covered with bits of fat or meat). A clean fish bone, for example, isn't gross or off-putting. And at some of the meals I've been to, if you had to put fish bones in napkins each time you found one, you'd run out of napkins. Those little buggers can hide very well in the meat no matter how hard you try to avoid them or remove them in advance. Use a hand to take it out quickly and without fuss.

Don't try to swallow. If you can't chew it into a swallow-sized piece, then it's simply asking for trouble.