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Bread to Soak Up Sauce or Gravy

Dear Dr. Dave & Dr. Dee,

Is cleaning the plate with bread proper? Our family has 4 different nationalities: Dutch, Mexican, American (USA) and French, and this is a big issue for us.


Need Advice

Dear Need Advice,

Eating habits at home can be more relaxed and different from the protocol when dining out in a restaurant or someone's home. If you are already using your hands to eat the meal such as a hamburger or tortilla wrapped item, then soaking up some sauce while holding a piece of bun or tortilla with your fingers is fine.

However, if you are dining with a fork, then the fork should be used. Tear off a bite-sized piece of bread and place it onto the plate, and use the fork to retrieve the bread from the sauce or gravy. Use only one bite-sized piece of bread at a time.

Please note that etiquette for formal dining frowns on dipping bread in soup or gravy.