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.
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.