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Over 4,600 Quotes About Food, Beverages, Agriculture and the Pleasures of the Table

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See also: Table Manners

Food Etiquette Quotes

“Eating with a knife or with the fingers; soiling the lips; using the fork or the fingers as a toothpick; making audible the process of mastication or of drinking; taking soup from the point of a spoon; lolling forward upon the table or with the elbows upon the table; soiling the cloth with what should be kept on the plate; in short, everything that is odd or coarse should nowhere be indulged in.”
‘How to Behave: The Etiquette of Society’ (1879)


“Etiquette, n: a code of social rites, ceremonies and observances, constituting a vulgarian's claim to toleration. The fool's credentials.”
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)


“Be careful not to be the first to put your hands in the dish. What you cannot hold in your hands you must put on your plate. Also it is a great breach of etiquette when your fingers are dirty and greasy, to bring them to your mouth in order to lick them, or to clean them on your jacket. It would be more decent to use the tablecloth.”
Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch priest and scholar (1466?-1536)
'Treatise on manners' (1530)


Drink to nobody that you think is better than yourself.”
Hannah Woolley, 17th-century etiquette expert'
Guide to ladies, gentlewomen and maids'


“Put not your Knife to your mouth unless it be to eat an Egge.”
Hannah Woolley


“Never hesitate to take the last piece of bread or the last cake; there are probably more.”
Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms: Etiquette of the Table’ (1880)


“Never allow butter, soup or other food to remain on your whiskers. Use the napkin frequently.”
Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms: Etiquette of the Table’ (1880)


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