Picture the scene, my first day at a new job in a new country. I had the usual first day butterflies, but nothing I thought of as too unusual. Until lunchtime that is, when I came across what us North Americans might consider strange burger etiquette: eating a burger with fork and knife.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and the entire team decided that we should go out for lunch. (It rains in Paris almost as much as it does in London, so the first sign of sun and Parisians are out on la terrasse, absorbing le
And as it would happen, we picked an American burger joint, perhaps to make me feel more welcome.
The Love Affair with burgers
In contrast, when Burger King opened in 2014 in Paris, there were long lines of keen customers instead of protests.
Anyway, back to lunch, we placed our orders and one by one everyone’s food arrived except mine. I realized afterward that this was a rather lucky escape. While I was busy encouraging everyone to eat while their food was warm, I suddenly noticed that all the French people at the table were eating their burgers with a knife and fork!
Quelle horreur! What a catastrophe that could have been, in french dining terms atleast. Apparently, the proper way to eat a burger in France, bourgeois or not, is with a fork and knife. Le sigh.
☞ READ MORE: Reverse Culture Shocks after returning to America
When to use cutlery
Since that first lunch outing, I’ve noticed that nothing is safe from the knife and fork. Pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, bbq ribs, none of it is
☞ READ MORE: French Dining Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts
France vs. North America
I investigated this French affection for cutlery but mostly came up with people questioning why
Does “fast food” always need to be fast? Surely we want to sit down for a proper meal…? Given that even Michelin starred chefs are creating their own burger dishes, perhaps they have a point. A bientôt!