I have concerns and questions. I’m a need-to-know kind of person.
I have to understand. I just do. It’s a thing.
And so I ask, should cornbread be eaten with a fork or with one’s fingers?
I ask because friends of mine and I have gone back and forth on this for, well, years now, and we really need to put this one to bed.
Just to be clear, my friends and I don’t sit around discussing the finer points of Emily Post’s etiquette books.
This time, though, it all stemmed from a dinner invitation to someone’s house where I was served stew and cornbread. The only available utensil on the table was . . . a soup spoon.
Now, I would certainly allow that you CAN use your fingers to eat cornbread. But then again, you could also use a shovel, or your nose, or a page out of a book, or a small car if the hood was wide enough.
But should you?
My friends say, “Yes.”
I say, “No, you shouldn’t. And furthermore, any time anyone comes to your house, do them the courtesy of giving them all the possible utensil options.”
Now then, don’t let my opinion affect your answer.
No, really, don’t.
8 thoughts on “decide once and for all”
Not actually anti-cornbread, but it was the closest option. I eat with a fork when it’s the main dish (cornbread+margarine+real maple syrup doused with 1% milk) but by hand (split in half) when it fulfills the same nutritional duties ascribed to a biscuit or roll.
Cornbread + whipped honeybutter = so good who cares? Except sometimes it’s one of those cornbreads that falls apart when you just look at it, so a fork is the only real option. Nice of you to give folks options though.
I could go either way, but some of it depends on how long ago you took it out of the oven. If it’s really hot & breaks apart easily, use a fork. Otherwise hands are acceptable, as long as only a few crumbs are left behind.
I am from Alabama, so the following answer should be taken as Gospel.
It depends. There two scenarios:
1. Cornbread plain (includes butter – not optional) – eat with hands…sopp up any nearby gravy or other tasty liquid.
2. Cornbread with peas – eat with fork. This is simply practical because when one eats cornbread with peas, the preparation is as such: a) cornbread sliced in half b) each slice buttered and placed side-by-side c) pea juice spooned on each slice d) peas piled on each slice e) a big tomato slice (salt and pepper optional)
I’m perfectly okay with treating cornbread as a finger food, and that’s how I’ve always done it, but then again, I’m not denying that I’m a complete whackadoo, so that should probably be taken into consideration. Although, incidentally, I had always spelled it wackadoo, without an H.
I agree that when hosting a dinner party the host should provide all eating utensils. What the guest chooses to do with them; well whatever. Knowing your host it does not surprise me that this social nicety was disregarded altogether. This, however, does not change the fact that bread is eaten with the hands.
Cornbread is far too crumbly to be eaten with the fingers, unless one is at home, alone in the kitchen, sneaking bites straight out of the pan. That requires a completely different sort of etiquette.
Okay, this one is so obvious. You crumble the cornbread into your soup and eat it with a spoon. Trust a Southern woman on this one. I wouldn’t steer you wrong, my friend. I can’t think of a circumstance where cornbread requires a fork. I just can’t.
I still adore you.