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Book Review: Which Fork Do I Use?

Which Fork Do I Use?When I was little, I learned to set the table with the spoons at the top, above the plate. This was not the way people set the table in America, but I grew up in East Africa, so I learned some very European dining habits. When my parents “threatened” to send me to St. Eugene’s Catholic School if I didn’t behave, I stared having nightmares about it. One of the themes of the nightmares was that I set the table wrong and was sent to my room without supper.

Because of this childhood “trauma,” I took note when the opportunity to review Which Fork Do I Use? came up. I wanted to see what the authors thought was the right way, and I’ll admit I was pleasantly surprised.

NOTE: I received a free copy of this book for review, however I am under no obligation to write about it positively or otherwise.


This is a great guide for both prospective hosts and guests of any type of party. The book has instructions and illustrations that will help you create and understand almost any plate setting. There is additional information about invitations, save-the-dates, and more, too. If you’ve ever been confused by an extra fork or spoon, then this book will help you never embarrass yourself again at a party or restaurant!


There were a number of things about this book I liked:

  • Spiral bounding makes it easier to lie flat and really study the illustrations.
  • There is an explanation of American and Continental dining styles. I’ve eaten Continental style — I don’t switch my fork after cutting — since I was a little kid. It was fun to learn the history of the “switch.”
  • The book is really comprehensive: Whether you are hosting a small brunch or a large, fancy wedding, the content in this book has you covered.
  • Explanations of different kinds of cups, glasses, flatware, plates, etc. Don’t know what that odd strainer thingy is, you’ll find a picture of it in the back of the book!
  • The illustrations are clear and help you easily identify objects and and where to put them.


Frankly, the only thing I really didn’t like about the book was the size. It reminds me of those old spiral bound atlases that were always so ungainly to use. When closed, this book takes up 10.5 x 8 inches of table space … double that if opened. This is not a book that is easily read while commuting. That said, it probably is that size to mimic a place mat.


This is a great basic book for table manners and I think everyone who like to host — or go to — diner parties should have a copy. I’m glad I do!


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Format: Spiral bound, 10.5 x 8 x 0.5 inches
Publisher: Manners Simply
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615883184
ISBN-13: 978-0615883182

Pick up your copy on Amazon.com here.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.