Eating Custom and Practice 用餐习惯
American eating is funny. They eat almost everything with a fork, and it appears that holding a knife in one's right hand longer than a few seconds is considered to be against good table manners.
The system is that if it is absolutely necessary to use a knife, people take the fork in their left hand, and cut off a piece of meat or whatever it is in the normal manner. Then they put the knife down, transfer the fork to their right hand, and only then do they transport the food to their mouth. This is clearly ludicrous(滑稽可笑), but it is considered good manners.
There are several results of this system. First, if it is not absolutely necessary to use a knife, Americans don't use one, because obviously this greatly complicates(使复杂化) things, and you will therefore see them trying to cut things like potatoes, fish and even bacon(熏猪肉) with a fork. Second, towards the end of a course, since only one implement(器具) is being used, food has to bo chased around the plate with the fork — and for the last mouthful the thumb has to be used to keep the food in place, although one is not supposed to do this.
Third, tables are generally laid with one knife and two forks, the outside fork being for the salad. There is no need for foreign visitors to follow the American system and try to eat the salad with only a fork, but if you do use your knife, remerber to save it for the meat course. Even desserts(甜食) (except ice cream) are eaten with a fork if at all possible, and the spoon you see by your dessert is meant to be for coffee (but if you use it for your dessert no one will say anything).