“Frog to Prince”

A few Soupçons on SOUP!

The proper way to eat soup is to dip the spoon away from the body.

If you want to get the last bit of it, there is no impropriety in tipping the dish away from you in order to collect it at the edge. Indeed you are paying a subtle compliment to your hostess by this demonstrating how good it is.

Tipping the soup bowl away from you instead of towards you seems such a small detail of etiquette, but there was a very sensible reason for this. In the early 19th century, when shallow soup plates became fashionable in place of deep bowls, officers in the cavalry and horse artillery regiments discovered that every time a troop of soldiers thundered past the mess on horseback when they were drinking soup, some of the contents of the dish would be splattered into their laps, thanks to the reverberations of the hooves. Thus, they developed the habit of tilting the bowl away from them.

There are two kinds of soup bowls: rimmed and not rimmed--and the rimmed are traditionally used for cream-based soups. There are two kinds of soup spoons: round for clear soups in deep cups; oval for cream and hearty soups in rimmed plates.

In the West, it is polite to sup soup quietly. However in China and Japan, it is polite to slurp one’s soup as it is a sign of approval and appreciation of the soup. And practically, it’s because good soup should be hot and slurping allows the eater to cool the soup down.

In the West however, if the soup is too hot – don’t blow on it. Wait until it cools down.