How Do You Eat Spaghetti? Or Other Long Noodles?

Eating a plateful of spaghetti (or any other long noodle for that matter) with even a sliver of dignity can sometimes feel next to impossible. Example: when is the last time you ordered spaghetti on a first date? That said, human beings have figured out a thing or two over the last few millennium when it comes to consuming this favorite food, primarily with the help of chopsticks or their Western cousin, the fork.

When eating spaghetti with a fork, most people twirl a few strands around the tines of the fork, anchoring the fork on the side (or bottom) of the plate. For a while there, it was vogue in America to twirl the fork on a spoon, but I haven't seen so much of that lately. A final option is to cut the pasta into smaller pieces with a fork and knife and scoop it up using the fork, but that method is mostly used for children.

With chopsticks, it's just matter of capturing several strands of pasta with the chopsticks and bringing it up to your mouth, usually accompanied with a satisfying slurp. Of course, much depends on culture as the above clip from Tampopo illustrates, not only for the use of chopsticks but for the option to slurp as well. Some people I know use whatever method fits the culture of the dish: slurping Asian noodles from chopsticks and twirling pasta on a fork. Others use their preferred method no matter what they're eating, which can result in slurping spaghetti or twirling Asian noodles.

What's your advice for tackling a plate full of noodles alone or in the company of others?

Related: Slurping Ramen: Unexpected Table Manners Around the World

(Image: Tampopo)

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