Whether it is at the Cheesecake Factory or another restaurant, dessert is usually that part of the meal that everyone looks forward to. But before you sink your teeth in those tasty treats, remember that just like with appetizers and the main course, there are certain protocols and manners you need to follow.
General Guide for Eating Desserts
Spoons and forks are often interchangeable with deserts, but there are some things you need to bear in mind. For soft desserts like custard, use a spoon but keep a fork around for garnishes like berries and other fruits. If you’re being served crepes or cake with ice cream, a spoon, fork or both will be fine.
When it comes to firm desserts like poached pears or thick cakes, use the fork for eating and the spoon to cut and push. If you’re eating a layered cake with an upright slice, use your dessert fork or spoon to turn the slice on its side. If you don’t have a dessert fork, just use whatever utensils are available at your table.
How to Eat Cakes Served at Restaurants
If you’re eating at Longhorn Steakhouse and served a cake, keep in mind that the manner in which you eat depends on the texture. Cakes with a dry, crumb-like texture like a cupcake are broken into bite-size chunks and eaten with your fingers. If it’s a cake with a soft, gooey fill, eat with a fork. On the other hand, an ice cream cake with moist and dry textures is served with a spoon and fork, so use the fork for holding and use the spoon to cut and place the piece of cake in your mouth.
Eating Pastries in Restaurants
Pastries like cream puffs are served with a dessert spoon and fork, with the spoon holding the pastry and the fork used for cutting and eating. When it comes to bite-sized parties however they are eaten with your fingers. If you’re not sure if they’re bite-sized or not, just remember the basic rule when it comes to eating desserts; if you cannot eat it without getting your fingers messy, use utensils.
Here are a few more things you should keep in mind when served pastries. If croissants are served before you, eat with your fingers, but if you are going to add preserves or jelly, tear some small pieces carefully and spoon the toppings.
Danish pastries are either cut in quarters or in half before being eaten with a fork or fingers, and the same thing with popovers. Popovers however, are buttered first before being consumed. For sticky fingers, cut them in half and eat with your bare hands, but if it’s too sticky use a fork or knife. Finally, cream puffs are always eaten with fork and knife, but cut carefully so the filing doesn’t spill.
The way you eat ice cream depends on how it is served. The typical ice cream served in a bowl for instance, is eaten with a spoon, but if it is ice cream roll served on a plate, you need to use a fork. If your ice cream is served with a cake, eat it with a spoon and fork, using the fork to hold up the cake part and the spoon for cutting and eating.
Candies and Cookies
Candies melt at room temperatures and become very soft and sticky so they are served up in a paper wrapper. Simply remove the wrapper and place it on a plate and use your fingers, but if the candy is melting or sticky, use a fork or spoon. Crumbly cookies on the other hand, are eaten with fingers, while small ones are eaten with a single bite. If the cookie is large, break them down in smaller chunks and eat one at a time.
Pies, Petits Fours and Plum Pudding
A slice of pie is usually eaten with a fork, but if you’re having difficulty cutting the crust, use the dessert spoon. If the pie is served with some cheese, use your spoon and fork to lift the cheese, put it over the pie, cut and eat.
Petits fours are small, baked sponge cakes topped with fondant icing. To keep your fingers off the frosting, the cake is served in paper wrappers. The wrapper and pastry are both removed from the tray and set on your plate, and if the petits fours is large, use your fork, but if it’s two bites only, your fingers will be fine.
Plum pudding is traditionally served with sauce or ice cream in a dessert bowl. Whichever is served, scoop it on your pudding and use your spoon. If brandy is being passed around while dessert is being handed out, pour some on your pudding because that is what it is for.