1. Country Girl

    At a very high-end lunch meeting with a client yesterday, I ordered a bowl of french onion soup. Typically the french onion soup I’ve had is served with Swiss or provolone cheeses which are easily cut with the spoon against the side of the bowl before lifting to mouth. This one was served with a lot of piping hot Gruyere cheese (the variety typically used in fondue.) It was delicious, but as I tried many times to eat it, the very rounded spoon edges made it impossible to “cut” the endless stringy, gooey cheese against the bowl. The cheese was so gooey that it also stuck all over the spoon making it impossible for me to eat just the broth. I even went so far as trying to discretely twirl the spoon as though I was eating spaghetti, but that didn’t work.

    What is the correct way to eat a soup with really gooey cheesy such as this? Was I to involve my knife? Order another bowl without cheese? It sounds silly, but I didn’t really know what to do (and didn’t want to spend our lunch with cheesy strings hanging from my mouth to the bowl), so I just ended up not eating (which of course, in itself, was awkward). I would like to know, how I should have handled this little debacle?

    • The link to Peggy Post’s advice is excellent. For future reference, French Onion Soup is one of those foods I list as NOT to order when dining in the company of someone where your best impression is so important — for the very reason you experienced. Along with the soup goes spaghetti (the twirling) and really any type of red sauce (ribs) because it can be so unfortunate when you end up wearing some of it. If it requires a bib, the use of your fingers (the tendency to lick them can’t be helped) or is messy to eat, make another selection. Order foods that are familiar to you, easy to eat and will allow you to talk between bites. A business meal is about business, not the food.

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