Table Manners: Soup Neck, Vol. 13, Issue 50

Recently Etiquetteer had the pleasure of dining at Gurmansky Grob, in a suburb of Bratislava, Slovakia, a home restaurant renowned for its preparation of duck. And indeed, it's worth traveling to Slovakia to enjoy it! Their excellent dinner included enormous tureens of soup, which contained duck necks. Now, the neck of just about any bird is the most difficult part of a bird to eat with Perfect Propriety. They're often more trouble than they're worth, and consuming a neck in a bowl of soup seemed just about impossible, if not unthinkable.

Etiquetteer's hostess taught the assembly how to do so the Slovakian way. Use the spoon in your right hand to lift the neck to your mouth. Then, keeping the neck in or just above the bowl of the spoon grasp one end of the neck with your left hand and nibble away. It is important to perform this operation over the soup bowl, in case there should be any inadvertent dripping. Etiquetteer should not have to point out that this sort of operation doesn't belong at a formal dinner, but this knowledge may come in handy the next time you encounter a hearty, rustic menu.