Please do not steal this for any other website or submit it to a trivia site.
It took a lot of work researching and creating this.

Brownielocks and The 3 Bears

Have you ever wondered where and how some of our table customs started?
Rather than create a page that's one long and heavy in reading text, I decided to help you learn a little bit
by making this in the form of a quiz instead.  It's pretty hard, so don't feel bad if you don't know the answers.

But, this trivia quiz should  help you learn how some of table rules  all began and why.
Although the book that I got the information from is pretty extensive, and goes into
many cultures, I basically stuck with the American and European traditions that we know about.

The answers are under the Napkin!
Just place your cursor over the napkin and the answer will appear.

If using a smart phone to view these pages, just put your finger on the symbol and hold it for a moment. A pop up that contains the answer will appear. To close the pop up, just tap elsewhere on the screen.
This is NOT a Link button!

There are 70 questions.


1.   No human society has ever not had table manners. True or False?


2.  Licking fingers was all right before the invention of knives and forks. True or False?


3. According to Roman custom,  sturgeon (fish),  at a banquet,  was always to be served with:

(a)  Music
(b) Garlic
(c) Wine
(d) All of the above


4.  The chief purpose of table etiquette is:

(a) To prevent any spilling in the presence of others.
(b) To show off one's refinement
(c) To avoid reminding those eating of the violence which occurs in order to bring the meal to the table (i.e. killing the animal, chopping the vegetables etc.)
(d) All of the above

5.  In 1669, a French King Richelieu  banned sharp knives at the table because:

(a) They caused too much damage to the table cloths.
(b) To prevent guests from using them to pick their teeth afterwards.
(c)  They were of poor metal and too much work to keep them sharp.


6.  Drinking Gin and Whiskey during a meal is just as acceptable as beer and wine is. True or False?


7.  How you seat guests at your table has more to do with politics than social etiquette. True or False?


8. Which President of the U.S. insisted that he could never be anyone's "guest" because he was head of state?
(a) George Washington
(b) Thomas Jefferson
(c) James Monroe
(d) James Madison


9.  Which came first:  The spoon or the fork?


10. In 1530, Erasmus published a short treatise on manners.  In it he states that  which of the following activities was publicly banned  in polite society:

(a) Belching
(b) Farting
(c) Spitting
(d) All of the above


11.  The oldest known book on manners was during the Medieval times.  The book was written in the style of jingles and rhymes so that they could be easily memorized.  The first book was written in which language?

(a) French
(b) Italian
(c) Latin
(d) German


12.  In 1530, Erasmus states that it is wrong to show your teeth while at the table. Therefore, if you have to laugh you must do what?

(a) Turn your head to one side
(b) Cough instead
(c) Cover your mouth with your napkin
(d) All of the above.


13.  Early dinner forks had how many prongs?
(a) 2
(b) 3
(c) 4
(d) 5


14.  The first two countries to invent and use forks were:

(a) England and France
(b) Germany and Spain
(c) France and Russia
(d) Italy and Spain


15.  In Medieval times, the first plates were called "trenchers" and were made of what?

(a) Thin Sliced Wood
(b) Sliced Bread
(c) Woven Corn Husks
(d) Skulls of dead animals


16. The spoon is considered the kindest, safest utensil.  After all, babies begin with spoons! But, the spoons have superstitions to them also.  What does it mean if you drop a spoon a table?

(a) You are about to have a visitor.
(b) You are pregnant.
(c) You are going to be married soon.
(d) You are going to take a trip.


17.   By mid-eighteenth century,  serving this to your guest was considered a real sign of prestige:

(a) Snails
(b) Turtle
(c)  Fish Eggs
(d) All of the above


18. In 1920, Emily Post said that formal dinners should start and end when?

(a) 8:00 pm to 10:30 pm
(b) 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
(c) 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
(d) As soon as it gets dark for the season it's given and ends when the hosts wishes.


19. Which fast food today represents a formal 3-course meal all in one?

(a) Taco
(b) Hot Dog
(c) Hamburger
(d) Fried Chicken


20.  Bread is very useful. Besides being sliced as a plate as a "trencher", it also was used as what in the old days?

(a) Hot pads for hands
(b) Napkin to wipe your face with
(c) Wipe your hands on it
(d) All of the above


21.  It is rude to put salt on your food when?
(a) Before you've even tasted it.
(b) Before the host has.
(c) After it cools down.
(d) All of the above


22. At formal dinners today, it is forbidden to take a second helping. True or False?


23.  Vincenzo Cervio in 1581 wrote a manual for carving meat with detailed instructions. In this book, he states that no "worthy" carver would ever do what?

(a) Cut up the roast on a dish.
(b) Let people seem him carve the roast.
(c) Use dull knives.
(d) All of the above


24.   When drinking white wine it is considered wrong to allow your fingers to touch the goblet part of the glass. True or false?


25.  The "last piece" of food left on the serving dish must be eaten and not left.  Leaving it  is offensive to the host.  But, there is a superstition on taking the last piece.  It is believed that:

(a) The last piece is a "thrive piece" and will bring good health to the person.
(b) The last piece is a "etiquette piece" and the one who takes it will remain single.
(c) The last piece brings prosperity.
(d) All of the above.


26. There is a Chinese custom of having guests attend several dinners in one night, and go from restaurant to restaurant, one for each course.  This is growing in popularity in the United States, only it is usually done going home to home.  What is this called in the US?

(a) Traveling Dinner
(b) All Night Dinner
(c) Progressive Dinner
(d) Course to House Dinner

27.  In 1881, it was bad manners to say good bye to other guests before you left a dinner. True or False?


28.  It is good manners to ask an equal number of both men and women to a dinner party. True or False?


29.  It is good manners to hand-write all invitations. True or False?


30.  Once you accept an invitation to dinner at someone's house, you had to go. The only valid reason for not going was:

(a) Serious illness
(b) Death
(c) Bad Weather
(d) All of the above


31.  The custom of wrapping the utensils in the napkin at the table goes back to the Medieval times.  Back then they wrapped the cutlery because:

(a) They had a fear of poison being put on them.
(b) They had a fear of bugs.
(c) Fingerprints on utensils was considered gross.
(d) All of the above.


32. In what year did the emperor of Japan announce that for the first time in history there would be no requirement of having a food-taster before every royal meal?

(a) 1689
(b) 1789
(c) 1889
(d) 1989


33.  In England, which  one of the following's  popularity in 1616  helped lessen the need for napkins when eating?

(a) Finger Bowls
(b) Fork
(c) Spoon
(d) Butter Knives


34.  It is considered rude to remove a person's plate from the table before they are finished eating.  An ancient Roman interpretation of this action meant what?

(a) Sudden death to the person whose plate was removed.
(b) Sudden death to the person who removed the plate from the table.
(c) Sudden death to the host of the dinner party.
(d) All of the above


35.  Table doilies are named after a 17th century draper named Mr. D'Oyley. True or False?


36.  During the 19th Century, women were not allowed to ask for what at the table?

(a) Water
(b) Beer
(c) Wine
(d) Coffee


37.  By the 16th Century (and early 17th Century) having one's own what was very popular and considered chic?

(a) Toothpick
(b) Napkin
(c) Salt Shaker
(d) Beer Mug

38.  In ancient Europe, people commonly cleared their stomachs before a meal by doing what?

(a) Taking  herbal laxatives
(b) Fasting for 12 hours
(c) Vomiting
(d) All of the above

39.  In which century did fresh flower arrangements on the table become popular at dinner parties?

(a) 16th
(b) 17th
(c) 18th
(d) 19th

40.  In the 17th Century, napkin folding had reached it's peak.  It was considered an art and profession in itself, with napkins being folded into such shapes as fish, beasts, fruit and birds.  Which country exalted the art of napkin folding?

(a) Italy
(b) France
(c) England
(d) China

41.  Athenaeus  is said to have stated that in the second-third century A.D. that guests would wipe their hands and their knives on bread and then do what with it afterwards?

(a) Eat it
(b) Bring it home to their servants
(c) Toss it to dogs and cats waiting under the table
(d) All of the above

42.  When the custom of eating food with your hands changed to eating food with utensils, what happened to the foods?

(a) The food got more tender
(b) The food got more spices and sauces
(c) The food got hotter in temperature
(d) All of the above

43.  Years ago, you were considered to be very refined if you ate your food with only 3 fingers. True or false?


44.  If you have a place setting with several utensils, the rule is to use the outermost utensils first. The innermost utensils are the last to be used. True or False?


45. According to Emily Post in 1931, if you put food in your mouth, no matter how much you hate it, it must not come out of your mouth.  The only thing you are allowed to remove from your mouth is what?

(a) Bones
(b) Stones
(c) Hard Seeds
(d) All of the above

46.  It's wrong to blow on your food to cool it off. True or False?

47.  Smoking was often forbidden at the table because:
(a) It was unhealthy
(b) It promoted spitting
(c) It stifled the aroma of the food for others
(d) All of the above

48.  According to the 1855 "American Illustrated Manners Book" the following topic was not to be discussed while eating:

(a) The food you are eating
(b) Diseases, Operations & Deformities
(c) Battle wounds and injuries
(d) All of the above

49.  In mid-eighteenth century, Lord Chesterfield told his son that a gentleman never laughs at the table, but only smiles because:

(a)  It creates a disagreeable noise
(b) It distorts your face
(c)  You could have food in your teeth and it's embarrassing
(d) All of the above

50. The average length of an American dinner (with or without TV) is how long?

(a) 30 Minutes
(b) 45 Minutes
(c)  1 Hour
(d)  None of the above

51.  The Italians invented the fork. Why?

(a) Because Italian women were tired of trying to get spaghetti stains out of the togas.
(b) Because it made eating spaghetti easier.
(c) Because 3 prongs were better than two.
(d) None of the above

52.  In 1808 dinner was a late meal and supper was a snack before going to bed. True or False?

53.  In Medieval times, the first item set on the tablecloth was:

(a) Salt
(b) Pepper
(c) Mead
(d) All of the above

54.  Tablecloths were first heard of in which city?

(a) Peking
(b) Versailles
(c) Rome
(d) London

55.  In  the 19th century, a prominent host would make a great effort and spared no expense to provide as many as possible of _____ at his dinner party.

(a) Finger bowls for washing
(b) Individual Salt Dishes
(c) Napkins
(d) Candles


56.  A European superstition states that a guest who leaves his/her napkin on the chair will:

(a) Never eat again at that table
(b) Never live out the week
(c) Never be happy
(d) Never find true love 

57.  In ancient times, you were never allowed to touch your food with your left hand. But, both the Greeks and Romans leaned on tables with their left elbows when reclining at meals, whether  left-handed or not. However, left-handed people simply had to learn to eat with their right hand or starve. The question is: Why was the left hand so taboo?

(a) It was considered a non-sacred hand.
(b) It was considered the profane hand.
(c) It was considered the hand that did all types of polluting actions the right hand did not do.
(d) All of the above


58. In ancient Roman times, they used two napkins. One was tied around the neck (like a bib) and the other was used for wiping hands. True or False?

59.  In European medieval times, the eating ceremony first had a hand-washing ceremony. Then it was followed by what?

(a) Elaborate Prayer
(b) Elaborate Tasting Ritual
(c) Elaborate Sharing of Wine
(d) None of these. 


60.  When you are served a drink at a table, it is acceptable to drink it right away. True or False?

61. When tablecloths are placed on the table, they are to be laid in perfect symmetry. And, the creases are to be  criss-crossed. If not, this meant death to one of the diners. True or False?


62.  Manners change slowly in society. True or False?

63.  In France, food  manners first began with this group.

(a) Chefs
(b) Ruling Court
(c) Bourgeoisie
(d) Church

64.  The early manners books rarely told the reader what was the right thing to do. True or False?

65.  As we have learned above, plates were known as "trenchers" and were usually square.  In which century did they become round as we know them today?

(a) 16th Century
(b) 17th Century
(c) 18th Century
(d) 19th Century

66. Wine and beer are the only two liquors that are approved to be eaten with food. Why?
(a) Because they are fermented rather than distilled.
(b) Because they are considered nutritious.
(c) Because they are considered more healthy than other liquors (i.e. whiskey).
(d) All of the above.

67.  It is wrong to put another piece of food on your fork, or even bring it up to your mouth while you are still in the process of chewing  your previous bite of food. True or False?

68.  A place setting at a table, whether someone is going to sit there or not, must have this:

(a) A plate
(b) A silverware set
(b) A glass
(d) All of the above.

69.  Originally, toasting each other was a way to remember each other's names. But in ancient Roman times, women were not allowed to be with the men. They were still toasted by the men based on what?

(a) Their age
(b) Their beauty
(c) The letters in their name
(d) Their social status


70.  When you are done with your meal, Emily Post stated that you are never to push the plate away or lean back and say, "I'm finished."  Instead, to signal you are done you are to do what?

(a) Lay down your knives and forks tines up.
(b) Lay your knives and forks parallel.
(c) Lay your knives and forks either vertical or slantwise on the plate's surface with the sharp part of the blade facing inward.
(d) All of the above.

We hope you enjoyed our quiz!
Bon Appetite!


You might also enjoy.... our Food and Kitchen Trivia Fun
in our section called:

Source where I got the questions from:
"Table Rituals of Dinner. The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners."
By Margaret Visser
Published by Grove Weidenfield, Grove Press, Inc. © 1991

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