'Tis the season for hamburgers, cold turkey sandwiches, and roast beef hoagies. Add to it some potato salad and coleslaw and you have a decidedly Southern summer meal. For gentlemen, the hamburger piled high with toppings and condiments does not usually pose a problem. For those of us striving to be ladylike in all situations, the big burgers and sandwiches can prove to be a challenge.
When you have flattened your hamburger or sandwich down as far as it will go without relinquishing all of its contents, and it still will not fit in your mouth, what are you to do?
First of all, begin by cutting any large burger or sandwich in half, and see if that helps. It may become necessary to remove a few pickles or tomatoes and that can be done using one's fork. Food that is taken off or falls off the sandwich should be handled with one's fork and knife. As you pick up the sandwich, you should lean only slightly forward and bring the sandwich up to your mouth. Do not lean down over the table to meet your sandwich. You will note that having your napkin in your lap is, as always, mandatory at this point. For club sandwiches, you can remove the toothpick.
The great question when eating a sandwich is: "Is it okay to put my elbows on the table?" That answer is, as you can probably guess: no. Elbows on the table is just simply not good manners. As you bring the sandwich up to your mouth, keep your arms off the table. This will help maintain an overall good posture at the table.
These tips should not diminish the pleasure that a properly grilled hamburger or a masterfully constructed sandwich can bring. Instead, they should increase it as you maintain your etiquette and poise.