Reference > Etiquette > Use of Finger Bowls

Use of Finger Bowls

Finger bowls are used after the fruit course of breakfast, and at the end of a luncheon or dinner. They should be placed on plates, with a doily between the plate and finger bowl.

For breakfast, the finger bowls and plates may be brought in first. The finger bowl and doily should be removed to the left so that the same plates may be used for the fruit course.

For formal luncheon or dinner, finger bowls on doilies and plates are brought in, one at a time, when removing the main dish of the dessert. The finger bowls and doilies are then set aside and the plate used for bonbons and nuts, which are passed on a tray. Or, if desired, the finger bowls may be brought after the bonbons. In this case the finger bowl and plate are exchanged for the plate of the dessert course. An informal way is to pass finger bowls on plates and doilies before the dessert course. Then the finger bowl and doily are set aside as at breakfast and the dessert served on the same plate.

Source

School and Home Cooking (1920).

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