Get a signed copy of our latest book, Emily Post's Etiquette - The Centennial Edition, for yourself or to give as a gift, and support Vermont's independent bookstore Bridgeside Books.
It’s August in New England, and that means one very important thing: Corn on the cob! It’s a favorite menu item in the summer. However, corn on the cob shows up in the "Those Trickier Situations" chapter in our Table Manners for Kids book for a reason. How do you eat corn on the cob without grossing everyone out?
Step 1: Put pats of butter on your plate and then use your knife to butter a few rows. (One practice in some families is to roll the ear of corn on a stick of butter that is used only for that purpose. In that case, be careful not to roll your fingers in the butter, too!)
Step 2: Take just a bite or two at a time rather than chomping back and forth along the rows like an old-fashioned type-writer or spinning it around like a roller.
Step 3: If you get butter all over your fingers and corn kernels all over your face, use your napkin to wipe them off.
Step 4: (Only for kids with no teeth!) If you’ve lost all your front teeth and can’t get the corn off the cob with your gums, ask an adult to cut the corn off the cob so you can still enjoy it.
Of course, you can always resort to the advice I give when you don’t know the routine where you are served corn (in this case, or any other for that matter). Just watch the other diners, follow along, and… enjoy!