What is the etiquette for a plate-kin? Perhaps a better question to start with is what is a plate-kin? Well, it’s napkin…on a plate.
I went to one of my favorite coffee shops today and had a delightful slice of strudel. They brought it out with my lovely cup of coffee, the cake sitting on a plate with half of it placed on a folded napkin, fork on the side.
Why do they do this? Why would you put a perfectly good napkin under a piece of cake? What’s the purpose. Surely they don’t intend for you to use it as you would a normal napkin, as it’s now covered with cake crumbs and stickiness and thus defeats the purpose of a napkin in the first place.
And surely it can’t just be for decoration, what a waste of trees! It doesn’t even do that much, in fact it detracts from the very nice looking powdered sugared slice you’ve just ordered.
It does nothing to keep the fork on the plate, only making the surface more slick and the fork therefore more precarious.
And when you’re finished eating the cake, (having left the napkin in it’s place) it sits there, crumbled and mocking, leaving you to wonder for its purpose and feeling slightly insecure that you may not know the proper plate-kin etiquette.
If I ever own a café, the napkins will be served separately.