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Setting the Silver

Bothered when confronted by an imposing line-up of silverware at your place setting? Never fear, the information is right here.

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When bewildered by silverware, keep this simple guideline in mind: The pieces are placed in the order they'll be used, working from the outside in.

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From left to right, here's how the silverware shown is traditionally used:

Cocktail fork: seafood cocktail, fruit cocktail, lobster, and for serving pickles or olives.

Salad fork: salads, fish, pies, pastries, and cold meats.

Fish fork: use in place of the dinner fork when fish is served.

Dinner fork: all entrees except fish.

Steak knife: used for cutting meats.

Fish knife: used in place of dinner or steak knife when fish is served.

Butter knife: butter pats, soft cheeses, chutney, and relishes.

Dinner knife: all entrees except fish.

Soup spoon: desserts, cereal, soup, or as a small serving spoon.

Teaspoon: coffee, tea, fruits, and some desserts.

Iced beverage spoon: any tall beverage or dessert.

Demitasse spoon: after-dinner coffee, condiments, and caviar.

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