Leonardo da Vinci's napkin

Humans like to celebrate (why are we going to deny it) by entertaining our stomach and surrounded by loved ones. Let's be practical and decorative, and let's get to know little by little all the parts that make up a table. The napkin is a basic element that should never be missed, and in addition to its practical use, it always adds a special touch to the decoration. Although the use of paper napkins is more and more widespread in informal meals, picnics or with children, in this case we are going to focus on much larger and more elegant cloth napkins.

Leonardo da Vinci and the rabbits

In the Renaissance, Ludovico "the Moor"Lord of Milan, tied rabbits to chairs so that your guests will clean the greased fingers on the fur of each animal. Leonardo da Vinci for some years he was the master of celebrations and banquets at the service of Ludovico (da Vinci and the protocol) and he wanted to change this strange custom. Da Vinci wrote: "I have devised that each diner be given his own cloth, which, after being soiled by his hand and his knife, he will be able to fold so as not to desecrate the appearance of the table with its dirt". And although it seems to us from Perogrullo, his idea failed, although in the end the simplicity of his invention prevailed. This is how the napkin was born in July 1491.

The napkin was started by placing on the shoulder. Miniature from the Middle Ages

Color and fabric of napkins

The color will always depend on the taste of the host. Now that Christmas is coming, there are beautiful napkins with motifs for these holidays. However, in a formal dinner, it is best that they are white.

Ideally, they should be of the same fabric as the tablecloth, and in any case, that "Marry" with the. Napkins are generally made of yarn or cotton. They should always be presented neat and perfectly pressed.

    • In formal lunches or dinners, banquet napkin; They are the largest and most elegant and measure 50cm x 50cm or 60cm x 60cm.
    • At informal lunches or dinners, the standard size napkins measure 45cm x 45cm.
    • In cookouts, or buffet meals, the minimum size is 30cm x 30cm.
    • In breakfasts or snacks, they should be smaller, 22cm x 22 cm.
    • In a Spanish aperitif or wine, the napkins measure 18 or 20cm per side (although they are not usually seen much)

Table location

At formal meals, napkins are in the center of the plate or to your left, next to the fork.

When serving a glass of water (in a meeting, for example), you should also present a small napkin.

Napkin Presentation

The most elegant and simple thing is to fold the big ones in a triangle or rectangle and the small ones in four.

It is true that it is very attractive to enter a dining room and see the napkins in the shape of a bird, flower or even Christmas tree, but it is much less hygienic. Think that there have been fingers manipulating the napkins over and over again, and nobody guarantees the neatness of those hands…. Anyway, the presentation is to the taste of the host or the one who prepares the table, and there are no strict rules about it.

Please nothing to present it in the glasses, as they do in the beach bars so that the air does not blow them up. This custom was very old in our country.

Another way to enhance napkins and table presentation without being an origami expert is to play with the rings or napkin rings. They always have to go with the tableware and the tablecloth, or they can be the main point that thematizes the dinner. (Halloween, Christmas ..)

How to use the napkin

In the case of a formal dinner or lunch, you have to wait for the host to take the napkin first. That is the signal for the rest of the diners to do. The napkin unfolds in half and is placed on the lap. When using it, it is placed in the mouth and placed on the legs again, never on the table.

If a woman wears lipstick, she has to be careful when cleaning her lips so that her entire mouth does not blur.

If for whatever reason you have to get up from the table, place the napkin on the chair (or discreetly next to the plate).

When you finish eating, you must leave the napkin next to the plate (more or less folded, not a ball or perfectly folded as if it had not been used)

Its use

The exclusive use of a napkin is to clean the lips and in some cases, the fingers. You never use a napkin to put it around your neck like a bib, blow your nose, clean the screen of your mobile (which is also seen ...), wipe off sweat or clean the tablecloth when any liquid or sauce is spilled. You always have to wipe your lips with the napkin before drinking from a glass.

Original article: ABC blogs

I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"