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Etiquette coach says we've been eating mince pies all wrong

Emily Brown

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| Last updated 

Etiquette coach says we've been eating mince pies all wrong

Featured Image Credit: @lucychallengerofficial/TikTok

How do you eat a mince pie? Take satisfying big bites, pick up the crumbs and lick your lips of the sugar dusting, right? Well, apparently not.

'Tis the season for eating the sweet treats — in fact, many of you might already have scoffed one or two, or five, without ever stopping to think about exactly how you should be eating them. That's where etiquette expert Lucy Challenger comes in.

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According to Challenger, there is a 'formal British way' to eat a mince pie, and it doesn't involve showering yourself with crumbs.

In a post to her thousands of TikTok followers, Challenger positioned herself in front of a plate of delicious-looking mince pies and offered up a bit of an explainer for the festive treat, saying they're known as 'mincemeat pies' in the US, and a 'fruit mince' in Australia and New Zealand.

They are of 'English origin', though, meaning us Brits should really be setting the precedent for how to eat them.

"The ingredients of a mince pie are traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices," Challenger explained, adding: "The mince pie remains an incredibly popular treat."

Mince pies are a favourite at Christmastime. Credit: Pixabay
Mince pies are a favourite at Christmastime. Credit: Pixabay

Now for the actual eating part. According to the etiquette expert, we should be picking up the mince pie with 'the thumb and first finger' and lift it up away from the plate it's served on - if you've managed to resist eating it straight from the packet, that is.

The plate should remain handy in order to catch the crumbs, while you 'eat the mince pie in delicate bites'.

These aren't just any old dainty bites, though - these 'around four to six' bites, after which the mince pie should be complete, with any mess carefully captured by the plate below.

The mince pie should be lifted with your thumb and forefinger. Credit: @lucychallengerofficial/TikTok
The mince pie should be lifted with your thumb and forefinger. Credit: @lucychallengerofficial/TikTok

Though Challenger did have two more pies left up for grabs on her plate, she advised viewers not to 'overindulge' to avoid feeling like you've 'turned into a mince pie yourself'.

The video has sparked debate among viewers, with some suggesting you could use a 'pastry fork' while others expressed their preference to have the pies with custard or cream.

Whether people will actually take Challenger's advice on board is another question, though.

Because let's be honest, sometimes the treat is just too good to distract yourself with questions about how many bites you've taken and whether or not you're holding it with the right fingers.

Topics: Food and Drink, TikTok

Emily Brown
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