Barbecue picnics, Super Bowl parties, and Cinco de Mayo parties all have one thing in common—there’s usually some sort of chips and dip. Sometimes the appetizer is as simple as tortilla chips and salsa. Other times, you may be drawn to the pita chips with crab dip or the bread bowl with spinach dip.
But beware of the double dipper! No one likes it when a guest at the party takes a bite of the pita chip and scoops it back in the bowl for more crab dip. We need a set of rules for everyone.
Party Dip Etiquette
1. Keep hands clean.
Wash your hands before eating, just like for any other meal. Following general table etiquette, don’t lick your fingers when food, dips or sauces get on them. Keep a napkin handy so you can quickly wipe any lingering food away. (This and the next rule are especially important during flu season.)
2. Don’t double dip.
One dip into the bowl per chip is the polite rule to avoid contaminating the party dip with your saliva. What about taking a bite, flipping the chip around to the unbitten side and dipping again? Not acceptable, except maybe among family members or good friends.
See, the problem is that even though you are taking care not to dip the saliva-touched side of the chip, people don’t pay close enough attention to know for sure that you’re dipping a clean side in. They only see you dip a chip twice and are turned off by that.
3. Use a plate and spoon.
One of the worst things you can do at a party is to stand over a bowl of dip and take chips one by one to dip into them. Not only is there potential for your crumbs to land in the bowl of dip, but you also seem like you’re hoarding the chips and dip. Spoon out some dip onto a plate and take a bunch of chips with you to your seat. Another plus to this move? You can double dip all you want into food on your own plate.
4. Use utensils to rescue a broken chip.
Tortilla chips and potato chips are known for breaking off into dips—especially thicker ones—quite frequently. (That’s why we prefer New York Style® Pita Chips!) If your chip breaks in the dip, use a spoon or other clean utensil to fish it out so your fingers stay clean and you’re not tempted to lick them.
If you’re the party host, be sure to place plates and utensils close to the dip to encourage people to follow these people-pleasing, chip-dipping etiquette rules. Happy dipping!