Thanks for the article “Why Manners Matter … and how to teach them to kids” in your Oct. 14-20 issue. It helped me win the ongoing debate my husband and I have had for the past 12 years on the subject of breaking bread at the table.

My grandmother, Annie Van Hasselt, always scolded me, “a good Dutchman breaks his bread!” while removing a butter knife from my hand.

My husband, of Swiss stock, says he has never heard of this rule of etiquette and relegates it to a silly Dutch tradition.

Is there any history to this table manner? Perhaps some advertence to breaking of bread at the last supper?


Batesville, Indiana

Editor's Note: Readers? Any ideas?