Q: Eating French onion soup is quite the challenge. I fear it’s gauche to use a knife, but how am I supposed to cope with the thick layer of cheese on top?
A: With such a soup, a knife is your friend, not your enemy. Using both the soup spoon and the knife, push the baked cheese against the rim of the cup or bowl and cut it gently with the knife. Once you’ve broken the cheese barrier, you can use the knife again to nudge bits of cheese onto the spoon. And you can twist a strand of cheese around the wide part of the spoon, then cut it neatly at the edge with the knife. That way you’ll be able to enjoy your soup without trailing cheese to your mouth.