DEAR MISS MANNERS: Please advise on this ongoing controversy regarding how one eats raw fruit: apples, pears, peaches, etc. Shall one simply hold the fruit in the hand and eat of it, like Eve partaking of the forbidden, or is it more mannerly to slice off segments with a knife?
I prefer to the latter way, and point out that whenever we see a still-life painting, there is always a knife.
GENTLE READER: Eve lived in a garden. Still life paintings generally have tables in them.
What Miss Manners is trying to tell you is that, in this case, how depends on where. At the table, the fruits you mention are eaten with fork and knife; without a table, you would only succeed in cutting yourself, so they are finger food.