We all know table etiquettes vary from culture to culture. From where I am from, eating by hand is a common practice although it is not so accepted in formal formal ocassions. But at home, between friends, families and friends it is not a question of validity.
Way back, I read a book on etiquette written By Emily Post. Yes, I would recommend that on the sides. Here now in Sweden, there are still those little practices in dining I need to learn. Less than one year here, I just learn some.
Here are some of it.
When you are invited for a dinner do:
*come on time, send or call a message when it you are coming late; but it is really better to come on time.
*do not bring your shoes inside the house; it is their practice of which I do not know why. I asked my husband about it and he said it has something to do with hygiene and cleanliness.
*do bring a bouquet of flower or a bottle of wine. For the flower, if you are invited as a couple, it is better that the woman should hand it. But I feel it is not a strict practice because at time my husband hands it, not me.
*do remove the paper wrapper of the bouquet of flower before handing it.
*do not eat yet until the host had said the magic word “Varsågod! “. It, by context means “Welcome to eat!”.
*do say “Tack för matten!” after eating. It literally means “Thank you for the food!”. Add it with “Det är jättegott.” meaning “It is delicious.”
*a few days after you were invited do send a message or call and say “Tack för senast”. Literally it means “Thank you for last/previous/before”. I am trying my best to give the best word compatible. But to make it easier, by context it means “Thank for inviting us before.” That is by linguistic context.
Hoping this helps your new life in Sweden. I have made some mistakes around the table but my Swedish friends did not really care because they knew I was new. Living here long term, I felt the obligation to learn the basics as quickly as possible. The basics are easy anyway.