While eating during the meeting with Sosa and Omar, Tony ends the meeting by eating the lemon in the finger bowl, then Omar properly uses the finger bowl by dipping his fingers in to wash them.

Was Tony provoking them or does he truly not know the purpose of the bowl?

Does he want to provoke them by eating everything they put in front of him - note that he also cleans the plate of the previous meal that Omar barely touched - to show Sosa he wants it all since the world is his?

Or is he innocent and he truly doesn't know what the bowl is used for?

2 Answers 2


That is an interesting interpretation.

Although my first thought was that it's a display of his lack of finesse; he's a man that grew up poor and was never taught how to deal with fine things that only wealthy people would have to. He just got a lot of money all of a sudden.

Growing up poor, fruits are food not decoration. If you want to clean up your hands, you use a napkin or wash it in water and soap.

So not growing up with these bowls for washing food grease off your hands it might appear to him it's just a fancy way to present the fruit; might as well just eat the lemon.

  • 3
    Mistaking the purpose of a finger bowl is a pretty classic example of an "unsophisticated" person's mistake. I'm virtually certain it has occurred in comedies of manners, although I can't think of an example off the top of my head at the moment. Frankly it may go all the way back to antiquity.
    – tbrookside
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 16:15

A finger bowl with a lemon slice is served after a meal and the lemon slice is provided to be eaten , lemon will neutralize food or bad breath after a meal, the water is then used to also neutralize any orders n the hands.

  • 6
    This answer appears to be wrong. For example, this article clearly says "the ritual should leave the lemon or flower tickled, but firmly intact". If you claim otherwise, you have to provide source to your claims. Personal experience (i.e. you eating the lemon) is not official source. Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 9:31

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