If there’s one thing that everyone in the world can unanimously agree on, it’s that eating is amazing! But while everyone loves feasting, there are unique food customs that exist in every culture. Whether it’s on the way you use the chopsticks or the sounds you make while eating, there are certain norms that might get you in hot water – and you should avoid.
Here are some food traditions and norms observed in certain cultures around the world.
If Western culture finds loud eating obnoxious, Japanese people welcome it gladly. When you slurp noodles, it is a sign that you like the food. Some consider it as a compliment and so it’s appreciated. Being able to slurp suggests that you are able to eat hot food quicker and it can also make the food taste better.
Fork for eating
When in Thailand, never use the fork to put food to your mouth as it is seen as a rude gesture. This utensil should only be used to place food onto a spoon and not to be used during eating.
Regardless of the type of chopsticks you use, know that there are certain etiquettes that should be followed especially when you’re in China or Japan. Perhaps the most important is to never rest those sticks upright in a bowl as it means the food is not good! Always place chopstick on its designated rest or use the wrapper that came with it. Alternatively, you can rest your chopsticks on the side of a tray. You should also never use it to wave them to another person or to stab it into your food.
Leftovers are welcome
In countries such as Japan and India, leaving an empty plate means you’ve enjoyed the foods. Many cultures hate leftovers but this is not the case in China. When you leave a clean plate, it means the food served was not enough. So, make sure you have some foods in your plate.
Eating with the ‘right’ hands
Different cultures have interesting ways on how you should eat by hand. In Middle Eastern cultures, using your left hand to handle or serve food is downright rude. Doing so can be misconstrued as an insult to one’s host. The same is true in Ethiopia. Always use your right hand. When eating traditional cuisine, you shouldn’t use any utensils to scoop food onto flat bread. It’s meant to be done by hands.
Cheese and fish
Italians would never combine cheese and seafood, so, never ask to anyone to top seafood with grated cheese. If you’re in Italy, make sure you don’t cook recipes at https://mamicookingtips.com/ that combine cheese on seafood!
Gulp the broth
If you’re in Japan, you should not use the chopsticks to eat your soup. Chopsticks are exclusively reserved for solid foods items that go with the broth. Once you’ve consumed the solids, gulp the broth straight from the bowl, as if you’re drinking a cup of tea.
Pour your own drinks
In Korea, pouring your won tea is a huge no-no. You can either ask someone else to pour it for you or wait to be served. For Koreans, serving tea isn’t a DIY thing.
If you’re the “gassy” type of person, you might have felt sorry every time you pass the gas in the public. However, for some Inuit cultures, this physiologic reflex is good. In fact, it’s a sign of appreciation after an enjoyable meal.