Everyone loves food―it's a universal experience. But growing up in the States and visiting relatives in China has taught me that the way we enjoy food varies a lot across cultures. Here are a few of the "weird" Chinese eating habits I noticed back in the motherland.

1. Hot drinks with your meal

tea, oil, jam
Jocelyn Hsu

Even in the summer time (when the temperature can hit over 100 degrees), Chinese people like to drink hot water or tea with their meals. According to traditional Chinese medicine, hot water is better for your health because it helps you to digest and detoxify your body. So even if it's blistering hot outside, the locals don't bother with cold water in China.

2. Eating everything with chopsticks

milk, cream, tea, coffee
Kimberly Kao

When I say everything, I mean everything. Whether it's tiny green peas, slippery glass noodles, or a big fat slice of pizza, I've seen it all. Maybe it's because Chinese people prefer not to get their hands dirty, or they just want to show off their impressive chopstick skills. Either way, chopsticks are always the way to go.

3. Rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

rice, cereal, salt, risotto
Jocelyn Hsu

A typical breakfast in America? Pancakes, waffles, or scrambled eggs with bacon. In China? Rice. Rice cake, rice porridge, fried rice―you name it. If you grew up in a Chinese household, there was no such thing as getting tired of this essential staple food.

4. Not saving sweets for last

sweet, pastry, cake, pie, dairy product, cream, bread
Olivia Faria

If you ever wanted to eat dessert first when you were a kid, all you had to do was convince your parents to take you to a Chinese restaurant. Before the main meal, Chinese people tend to serve sweets. Sometimes it's just a few slices of fruit, but other times it might be a sweet Chinese dessert.

5. Eating unconventional animal parts

meat, ham, pork, fish, bacon
Jocelyn Hsu

Do you normally skip out on pork intestines, chicken feet, and fish eyes? In China, they don't let anything go to waste. While some of these foods may look or sound kind of gross, I'd say it's worth it to try everything at least once. After all, who doesn't love a little adventure?

6. Sharing food and fighting for the bill

Allie Yamashiro

While Westerners tend to stick to their own individual plates, Chinese people like to order large amounts of food to share. For non-germaphobes, sharing food is great because you get to try a little bit of everything. The one downside: fighting for the bill. If you ever hear yelling at a Chinese restaurant, now you know why!

Even as a Chinese-American, I still find some of these Chinese eating habits a little bit weird sometimes. But then again, every culture has its own food quirks. Hawaiian pizza, anyone?