Every country has its own signature food and flavors, and it also has its own own etiquette and food-related customs. Here are a few of the most bizarre ones we know of. And if you’re lucky enough to be traveling soon, don’t stick out like a foreigner and follow these rules, no matter how strange they seem.
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During a toast, make sure you’ve made eye contact with each person you tap glasses with. Otherwise it’s bad luck, not to mention rude.
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You should never eat with your hands. Food needs to be eaten with cutlery and cutlery only. I appreciate the whole lets-be-formal atmosphere but how does one eat a bacon burger with a fork and knife?
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Never finish all of your food. Be sure to leave a small amount to show that the host gave you more than enough to eat – it’s a compliment to not finish dinner? 5-year-old me who had to force the green beans down is super jealous right now…
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Using the salt shaker is considered rude. You are basically telling the chef that their food does not have enough flavor and needs more seasoning. Gosh.
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Get used to sharing your food because that’s how it’s done in Ethiopia. Expect portion sizes big enough to feed an army. This may seem cute and all, but let’s face it – the only person an American would share their food with is someone who is bold enough to even ask.
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Bread is not an appetizer in this country, think of it more like a utensil. Tear it apart and use it as a shovel to down some of that delicious looking cheese. Isn’t it weird how the French can eat all this bread and still not get fat
? C’est la vie.
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Don’t eat with your left hand because it’s considered unclean. And because cutlery isn’t used much in this country, we gotta keep the germs
to a minimum. The real question is, why is only the left considered unclean? What did the right do that the left didn’t?
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Don’t ask for cheese if it’s not offered (sad). It’s a huge faux pas to put it on pizza, or even worse, seafood. But if you’re in a more touristy area don’t worry too much – if you must ask for cheese in less-populated areas make sure to avoid eye contact.
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Don’t pass your food with chopsticks. In Japan these utensils are used to pass bones at funerals. Unless you are trying to be rude af, keep your chopsticks with your food.
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In Korea you’re supposed to follow the eating pace of the eldest person. I am an exceptionally fast eater so I know that I would have a super hard time with this tradition. Especially with these weird Korean snacks
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Need to prove your manhood? In Mexico, men eat the worm found at the bottom of a tequila bottle. This has supposedly been separating the men from the boys for generations.
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Don’t rest your hands on your lap while dining since it’s considered a sign of bad manners. I wonder if the burger holder pictured above would be considered as acceptable?
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I pride myself on being on time (HA). But really, I have been taught that it is rude to be late. In Tanzania being on time is taken as an insult. C’mon, be polite and show up 20 minutes late. Talk about fashionable.
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The fork exists only to push food onto the spoon. Nothing more and nothing less. Talk about being used. But hey, spoons FTW.
The United Kingdom
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Never let your spoon hit the cup when stirring tea. And when you are done stirring, don’t leave the spoon in the tea cup. Instead, place it on the saucer. Is anyone else reading this with a British accent? Is it just me? Okay, bye.