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10 Strange Food Etiquette From around the World

Table etiquettes are a great way to show your manners. The way you sit at the table, eat and drink can say a lot about you. You must be well-versed with table manners of your country and follow them carefully. However, what may be the right thing to do in your country, or so to say good food etiquette, maybe a taboo is some other country. In fact, some food etiquette are such that can correctly be called strange or bizarre. And, here we shall now learn about 10 such strange food etiquette from all over the world.

10. Do not finish everything you have been served

Strange Food Etiquette
You must have been scolded if you ever left anything unfinished in your plate. Your elders may have told you that there are so many that are not even fortunate enough to enjoy a single meal and you are wasting food? However, this good food etiquette that you so long have been taught will not be appreciated in China.

In China, people believe cleaning your plate shows you are still hungry and that the host did not offer you enough food. That is a big insult to them. However, if you are in India or Japan and leave even a little bit of food on your plate then that can be considered a disrespect towards the food and the host and is considered wasteful.

9. Never stick your chopsticks upright in your rice

Strange Food Etiquette
When you are in Japan and enjoying a meal make sure to keep your chopsticks together, parallel to the edge of your table right in front of you, in between bites. Also, yet another rule that you must follow is not to stick the chopsticks upright in your bowl of rice. In Japan, during funerals, the rice bowl of the person who has passed away is kept before their coffin, and their chopsticks are placed upright in the bowl of rice. So, naturally, if you do that while enjoying a meal in someone’s home in Japan that surely will not be acceptable.

8. Do not clink your glass

Do not clink your glass
When you say “Slainte” or “Cheers” you most likely will also clink your glasses with that of your friends and then start enjoying your drink. However, if you are in Hungary you should not even try to do anything like that. It is not just considered rude but you can even get yelled by some older patron who sees you do that.

The reason behind this weird custom is linked to a politically-charged action. When in 1848 the Austrian government suppressed a Hungarian uprising, there was a public celebration by the Austrian leaders where they clinked their glasses and this very action reminds the people of Hungary of that incident.

7. Do not refuse the drink

Do not refuse the drink in Russia
If you are in Russia! And someone offers you a drink. It signifies friendship and trust, and if you deny then it is a faux pas. A local is likely to be offended if you decline their offer of a drink and they will then hurl your glass at the bar’s glass splashback. Also, vodka should be drunk neat, without any ice, as adding ice is considered compromising with the drink’s purity. If some beer is mixed with the vodka then that is fine as that will create a hefty blend that is referred to as “yorsh” by the Russians.

6. Use your fork the right way

Don’t put food in your mouth with a fork in Thailand
The food served in Thailand is so delicious that you would want to try some right after you reach there. Since rice is an important part of their food items you would want to try out that as well. However, when you have rice on your table following the food etiquettes can be a little tricky.

You will be offered chopsticks to eat noodles and a spoon and fork for everything else. You need to hold the fork in your left hand and the spoon in your right, but you will not use that fork for eating. It is just to be used to get food from your plate to your spoon or for cutting bigger pieces into smaller ones. The fork can never go into your mouth.

See also; 10 Craziest Laws From Around The World.

5. Do not flip the fish

Do not flip the fish
You most likely flip over a whole fish after you have completed eating one side and this is so normal for you. However, when in China, particularly southern China and Hong Kong, you should not do this. Flipping a fish in China is “dao yue” or bad luck. When you flip a fish you are kind of saying let the boat of the fisherman turn over. Those who are very superstitious will not even eat the bottom part, and others will pull off the bone to reach the bottom.

See also; 10 Strangest Superstitions People Actually Believe.

4. Complicated coffee etiquette

Complicated coffee etiquette
Img source; flicker

Most of us start our day with a cup of coffee. However, in Jordan’s Bedouin culture coffee is considered very important. And also it comes with a few rules that are to be followed.

Women and men are separated and they watch and wait while the host makes the coffee and tries it to make sure it is worth serving. Next, each guest is offered a little coffee in a tiny cup and the cups are commonly passed back for a refill. Coffee is served from right to left and you can drink a maximum of three cups.

3. Use your tokens wisely

Strange Food Etiquette
In a Brazilian steakhouse, servers circle with meat cuts and those who have come to eat must use a token to place their order. If a server comes with what you want to eat then you have to keep your token on the table with the green side up. If you do not want more food then keep the red side up. As the meat can be never-ending you need to place your token wisely. If you are done and the green side of the token is up then you will be served more than what you can eat.

2. If an older person offers you a drink receive it with both your hands

Strange Food Etiquette
Koreans respect their elders a lot. And, thus when they offer them a drink they lift their glass and receive it with both their hands. So, if you want to win the hearts of people in Korea you know what to do. Also, Koreans have a habit of waiting until the eldest person in their group starts eating. You even must maintain pace with them.

See also; 10 Interesting Facts About North Korea You May Not Know.

1. Handle the spoon carefully

Strange Food Etiquette
You may not mind when your spoon touches the sides of the cup while stirring. But that is not something that will be appreciated in America and Britain. Furthermore, after you have completed stirring you cannot leave the spoon in the teacup. You have to keep it back in the saucer and it needs to face the same direction as the handle of your cup. The English even have bananas with a knife and fork.

It is very important and helpful to be aware of these strange food etiquette. Particularly if you travel a lot for business or for pleasure. You will know exactly what to do at the food table, and will not offend anyone ever.

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