Food Etiquette: 20 Weird Rules From Around The Globe

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By Kevin Michael August 5, 2016

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Food etiquette can range from good to bad to downright ugly! Your dining habits depend on which part of the world you live in and the way you eat among others is determined by your culture and traditions.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint any one truly “weird” food habit – as what is good for one may be bad for others — it takes a bit of studying and open-mindedness to understand the world and the different rules of etiquette in various locales.

As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do – whatever part of the planet you are on, it is important to blend into other cultures’ habits and ways, not only to avoid looking like a tourist, but to benefit from the overall experience!

Sometimes you need to accept that people have what you would consider weird food etiquette and habits because it’s all normal to them! Rather than criticizing or making faces — eat the way they eat and appreciate their culture and traditions.

Here are 20 things that you might find weird about the way others dine…

#1 Forget the coffee in Italy

If you have the habit of having a cappuccino after your meal, then forget it in Italy. Italians love to enjoy their food with wine.

#2 Burping’s encouraged in China

Some may consider burping an insult to your guest, but the same cannot be said in China. If you enjoyed your food, you may as well burp to show your appreciation.

#3 Ditch the fork in Thailand

Now, this is a little tacky, but that is how you do it in Thailand. You cannot use a fork to eat your food. Use your fork to place to food on the spoon and eat with a spoon.

#4 Tilting in the UK

In the United Kingdom, when soup is served to you, you have to tilt the bowl of soup away from you.

#5 Chop your chopsticks in Japan

Never use chopsticks to pass your food in Japan. They use chopsticks to pass the bones during a funeral.

#6 Tic-tac-taco in Mexico

Mexicans do not prefer eating tacos with a knife and fork. They prefer to eat with their hands like the way Americans eat burgers.

#7 Lay it on the table in France

Ever heard of bread being kept directly on the table? In France, you will see it. Instead of bread being put in the plate, it will be kept directly on the table.

#8 Fish flip-flop in China

When you’re eating a whole fish in China, never flip it over after finishing one side. People associate it with a capsized fishing boat, which is obviously bad luck. If you’re trying to get to the meat on the other side, remove the bones completely!

#9 Use your hands in Korea

If you are offered a glass by an older person in Korea, then etiquette says that you have to lift the glass and receive it with both hands as embark of respect for the elder.

#10 No hands rule in Chile

Chileans do not prefer using their hands for eating anything. They prefer to eat even French Fries with the help of a fork!

#11 Slurp, slurp in Asia

Slurping, while eating noodles, is considered gross by some countries. However, in some sections of Asia, slurping is the most polite way of eating your noodles.

#12 Empty plates

Several countries like Cambodia, Philippines, Korea and Egypt believe that if your guest finishes the entire food that is served to them, then you have not fed them enough.

#13 Farting in Canada

Nobody likes anyone farting when food is being eaten. But, Inuit people of Canada beg to differ. Their way of showing appreciation for the food served is by farting.

#14 Handle with care in England and the US

The British and the American are very particular about how you place the spoon after you are done stirring your tea or coffee.

#15 No cuts in France

In France, do not cut your salad with a knife. Instead, fold the lettuce leaves in the fork itself.

#16 Late is OK in Tanzania

In Tanzania, do not come early or on time for dinner. It is perfectly OK to come at least 15-30 minutes late.

#17 Don’t point in China

In China, it is rude to point anyone with a chopstick. They consider it an insult.

#18 Go Bananas in England

While In England, you need to eat your bananas with a knife and a fork.

#19 Don’t Say Cheese in Italy


Do not ever ask for extra cheese on your pizza until it is being offered.

 #20 Forget the S&P in Portugal

Asking salt and pepper in Portugal to spice up your food is considered offensive to the chef’s cooking ability.

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