Manners Matter, Especially at the Table
The best way to travel is to have an itinerary to help guide your adventures without wasting a second wandering around. We, of course, base our agenda off of where we want to eat: eat-cation! It is essential to be risky and try authentic restaurants not listed on tourist suggestions, but it is even more critical to understand that every country has their customs that need to be respected. We have listed out the food customs and etiquette from around the globe that will make you look like a traveling expert and warmly welcomed anywhere! Global Dining Customs
Some countries mandate tipping, while some find it rude. So how can you be sure when and where is the right moment? We have laid out the master guide for you! Dubai’s government mandates a 10 percent service charge to all bills in restaurants. Most countries already have a tip or service charge included in your bill. In Italy, France and Egypt, you’ll find that they have already added an extra 5-10 percent on the bill for exceptional service. Don’t be alarmed in Morocco, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, when you find that they add an extra 10-15 percent rather than 5 percent. You can expect that it is for a good cause because of the exceptional service! While it must be hard to resist tipping staff in Japan, it won’t be considered generous but rather rude. Global Dining Customs
Splitting the Bill
It is deemed to be unsophisticated to split the bill in France. Try paying for the whole table instead as a sign of courtesy. The custom encourages generosity amongst acquaintances that will treat you the same when they host you. Global Dining Customs
Only use a fork to push food onto your spoon in Thailand. Chopstick etiquette is essential in China and Japan. In Chile, you should always use your fork, even for fries. In Japan, do not cross, lick or stick chopsticks up on a plate because it considered rude. When in doubt, look around and notice that chopsticks are left on the plate when not eating. Besides being rude, it is also seen as unlucky to make the wrong move with your chopsticks! Global Dining Customs
Passing the Plate
Make sure not to pass a plate with your chopsticks in hand to avoid pointing with them in Japan because it is a common practice in funerals. Avoiding mix up of traditions in their corresponding events can come along way when visiting a country with defined customs. Global Dining Customs
Keep your hands on the table and never on your lap in France. This can be easy to practice at home before you take off for your travels to avoid being deemed as a rude tourist. Global Dining Customs
Slurp your noodles and soup as loud as you can in Japan! Show the chef how excited you are to eat their creation. In Georgia, you do not want to sip on your wine. Wine is actually only consumed at supra (traditional feast) during a toast and you down the entire glass.
Belching Speaks Louder Than Words
Don’t be afraid to let out a good burp to let the chefs in China know that you really enjoyed their food. It might seem silly, but that could be a fun story to tell when your travels are over.
Picking is Too Picky
Don’t dig around your plate avoiding specific ingredients in China. Think of it as accepting a dish as it was meant to be prepared. It can be a great start to being more adventurous in food tasting.
To Finish or Not to Finish
India likes to see that you ate everything on your plate as a sign of satisfaction with the meal. Although, not every country is the same. It is advised to leave just a small amount of food on your plate to not seem greedy at the table. While Thailand is also coming from the same place, you want to make sure that you don’t take the last bite.
In most Latin American countries like Mexico and Guatemala, it is common to use tortillas and bread as utensils. Don’t be afraid to get a good handful of beans with a tortilla or dunk your bread in coffee. You can also use bread simultaneously with a fork in France as long as you rip off a piece rather than biting into it.
Lefties, be Aware
Using your left hand is considered unclean in India. It would be wise to practice if you’re left-handed while planning your travels.
There is an appropriate speed for eating in India — you don’t want to eat too slow or too fast. Try to follow the rate everyone else is taking in Korea to make the experience more enjoyable.
Don’t be Extra
While it is common in America, it is considered a huge “don’t” to ask for cheese to add on to your pasta or pizza in Italy. Remember that you will not find authentic cuisine like the one you will find in its country of origin, so trust that they are giving you the food as it should be.
Respect your Elders
It is critical to understand the level of respect you should have for your elders in Korea. They should be the first to be served and take a bite. You should always lift your glass to receive a drink with both hands when an older person offers you a drink.