I love traveling to different places and experiencing the native cuisines and their local traditions. When going native, you learn a lot about a country’s culture and a very different set of table manners than here in the United States. Here are my Top 10 favorite International Table Manners that will help you avoid making a faux pas when visiting foreign destinations.
1) Hong Kong/China – If you are eating fish, do not turn the fish over when finished eating one side as that is considered rude and bad luck for the fisherman. It means his boat will tip over. Yikes!
2) Japan – place your chopsticks together in front of you or rest them on your plate, parallel to the edge of the table, or on a chopstick rest never across or in your rice bowl!
3) Thailand – if your meal is served with a fork, use it only to push the food onto your spoon, then eat with your spoon.
5) Chile – is very formal when it comes to dining so remember to eat all meals, including finger foods, with a knife and fork.
7) Europe – hold the fork in your left hand and knife in your right and keep them in your hands at all times throughout the meal. And whatever you do, don’t place your elbows on the table.
8) France – Do not eat your bread before the meal but as an accompaniment to your meal or with the cheese course. And, believe it or not, it is fine in France to place your bread right on the table.
9) Italy – Do not ask for Parmesan cheese with any Italian dish where it is not served with the meal. They consider it an afront to the chef and a way to ruin the flavors of the dish.
10) Russia – don’t say no to Vodka in Russia as it is offered as a sign of trust and friendship. Oh and don’t ask for ice or mix it with anything as they always drink it neat.