Thursday, February 9, 2012

World’s most unexpected table manners

Lentils and rice

Food Diary (February 08, 2012)
Breakfast: Corn flakes
Lunch: Lentils and rice
Dinner: Vegetable soup
Baking/sweets:  Polenta crackers with okara, panna cotta

I added a small amount of aspic to the vegetable soup. Aspic acted as a replacement for stock, and it worked pretty well. And I added okara to polenta crackers and that worked pretty well too. The soy taste was not noticeable. Okara, even though a by-product, brings protein and nutrients to the party. So the polenta crackers benefited from some invisible goodness. 

Today's Favourite Photo
Deep fried man tous

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Daily Meal
An interesting list of the world’s most unexpected table manners:
1.      France: Never cut the lettuce in salad because it's considered rude. Salads in France (and many other European countries) are meant to be folded up and eaten with a fork, not cut.
2.      Mexico: It is considered inappropriate to arrive early or on time in most social circumstances. Always aim to be about 30 minutes late.
3.      Bulgaria: Don't bring yellow flowers to your host as a gift. In Bulgaria, they symbolize hatred.
4.      England: Always eat your banana with a knife and fork. This custom dates back to the late 19th century, where a banana was viewed as an exotic treat.
5.      Russia: Being disrespectful to bread (i.e. throwing it) is considered a sin.
6.      Germany: it is rude to cut potatoes with a knife. Instead, the Germans smash potatoes with their fork to allow more room for gravy.
7.      Japan and Korea: Tipping after your meal has long been considered offensive to the Japanese, who think of getting tips as similar to begging. As more Westerners travel throughout Japan, though, this custom is becoming a little more lax.
8.      Austria: Make sure to make eye contact with every person you clink glasses with during toasts. If you don't, they're convinced you'll incur seven years of bad sex.
9.      Morocco: You can throw bones or other inedible parts from your meal onto the table, if the table is covered with plastic.
10.  Tanzania: it is rude to drink beer straight from the bottle. The beer must be poured into a glass.
11.  Italy: When it comes to pasta — and pasta only — don't wait for everyone to be served before eating; dig right in once you're served. For other dishes, you must wait until everyone receives their food.
12. France: When eating, it is always polite to have both hands visible. Otherwise, guests will assume you are playing with the legs of your dinner companions.
13.  Portugal: Never bring wine to a hostess. It is considered an insult.
14.  Egypt: Salting food is considered an insult in Egypt. The person cooking your meal intended for the food to taste like that.
15.  Kagoro Tribe, Nigeria: Women aren't allowed to eat with a spoon.
16.  Egypt: It's customary to keep pouring tea into a cup until it spills over into the saucer.
17.  Afghanistan: Only eat with your right hand. Guests eat first and are seated farthest from the door. If bread falls onto the floor, you should pick it up, kiss it, and then raise it to your forehead before putting it back own.
18.  France: Never doggy bag your meals. Either eat all of it at the restaurant or leave it.
19. Mongolia: If offered vodka, first flick a few drops in the air, "into the wind" (to the side), then on the floor. Then, touch your forehead with your finger and drink.
20.  Japan: Make sure you slurp your udon noodle soup — they consider it the best way to make sure you're getting all the flavors of the soup in every bite.
21.  Russia: Drinking vodka is part of everyday life, and not drinking is actually offensive.

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  1. I'll never be able to remember each nations dos and don'ts ... I'm doomed to be rude somewhere, somehow! Even in our own country with the multi cultures running around, I'm able to keep with it. Help!

    1. They are difficult to keep track of, especially if they are completely opposite in different countries.
      I once spend a huge amount of time researching do's and don't and the practice on the ground was completely different. Unreliable out of date info on the internet

  2. Strange. I also know that a lot of Japanese businessmen are used to having the tip already included in the bill, so they don't tip "extra" after paying.

    1. In many places its automatically added, in some place its considered part of the food bill and staff paid higher salaries

  3. One more use for okara! Thank you for the tip! It's time to make soy milk!
    Mr. Three-Cookies, I'm very surprised it is written as countries' particularities because for me most of the European countries' rules are the same. Then it's written in a tabloid, so maybe most regular readers don't have any manners...
    I cannot believe in Britain it would be ok to cut a salad with a knife. It's bad manners in whole Europe. It comes from the olden times when forks and knives were made in silver, which entered into a reaction with many food items. It has become a tradition since then.
    The "hands on the table" is of course a joke. You keep your hands on the table during a meal and that's it. Not only in France.
    Same for bread. Bread is a symbol of basic food in whole Europe and also very closely linked to Christianity (it symbolises the body of Jesus), so I wouldn't throw away bread in any European country.
    In many countries flowers colours symbolise something: I knew yellow as jealousy, so I would never offer it to anyone...
    During an elegant official dinner (in whole Europe) you are not allowed to eat fruits with your hands, so you should do the same with apples, pears etc..
    No one mentions sex, but in several countries I know it's also rude not to look the person with which you toast straight in the eyes.
    As for Morocco... I would like to see rich or/and educated people throwing bones on the table. I was once in Morocco but enough to observe how people eat in elegant restaurants vs. cheap eateries (who wrote this article??? oh, yes, daily mail ;-) ).
    Doggy bag is a US invention and most people I know would be too ashamed to ask for it. The only place where I could would be my simple but delicious pizzeria (I have never done it because it's so good I finish my whole pizza every time).
    Sorry for this long comment, but I had to comment on at least several most shocking points. I'm so surprised this tabloid writes such rubbish about certain European (and also Moroccan) manners, which from what I have learnt from my international friends (and my experience) are almost the same in most European countries (apart from such horrible customs as forcing people to drink vodka in Russia, but this is not manners, just a stupid custom).
    I knew the Japanese don't accept tips and I admire this country for the respect they have to themselves and others. Not because I don't like giving tips, but because sometimes people are so nice in shops, administration etc. I wonder why I am allowed to give tips only to waiters and hairdressers? It's humiliating in a certain way and makes the bosses pay lower salaries.

    1. Hahaha, interesting. I think the table manners differ so much that we will have endless debates on whats right and wrong.
      Not eating salad with knife and fork was a new one for me. I eat salad with knife and fork (definitely if there are big salad leaves). I've noticed others do the same but I will now remember this!
      Regarding bread, I understand the articles perspective but its not written accurately. Bread or any food is treated with respect and not thrown away anywhere. But in Russia, Central Asia (and many other countries) bread is treated very differently. I can't really explain in words. In Central Asia for example, you shouldn't place bread upside down. If you do, a local will immediately correct it. When you go to someones home usually they serve you bread and you should break a small piece and eat. I've seen bread thrown away in Europe, especially if half eaten or if its stale, but never seen it thrown away in Russia/Central Asia.
      The article was interesting but as you say it was inaccurate also. Daily Meal probably did internet research and wrote this.

    2. The Central Asian customs are completely unknown to me. Very interesting. I think Daily Mail has looked through comments on travel forums (I cannot explain why they would put the rather weird thing about plastic covers and bones in Morocco).
      The problem I have with this list is that certain things are customs, traditions (not throwing bread, not refusing vodka) and others are pure savoir-vivre (not cutting the salad, cutting the fruit during an elegant dinner, serving ladies :-) ). I wouldn't put both on the same list. No one is hurt if you cut the salad, but I suppose if you throw the bread, people can be hurt.
      I think "When in Rome do as Romans do" is the best rule, but I wouldn't take Daily Mail as the reference ;-)

    3. I agree, the list is little confused and inaccurate. Eg vodka - not drinking is not really offensive as the article says. BTW its Daily Meal, not Daily Mail, I suppose Daily Mail would be more careful

    4. Hahaha! Mr. Three-Cookies, I was sure it was the "famous" Daily Mail!!!!! I am so sorry. I must wear glasses :-)

    5. You don't need to be sorry, Meal and Mail are really similar, Daily Meal needs to be sorry:)

  4. Fascinating! Love the German one! Mmmm gravy.

  5. The lentils and rice look delicious. Making me hungry!

    Interesting list! Wine is insulting in Portugal? I didn't know any of these things. Wonder where they came up with some, like Mongolia? Lots of curiosities in that list.

    1. Definitely not of curiosities in the list, and unfortunately inaccuracies as well

  6. Wow I really enjoyed that list of manners! I was told in Argentina that you will get bad luck (in the bedroom) if you don't make eye contact when you "chin chin" (cheers). As the Argentines have a blend of Italian and Spanish culture, perhaps they took this from Italy! I think it's offensive to season your food before you try it anywhere in the world!

    1. That salt rule seems to be universal I guess

  7. what a comprehensive article! i never thought about all the different manner differences!

    1. There is even more that is not written there

  8. Ha, love it and there are some real strange one. This one we do here: "clink glasses with during toasts. If you don't, they're convinced you'll incur seven years of bad sex. Who wants to take a chance.

    1. Exactly, why take changes:) Clinking glasses doesn't take much effort anyway

  9. Haha, I love this list! As for Japan, the noodle one is accurate. We can't eat slow otherwise noodle will get so soggy. You slurp to eat noodles, but no slurping to drink miso soup! But not sure about the tip. We don't consider receiving money as what a begger does, but we don't get money for service and it's rather a strange thought. :-)

    1. Thanks for the insights, slurping would be considered rude in many countries while its recommended for noodles in Japan. I guess this makes the world more interesting

  10. Loved the list - in Poland, it's considered rude not to eat everything off your plate, including generous seconds, and similar to Russia, if they pour, you drink!

    1. Thats a tough one, especially if the host keeps filling up your plate

  11. Ill take note of this weird customs, Its nice to know