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8 Unusual Dining Etiquettes Around the World

Dive into the fascinating world of culinary customs with our exploration of 8 Unusual Dining Etiquettes Around the World. Get ready to learn about unique table manners from dipping bread in Italy to the respectful sipping of soju in South Korea, and how you can embrace these practices during your global gastronomic journeys.

Illustrate a collection of eight different and unusual dining etiquette representations from around the world. Number 1: Detailed depictions of incredible fans of colourful feathers used to keep flies away from meals in Africa. Number 2: An intricately detailed multitude of cutlery used for fine dining in France. Number 3: A visual depiction of a traditional Japanese meal beautifully presented on a low table alongside a floor cushion. Number 4: The hand-made ceramic plates used for serving food in Mexico. Number 5: An intricately carved wooden 'khantok' dining tray from northern Thailand. Number 6: A scene of a traditional Middle-Eastern table setting with small plates of different sizes for mezze. Number 7: An impressive Indian dinner set made with banana leaves. Number 8: The traditional Ethiopian 'messob', a woven-basket table where food is shared in communal experience. Please do not include any human figures in the representations.

Introduction to Global Dining Etiquettes

Exploring the diverse world of culinary traditions, it becomes evident that dining etiquettes can be as varied as the cuisine itself. From the bustling street food markets of Asia to the refined dinner tables of Europe, the way people enjoy their meals is deeply rooted in culture and local customs. This article uncovers eight unique dining etiquettes from around the globe, offering a glimpse into the do’s and don’ts that shape the dining experience in different cultures.

Japan: The Art of Using Chopsticks

In Japan, the proper use of chopsticks is paramount. Never stick your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice as it resembles incense sticks used at funerals. Instead, place them on a chopstick rest when not in use. Additionally, avoid passing food directly from your chopsticks to someone else’s, as this is also associated with funeral customs.

Italy: Bread and Pasta Customs

When dining in Italy, bread is typically used to mop up sauce or to accompany a meal rather than as an appetizer. Be aware that twirling pasta against a spoon is frowned upon; instead, use just a fork to elegantly twirl your spaghetti on the plate.

India: Eating With Hands

Eating with your hands is a common practice in India but always use your right hand, as the left is considered unclean. Make sure to wash your hands both before and after enjoying a meal. Embrace the tactile experience of mixing rice and curry for a truly authentic Indian dining adventure.

Morocco: Communal Dining and Bread

In Morocco, communal dining is central to the culinary experience. Use your right hand to pick food from a shared plate and make sure to only eat from your section. Bread also holds sacred significance and is often used as a utensil to scoop up stews and salads.

France: Cheese Course Etiquette

The cheese course in France is a ritual in itself. Always use the provided cheese knife rather than your own, and when cutting, preserve the original shape of the cheese. For soft cheeses, spread rather than slice to enjoy the delicate flavors.

South Korea: Respectful Drinking Habits

In South Korea, always receive a drink with two hands as a sign of respect. When drinking with elders, turn your head away as a gesture of politeness. Soju, a popular Korean spirit, often accompanies meals and has its own set of social etiquettes.

Thailand: Spoon and Fork Dynamics

Thais primarily use a spoon and fork for eating, with the fork used to push food onto the spoon. Chopsticks are reserved for noodle dishes only. Always wait for the eldest to start the meal and avoid leaving your spoon in your bowl when finished, to signify that you are done.

Mexico: Savory Uses of Tortillas

In Mexico, tortillas are the staple accompaniment to many dishes. Rather than using utensils, tear off a piece of tortilla to scoop up food. This method is intrinsic to the authentic Mexican dining experience, allowing you to fully engage with the flavors and textures on offer.


Understanding and respecting these dining etiquettes not only enriches your culinary experience but also demonstrates a sense of cultural awareness. Whether you are sampling sushi in Tokyo or enjoying a tagine in Marrakech, being mindful of these dining customs will enhance your travel adventures and show your hosts you care about their traditions.

Avery Ingram

Avery Ingram


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