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17 Surprising Food Etiquette Rules From Around The World

There are rules to stuffing your face, you know.

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2. In China, never flip a fish.

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Flipping a whole fish after eating one side is considered bad luck, as it's associated with a capsized fishing boat, and that makes total sense. Instead, remove the bones completely if you want to get to the other side, or just stare at that delicious fish meat taunting you from your plate.


5. In Japan, never stick your chopsticks into the rice bowl.

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In Japanese culture, this behavior is only acceptable at funerals, when food is offered to hungry ghosts. Also, it can resemble funeral incense, which is just going to make dinner awkward.


8. When visiting friends in Nigeria's Kagoro tribe, don't even think of asking for a spoon if you're a woman.

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According to Margaret Visser in The Rituals of Dinner, women aren't allowed spoons. Everyone knows spoons lead to insurgency.

9. In America, impress your friends with a place setting that takes up five acres of table space.


There are some variations on table placement, but either way, Hot Pockets will taste so much better with a fancy place setting.


13. When vacationing in Ancient Greece, only eat meat slaughtered via ritual sacrifice.

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Léopold Migeotte explains in The Economy of Greek Cities that animals were sacrificed to the gods before consuming their meat, and the bones and fat of the animal were set aside for deities.

14. In the Middle East, eat with your right hand only.

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The left hand is commonly associated with, uh, bodily functions, so the right hand is used to eat and socialize with. If you're a lefty, you'll apparently starve to death.

15. In Britain and America, do all the right things with your teaspoon or risk great shame.

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1. When stirring, never touch the sides of your cup with the spoon.

2. Don't leave your spoon in the teacup.

3. Place your spoon on your saucer, facing the same direction as the cup handle.

4. Sip tea in complete terror and try your best to avoid faux pas.

17. In London, it's OK to fart (as long as you're a giant and you're eating snozzcumbers and drinking frobscottle).

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