It’s important to not only savor a destination's delicious food but to also enjoy the cultural differences of the meal itself. The moment you leave the house for the airport is the second you should leave your normal daily habits behind.
To that end, here's a neat study of how various nations dine out, provided by Expedia.ca.
A total of 31 countries’ eating habits is examined. And, trust us, this will go a long way to saving you some embarrassment when you show up to dinner a few hours too early like some out-of-touch travel newbie.
A far more immersive graphic is posted below, but let this video whet your appetite first.
Consider yourself appropriately advised cultured on the proper utensils and time to head out for dinner. Some of the things you will notice immediately include the Dutch eating dinner like exuberant retirees out for a great deal and the Russians enjoying their liquor immensely.
The following graphic also includes a handy (pun apologies) guide as to what utensils to use, if any.
When visiting Ethiopia, for example, you eat your food with the complement of injera, or the provided bread. And if you find yourself in places like Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia or Somalia, the hands will be the go-to utensils of choice.
(Image courtesy Expedia.ca)
Now, remember this is just a nice guide to start your culinary education. Along with learning a location’s language, we always encourage at least a cursory study session on its customs. For example, you may not realize you have been eating sushi wrong all this time, or that there is a list of must-try dishes when you land in Thailand.
The point is: There is more to travel than packing the bags. Sometimes you have to prepare to switch up your eating habits and, perhaps, literally dig into your food with your hands.