Make it easier for you and your local hosts/friends/fellow-travelers by educating yourself with the local customs and etiquette when traveling to foreign countries. This can also make you not stick out as a tourist.
MSNBC rounds up some interesting food customs for globetrotters.
For example, when you’re in India, make sure not eat with your left hand because it is associated with, um, bodily functions, so it’s considered to be dirty. Also, never pass important documents with your left hand because it’s considered a bad omen. If you’re a lefty, then it’s okay to use your left hand — as long as you take your right hand out of the game.
In Chile, don’t eat with your hands—even finger foods like french fries.
Never turn down vodka in Russia, even if it’s 9 a.m.
We think that these rules depend on who you’re eating with. If you’re visiting casual hosts or family or friends, formal or superstitious traditions like not eating bread before meals in France may not be followed. Otherwise, when in doubt, read up on other travel etiquette tips before you go and look to the behavior of those around you.
What food customs have you encountered when traveling to a foreign country?
Read more: 15 international food etiquette rules that might surprise you [MSNBC]