Etiquette and Table Manners in Different Cultures

Not everybody in this world eats, cooks, or even has the same type of food that the United States does. For example, unlike here in America Germany does not give children actual meals during the school day but a type of snack. In Britain the people like to eat a dessert called Artic Roll that we do not eat here. Russian people like to eat this thing that is like a meat jelly called Kholodets. In India they use their hands or banana leaves instead of utensils unlike in America where they use utensils all the time for just about everything.

Compared to the United States in Japan the people have smaller portion sizes while the US has massive amounts of food. This just shows that every country, religion, culture, even families have different types of meals and ways to eat meals.

Out of the many places with unique food and the unique ways to eat it we shall start with Germany.

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The first meal that every place in the world starts with is breakfast so that is where this begins. In Germany the morning starts off with some type of drink that is either coffee, tea, and or hot cocoa. The food that is eaten with are some bread rolls with some type of spread or topping consisting of either butter, jams, honey, curd cheese, sausage, and cheese. A couple other types of things that can be seen at breakfast would be juice, eggs of some sort, cereal, and or Müsli which is mixed with yogurt or milk with fresh fruit on top.

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“Müsli is not only delicious, but it is also healthy too, making it a good alternative to sugary cereals” (‘Meals and Manners, Eating Habits in Germany – Germanfoods.Org’)! Something that is actually encouraged is to eat a little snack between meals to which will keep a person from over eating a main meal.

In Germany they actually have a tradition to where they do not actually feed the children an actual lunch but a snack. This is called Pausenbrot or Zweites Frühstück which can be translated to “recess bread” or “second breakfast.” For lunch in these days is eaten in the evening but traditional was eaten between the times of 12 and 2 p.m. have different parts to the meal. Typical it can consist of potato salad with some meat like sausage or meatballs. The next thing would be a stir-fry with some type of noodles called Spätzle, buttered vegetables with Schnitzel, or mashed potatoes with some fish sticks. Between the times of 6 and 7 p.m. they typically have this thing call Abendbrot which means “evening bread” in which they have “a selection of whole grain breads, cheeses, deli meats and sausages, mustards, and pickles” (‘Meals and Manners, Eating Habits in Germany – Germanfoods.Org’). The liquid that is with this for the young people is mineral water or juice. The adults obviously have some sort of alcohol.

Now to the table manners and the eating habits. The German humans do not like to eat with their hands so they use a knife and fork for a meal at the table. The other thing that they do not like is when somebody puts their hands in their lap. It is also considered to be rude to have your elbows on the table at all. The nice thing to do is to complement the cook either the person who cooked at home or restaurant chief. It is also polite that you wait for someone to say “cheers” if you are out drinking with others.

Onto the next country which is Russia and the meals and the desserts that they munch into. If anybody has ever looked at a map and compared the size of the United States and Russia can clearly see the size difference. With the varies areas in Russia a person would never run out of meals to eat for both meat eaters and vegetarians. A very famous dish across Russia is called Pelmeni which are just Russian dumplings. They are filled with some type of meat and boiled and then can just be eaten with sour cream, in soup, or with butter or some type of sauce. To the United States it would be like ravioli. For somebody who loves to eat soup and a meal that is just thrown together Solyanka is right for that person. This soup is made up of all kinds of food just put into a pot and cooked together. Some things that usually are in it are types of meat or fish with all kinds of vegetables. A dish that is not really something that anybody knows outside of Russia is Okroshka. A website called Advantour says that it is made with a milk type base or a kvass base with some vegetables and meat (‘Russian Cuisine: 10 Russian Dishes You Have to Try’). One of the more interesting meals that caught my attention is called Kholodets which is like meat jelly.

Some of the desserts look to be really appetizing and interesting. One of the odd types of dessert is called Chocolate Salami which just contains milk biscuits, walnuts, and mixed with chocolate sauces. It is put in the refrigerator after being rolled out into a log to set up overnight. Napoleons cake is exactly what it sounds like. “A kind of layered crêpe and custard cake, it is traditionally decorated with cake crumbs to symbolize the Russian snow that thwarted Napoleon’s army” (Whalley). Another odd sounding dessert is called Birds Milk Cake which is a type of sponge cake filled with mousse.

The Russians have incorporated some new traditions into their lives through the years but they still rely on the old traditional manners while feasting on their meals. They have the standard set up of the silverware. Just like the Germans they do not put their hands in their laps and keep their elbows off the table for the meal. Travel Tips USA Today says that you “Use your bread to mop up any excess gravy, but do not completely clean your plate–to do so is to suggest the host did not provide a sufficient amount of food” (Parris).

Now the next wonderful country that is to be talked about is Japan. Usually when people think about Japanese food they probably think raw seafood, noodles, and rice. Well for the most part that is considerable true. The Japanese diet actually looks quite different from the American diet which consists of meats, type of starches like potatoes and pasta, and dairy products like cheese and milk. For the Japanese they have a diet that consists of rice with fish and vegetables. “In America, we like our meals huge – and having leftovers to box up is even better” (Jitchotvisut). Well in Japan they do not like to have leftovers and have small meals instead of large amounts of food at once. The main dish is usually a small amount of rice, fish of some kind, and a side of some type of vegetable. Some soup they eat are called Miso, Suimono, and they even eat Ramen. Unlike the United States of America who eats processed foods almost constantly Japan does not like to eat processed foods but more of foods made from scratch. Oddly since the Japanese eat rice which soaks up the water it is cooked in or eat some type of soup they do not usually have anything to drink with their meals and if they do it is a small amount.

Japanese like everybody else in this world love to eat sweets of some sort but the sweets that they have are not overly sweet like in the United States. Anko is a type of sweet paste that is made up of Azuki beans which use to be the thing that would sweeten things up before the processed sugar invaded Japan. Another interesting dessert is Coffee Jelly which is what it sounds like. Jelly black coffee that is topped with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (Spacey). One of the other desserts I saw that looked interesting was the Honey Toast. It sounds very normal like just a normal slice of bread toasted with honey drizzled on it but no that is not it. It is actually a very large slice more like half a loaf of bread caramelized and topped with honey, ice cream, other sweet toppings, and fruits. Something that is also very popular in Japan is to make tiny desserts. Well it does not just have to be desserts but all different kinds of meals and snacks. Tiny food is something that “embodies the Japanese obsession with kawaii, or “cuteness”” (‘Gale – User Identification Form’). They make all the meals so tiny that an entire meal can fit in the palm of your hand. It is such a cute and fun thing to watch. Also everything that is cook can be eaten because it is all made out of real ingredients.

Onto the etiquette and manners of meal time in Japan. Before taking a bite out of the delicious looking food it is respectful to say ‘itadakimasu’ which in general means being thankful and to eat once everybody has gotten their meal. The meals that they have are usually in a bowl and it should be held at chest level while eating. Surprisingly it is not impolite to slurp up the noodles and to drink the soup right from the bowl. The thing that is not okay to do is chew loudly, burp, or blow your nose at the table. Empting the plate of all its contents is considered a good style of manner. Unless you do not like a certain item of food or are not able to eat it then it acceptable to keep it on the plate. At the end of the meal the dishes should be put back the way they were set at the beginning of the meal and then saying ‘gochisōsama deshita’ which just means thanks for the wonderful meal.

Now let’s talk spices all kind of different spices and what place has the most variation of spices other than India. India is actually considered the land of spices and has a very diverse cuisine. The cooking and food styles are varied in the different regions of India. In the northern area they like to use a lot of dairy type products. Chilies, saffron, and nuts are some other ingredients that are used in meals. Some meat that is flavorful that they eat in northern India is goat and lamb. A snack that is popular in the northern part of India is called Samosa is fried type of bread that is filled with something like potatoes, meat, cheese, mushrooms, and chick peas. The Eastern side of India has more popularity with the desserts but for the main meals usually made of poppy seeds. The traditional cuisine is not too spicy but not dull either. A regular meal features rice which is the staple grain of east India, some type of side vegetable cooked in some way, and fish. “South Indian cuisine is distinguished by a greater emphasis on rice as the staple grain,” (‘Indian Cuisine – New World Encyclopedia’). In the different states in southern India have different styles of cooking and flavoring the meals A connoisseur of southern Indian food could tell the difference between the same meal that is cooked by the different states. Lastly the western part of India has three major food groups. Gujarati is predominantly a vegetarian cuisine with a little sweetness. This meal typically has Rotli which is wheat flour flat bread, daal or kadhi, rice, and a type of vegetable and spices dish. Maharashtrian has two different types from the coastal regions and the western regions. Goa is mostly based on rice, fish, and other seafood. Goan cuisine has less of a spice to it and has little or no onion or garlic into the meal but has a variety of vegetables.

Desserts are a part of every normal person’s life from the young to the old and it is no different for India. A type of dumpling dessert made of thickened or reduced milk soaked in a rose flavored sugar syrup in the shape of a ball. Jalebi is a treat that is deep-fried flour and sugar that is soaked in sugar syrup. A dessert that is like all year around and by many other people in the world called rice pudding is called Kheer in India. Kheer is creamy and full of nuts and has cardamom mixed in. India even has ice cream like every other place in the world called Kulfi which is milky and has a flavor of mild cardamom.

Etiquette and table manners are in every culture and household around the world. In India they traditionally will sit on a cushion, short stool, and or on the floor while eating their meals. The food is mostly eaten with only the right hands fingers and not with the left because of sanitary concerns. Cutlery is not traditionally used either to eat meals. “Indian culture dictates that eating with your hands is a pleasurable experience, activating a so-called sixth sense,” (‘Indian Cuisine – New World Encyclopedia’).

As an adventurer could see it is true that no two places truly ever have the same types of foods and desserts or even have the same manners while eating. All over the world has interesting meals and desserts to cook and try. Germans like to eat little healthy snack things between meals. Russians do not want you to eat ever spot of food off the plate because it will look like you did not get enough to eat. The Japanese eat small amounts of food compared to the United States of America. India actually is separated in food flavors and cooking styles and eat with their right handed fingers.

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Etiquette and Table Manners in Different Cultures. (2021, Oct 04). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/etiquette-and-table-manners-in-different-cultures-essay

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