Throughout the world, you'll find that table etiquette, the time that people eat their meals, and manners in general change when you sit down for a meal. Americans might be quite confused by some of the behavior that other people throughout the world use during mealtime. This guide aims to change that confusion into understanding. Throughout the course of this brief article, you'll learn about a few unique worldwide food customs that differ from the American mindset. 

High Tea

High tea (such as is offered by Clumzy Clover Teas & Treasures) might be known throughout the United States by name, but in practice, it greatly differs in the United Kingdom. In England, Ireland, and Scotland, high tea refers to a meal that is served among the working class between 5 and 7 PM. There are three courses involved in a high tea meal: an entree, which is usually a "meat and two veggie," bread or cake that is served with butter and a variety of different jams, and then finished off with a serving of Cornish cream tea.

Empty Plates

Beware of whether or not you finish your food. This has different connotations in different cultures. While in America, this is a very libertine phenomenon – it can mean that you are ready for seconds or you're completely full and satisfied and most third parties aren't interested – in other countries, this can have a number of different positive and negative interpretations. For example, in Japan, clearing your plate means you greatly enjoyed the meal, while leaving bits behind means you were ultimately dissatisfied. In China, finishing your meal means you weren't fed nearly enough.

Noodle Slurping

In largely Anglo countries, including America, slurping your noodles or soup is often considered a rude table manner. Soup is expected to go straight into your mouth by placing the spoon into your mouth. However, in certain countries, slurping your noodles or soup is the go-to form of eating your noodles or soup. It is considered an easier way to eat a dish as hot as soup and is even considered to improve the taste of the dish.

Eating With Your Left Hand

In India, eating with your left hand is considered taboo. There is a reason for this in a culture that eats many different foods with their hands. In India, your left hand is reserved for cleaning matters and some issues of labor, while your right hand should be used for eating and other academic pursuits, such as writing.