Acting as the Romans do in Rome -- or as the locals do wherever you travel -- can not only help you not stick out as a tourist, it might help you meet more people and make your trip go more smoothly. MSNBC rounds up some interesting food customs for globetrotters.
Photo by ARENA Creative (Shutterstock)
Visitors to Japan, for example, are advised not to stick chopsticks upright in rice (like in the photo above) -- especially at funerals. Eating rice with chopsticks are considered tacky or awkward in Thailand too, apparently.
In Chile, don't eat with your hands -- even finger foods like french fries.
One "rule" that seems easy to follow: Never turn down vodka in Russia.
Of course, these etiquette rules may 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 behaviour of those around you.
What surprising food customs have you encountered when travelling to a foreign country?