The Food Rule You Should Follow In Chile

Sitting down to munch on a plate of pasta or fries shouldn't be a difficult or terrifying ordeal, yet the confusion surrounding restaurant dress codes, the sometimes excessive amount of cutlery, and how much money to leave as a tip can often be mind boggling.

Dining in other countries presents similar — perhaps even worse — predicaments. While you may get some confused looks if you pick up your chopsticks to chow down on rice in Thailand, some parts of the globe have sophisticated eating rules that should not be broken under any circumstances, lest you offend your host.

In South America, Chile is one country that follows a fairly strict dining code. One of the biggest habits to avoid in Chile? According to HuffPost, if you ever visit the country, eating with your hands is something you should definitely not do.

Chileans are expected to follow many rules while eating

Chile's etiquette rule of not using your hands to eat does make sense. Aside from the fact that it is often associated with children squishing handfuls of vegetables to throw at their siblings, using utensils is a far more distinguished and neat way to eat.

In addition to this dining rule, Chile has many other customs that ensure mealtimes are as courteous as possible. According to Cultural Atlas, it is considered good manners to keep your hands above the table at all times and wait a little while after everyone has finished eating before leaving. It is also regarded as rude to refuse a drink.

Chile's strictness around food is not limited to dining tables. The New York Times documents that the country has undergone a fight against junk food, introducing a huge range of measures to target what it saw as an obesity crisis: including warning labels on products, banning certain foods in schools, and restricting advertising for items deemed to be unhealthy.