What are the different eating styles?

So much for a cup of tea...

In both Britain and USA, when you're invited for a high tea, don't ever forget these teaspoon rules. For a start, it's of course okay to stir up that sugar lump into your tea, but remember to stir without touching the sides of the cup. That's right no loud clinking! Don't leave your spoon in the cup after you're done stirring. Wait, there's more! Remember to place the spoon on the saucer in the same direction as the handle of the cup. But if you're smart, you'd just drink a fruit juice instead!

The art of using chopsticks

The Japanese are just as particular about how you use chopsticks as the British worry about the teaspoons. Never stick your chopsticks upright in the rice bowl. It's convenient, we know, but it's considered bad manners because it resembles the ceremonial offering to the dead. You don't want to create an awkward situation like that, do you?

And hey, don't wave your chopsticks at someone while you're talking or pull the dish close to you with it or place them on the table pointing towards someone. Just check out some 'how to use chopsticks' before you head out! But when it comes to drinking soup, slurp away like a champ, because that's considered as a big compliment.

Raising a toast

When you're in Norway and get invited to attend either a business lunch or a business dinner, go for the latter - because the lunches are all about discussions and dinners focus on socializing. When you want to raise a toast to someone, make sure you look the person in the eye and say "Skal!", nod and then lower the glass!

Tackling a taco

In Mexico, it's not considered good table manners to eat a taco with a fork and spoon. But then, who would really eat a taco, like that? And here's another thing if you catch the eye of someone eating, it doesn't matter even if it's a stranger, just say "Provecho!" which means "Enjoy!"

One plate for everyone

The Ethiopians are big believers of avoiding waste. So when you're invited to a dinner or lunch at someone's place, be prepared to eat food from a single big plate. And don't look around for spoons and forks - eating with your hand is cool here. If all the mouthwatering stuff is on the other end of the plate, too bad! It's not, considered good manners to reach out and grab food like that! And don't be surprised when someone puts food in your mouth - it's their way of showing respect to their guest. Best of all, expect some good coffee after the meal!

And in China…

When was the last time Mom appreciated you for belching in front of the guests at home? But chances are that when you're invited for dinner in a Chinese family and you belch loudly after a meal, it'll be considered a big compliment to the hosts. But when you're eating fish, remember never to flip it to eat the other side. It's considered a bad omen, similar to capsizing a boat!

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Did ketchup work as a medicine?

You read it right. It was way back in 1834 that a doctor named John Cooke Bennet added tomatoes to ketchup and claimed that his concoction had medicinal properties that his diseases such as diarrhea, indigestion and rheumatism. Following this, tomato sauce and related products were sold as a form of medication.

We've all eaten ketchup, and know that's clearly all nonsense, but until 1850, people were flocking to ketchup to cure their ills.

The reason this scam eventually ended was because imitators started making their own bootleg ketchup medicine, making even crazier claims, saying it'd cure scurvy and mended bones, and people eventually started calling bullshit.

Tomatoes do carry antioxidants and vitamin C, but don't expect to chug a bottle of ketchup and feel like a million bucks after. 

 

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Which are the different popular dishes that are made during different festivals in India?



Sundal



This is a savoury dish which can be made out of chickpea, kidney beans or moong dal. This spicy and healthy dish is usually prepared by Indian households during the festival of Dussera or Navratri. However, since it is a healthy snack, one can make it at any time.



Payasam/Kheer



This is a standard and easy-to-make sweet you can find at almost every household on special occasions. This sweet is made with milk rice, semolina, lotus seeds or lentils.



Almost every full meal in south India begins and ends with a payasam.



Biryani



This dish needs no introduction. A mix of flavours and masala mixed with rice and vegetables or meat, biryani activates your taste buds and leaves you wanting for more. Biryani is famous all over India, especially during Ramazan. People crave for ‘iftar biryani’ made with meat of different kinds, often thronging their friend’s place to devour it. Today, there are even vegetarian versions of the same.



Ladoo



This sweet needs no introduction. Ladoo is a favourite with children and adults alike. This can be made with besan/gramflour or semolina. Almost every sweet shop in India has ladoos. It is also made in several households, especially during festivals such as Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi.



Gulab Jamun



Like ladoo, this sweet also needs no introduction. Thanks to the availability of several instant mixes, gulab jamuns can be made by anyone. However, there are many households that make this sweet from scratch using khoya. This deep-fried sweet dunked in sugar syrup is an irresistible delight.



Plum Cake



There is no Christmas without plum cake. Every year many of us wait eagerly for Christmas to indulge in this sweet delight. They are available at almost all bakeries, but there’s nothing like home-made plum cake to ring in the festivities.



Haleem



Haleem is available almost always, but is most popular during the holy month of Ramzan. Several stores across cities offer haleem, a stew made out of wheat or bareley and meat.



People also make vegetarian versions of Haleem.



Sadhya



Sadhya means ‘banquet’ in Malayalam. Originating in Kerala, sadhya is popular all over India. It is prepared mainly during Onam and other important festivals. Typically vegetarian, a sadhya is served on a banana leaf and contains nearly 24 to 28 dishes.



Gujia/Karanji



Sometimes called chandrakala because of its crescent moon shape, this sweet is made during Holi in the northern parts of India. It is made with maida (refined flour) or suji (semolina), stuffed with khoya, and then deep fried.



Kozhukattai/Steamed Dumpling



Known in the south as Kozhukattai and in the north as Modak, this is a steamed sweet made of rice flour, grated coconut and jaggery. Modaks are sometimes deep-fried as well. This sweet is considered the favourite of Ganesha and is hence made specially during Ganesh Chaturthi.



 



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What is the history of French Toast?



Was the French toast invented in France? O one is sure. One story is that, during medieval times, state bread was reused by dipping it in batter and toasting it. But we do not know if the French cooks were the first to dip and fry bread. A similar dish, suppe borate, was popular in England during the middle Ages. There is also the story of Joseph French, an innkeeper in Albany. New York. In 1724, he advertised the fried toast as “French Toast.” Grammatically, he should have said, “French Toast.” But he had not learnt to use apostrophes. The dish is called pain perdu in French, meaning “lost bread” because it is recycled or “lost” bread. What is really “lost” is the origin of this popular breakfast dish.



 



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What is the history of Pie?



Did you know that the popular circle-shaped food item that can be sweet or savory was once spelt “pye”? This is a highly respected backed dish, whose history can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome. Today, the pastry-based pie is generally sweet, but it was once mostly made with a salty taste. There was a reason for this. This crisp crust of the pie, when baked, helped to preserve the meat the pie was filled with.



Have you tasted the apple pie?



Americans claim it is their “own” dish. “There are few things as American as apple pie.” They say. A, but the original apple pie recipes came from England. The original pies were made with unsweetened apples and were put in a cover that had to be thrown away. Yet the apple pie became popular. The first reference to this baked desert appeared in 1589, in the poem Menaphon by poet E. Greece: “They breath is like the steeme of apple pies."



 



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