Dining in another country can get tricky, especially when table etiquette is involved. But have no fear! We're here to give you some insight into Latin American table manners (and how to master them!). Prepare foryour next trip to abuelita's in Puerto Rico or your foodie adventure through South America with friends. Here, the top 9 most necessary Latin American table manners to know.
1. Wine the right way.
Latinos take their wine seriously, so it's no surprise that there's a right and wrong way to pour a glass up. When pouring wine to your guests or other members of a dinner table, make sure it's with your right hand. A left-handed pour will be deemed rude.
2. Don't switch your utensils.
It's important to use your utensils properly when dining in a Latin American country. This means keeping the knife in your right hand and the fork in your left - but don't switch! Hold each utensil lightly, without making fists, and your hosts will be impressed.
3. Put your utensils down properly.
When in between bites or when finished eating, here's how to rest your utensils down correctly. Cross your fork and knife on the right side of your plate, prongs facing up.
4. Wait for the signal to begin.
Typically, when dining in a Latin American household, the host will sit last and say "!Buen Provecho!" to signal that the table can begins enjoying their food. To be safe, don't sit and start chowing down. Wait for a sign or feeling that you're allowed to begin.
5. Hands where we can see them!
One of the most important table manners is keeping your hands on the table, not in your lap. Whereas Americans are often told to keep their elbows off the table, a Spanish-speaking dinner would rather see your hands than wonder why hands are hidden underneath.
6. Pass it to the left!
Despite popular opinion, there is a proper way to pass food around the table. Pass dishes to your left to avoid confusion.
7. Keep the table talk neutral.
Table manners aren't all about proper movement. An important part of the Latin American dinner is the conversation that accompanies it. Keep topics neutral and light, avoiding business, religion, and politics unless initiated by the host or hostess.