Whenever You Find Yourself In This Country, Don't Ask For Salt When Dining, See why!

Around The World

Sept 8, 2020

Despite the situations and conditions attached to certain cultures and traditions, more because they seem ridiculous, or scary, we have learned to respect them. 

There are some that we could adopt and some we would rather not even read about. Many stories will come out as the origin of certain cultures and traditions. We will go with what is most pronounced.

In many cultures, like the United States, it is all right to ask for salt to add to your food. But if you are dining with friends and colleagues in Egypt, keep in mind to avoid asking for salt. It is taken as an insult to the host, as Egyptians take it to mean that you are repulsed by the taste of the meal served to you.

When tucking into a meal in Egypt, by-pass the saltshaker. It’s insulting to your host to sprinkle salt on your food. If you have to season your plate, it means that you find the meal’s taste repulsive. 

Egyptian follow customs such as bringing gifts when visiting somebody’s home, taking your shoes off before you enter the house, and using your right hand to eat and greet.

Old people are highly respected members of the community; people are always willing to help the elderly, as their respect has been earned. 

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If there is a single vacant place to sit on public transportation, you will find that everyone invites others to sit rather than themselves, indicating respect for other people. It’s a common habit to grab the salt and pepper and add a little extra flavor to your food. 

Salt is so ubiquitous that we think nothing of adding a dash here and there, and we certainly mean no insult by it. In Egypt, it’s a completely different story. Salting your food in Egypt is considered a huge insult, and when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. 

The chef prepares your food to taste a certain way. When you add your own spices, it effectively changes the flavor, implying the dish was inadequate as presented. If there aren’t already salt and pepper shakers on your table at a restaurant, don’t ask for them. The same goes perhaps even more so for dining in someone’s home.

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By Dawson