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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Manners and extreme cuisine?

    I'm watching a TV show called coach trip, its low expense TV in which different UK participants have taken a "bus mans holiday" in which they dont know what they are going to be doing and where they are going to be going each day.

    Today they have gone to one of the either latin rim or turkish countries or regions right, they are eating or being encouraged to eat its either lamb, sheep or goats head right. Now they were in a group watching the guy cook this thing in the open air grill with other people around, its apparently a favourite of the locals, there was a lot of nervous laughing and foppish behaviour and then genuine revulsion (particularly when it came to eating the eyes).

    My question about this is isnt there a kind of expectation of mannerly behaviour in response to hospitality of any kind? I know one mans meat is another mans poison but I remember the piece in the village in Temple of Doom (excellent film) in which Indy tells his travelling companion "These people are starving, you are patronising them and embarrassing me" or something along those lines when she receives a meal that is not to her taste (incidentially content like this is what I think was lacking from the most recent film and is what sets Indy apart from Tomb Raider).

    I'm personally a fan of extreme cuisine and wouldnt turn my nose up at much, perhaps the bird embryos (Baut? I dont know the name) that are eaten in some Asian countries, but I'm always aware that the beer and bacon feasts I've had occasionally here in Ireland wouldnt be the traditional fare of Islamic countries and there could be revulsion at that by a member of that community.

  2. #2
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    Balut...



  3. #3
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    I like weird food and I'm not easily grossed out so I would eat it. I think people who are repulsed by other civilization's cuisine because it's different from theirs are often close minded, or spoiled.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    My question about this is isnt there a kind of expectation of mannerly behaviour in response to hospitality of any kind?
    Yes, absolutely, in my opinion there should be respect towards the customs and preferences of cultures you're not intimately familiar with even when it involves something peculiar for you. But it's a fine balance to keep and sometimes it's not going to end up that well. Personally, I'm currently gagging at the thought of eating balut eggs and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. It's quite a predicament to find yourself in such a situation where you don't want to be disrespectful but on the other hand, spitting the stuff out in front of the hosts because of being close to vomiting isn't that respectful either. There are certainly quite common and delicious dishes in my country that would make foreigners puke their guts out as well.

    Now, I am certainly in favour of casting aside all prejudices and at least trying out dishes that are not familiar to me. How would I know otherwise whether I like them or not and I'd hate to miss an opportunity to taste something excellent. But I'm also a very picky eater. However, how do you keep quiet that imagination of yours running amuck when you witness or smell something that your brain regards as utterly vile? Tricky situation, indeed. My strategy is to make a brave face, eat it (or rather wash it down as fast as I can), remain calm and respectful and regard the experience as an excellent horror story material for the posterity.

  5. #5
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    There are plenty of regions of the world where people are actually offended if you don't eat what is offered to you... which is how I once got stuck eating 3 helpings of potato salad (I HATE mayonnaise!)... I've always been good about eating something horrific if my social image depended on it... The major exception to that is eggs... ... I find eggs to be absolutley repulsive in any manner in which they are cooked and try my hardest to avoid them since they kick in the gag reflex
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  6. #6
    Phantonym
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    There are plenty of regions of the world where people are actually offended if you don't eat what is offered to you... which is how I once got stuck eating 3 helpings of potato salad (I HATE mayonnaise!)... I've always been good about eating something horrific if my social image depended on it... The major exception to that is eggs... ... I find eggs to be absolutley repulsive in any manner in which they are cooked and try my hardest to avoid them since they kick in the gag reflex
    That's the real dilemma. If you are just being polite and eat the dish, people tend to regard it as a positive reinforcement that you must really love it and because they are polite as well, they feel compelled to offer you more. And you are stuck.

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