How Many of These Soup Faux Pas Have You Been Making?

Dining etiquette is hard to keep up with, especially for tricky foods.  There is one particular dish that I am asked about time and time again because there are so many important factors to consider.  Which spoon, to slurp or not to slurp, scoop away or scoop towards you?! Yes, you guessed it – we’re talking about SOUP.

We avoid slurping soup in Western cultures because it’s considered distracting and even rude, especially in fine dining restaurants or business meetings. But, in Asia, slurping soup is actually encouraged to show that the meal is being enjoyed.  The best way to adapt is to participate in the etiquette that is the standard in the country you are in at that time. 

In Western culture, with any dining scenario, the less noise we make, the better dining manners are considered, because you are not disturbing other diners. Here are other soup etiquette tips to take the thought out of your meal:

  1. Avoid creating a whirlpool in your soup when stirring and instead simply cool soup by stirring 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock
  2. Blowing soup to cool it can cause a mess; it can fly up and land on your shirt, which we always recommend to avoid
  3. Don’t dunk – As much fun as it may be to dunk bread into soup, it can be very messy and one thing to avoid if you are trying to impress those you are dining with
  4. There are multiple soup spoons.  Yes, you read that right.  A bouillon spoon (broth spoon) is oval-shaped and has the shallowest bowl because they’re used for light soups. A chowder/stew spoon has the deepest bowl to help it handle larger spoons, and it’s round shaped, so it can carry more. 

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