Swiss table manners

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Swiss Table Manners

“Food and drink keep body and soul together" is a proverb often displayed in kitchen and dining rooms at Swiss homes. It shows that they take food seriously and meals are the center of family life.
In Switzerland you'll find things are different from place to place. What's acceptable in one area is not in another
* A Swiss food day
The Swiss start the day by eating ahearty breakfast even though their main meal, the Swiss equivalent of dinner, is eaten at midday. A typical menu would bring to the table vegetable or cheese soup, followed by a dish of poultry, beef, or fish, served with “rosti” in the German or French regions but with pasta in the Italian ones.
Swiss people like to take a break around four o'clock for coffee, desserts, and pastries; finishingoff the day with a light supper as their evening meal - with omelets as the preferred option in the French speaking regions, antipasto in the Italian ones, sausages and cold cuts of meat where the German influence weights. A fondue is more likely to be the choice for a meal to share with friends.
* Swiss Breakfast
In Switzerland, breakfast typically includes bread, butter or margarine,marmalade or honey, maybe some cheese or cereals, plus milk, cold or hot chocolate, tea or coffee.
Lunch may be as simple as a sandwich or a “birchermüesli” or it could be a complete meal.
Depending on what people had for lunch, dinner can be a full main course or just some bread, cheese, maybe some dried meat or any other light meal.
Drinks range from plain water, over different types of softdrinks including most internationally well known brands plus some local products, to a great variety of beers and wines. Hot drinks include many different flavors of tea and coffee.

* Manners
* Be punctual to all meetings, but not early.
* Dress up but dress conservatively.
* Go easy on the jewelry or other displays of wealth.
* Being even a few minutes late for a meeting isespecially rude and inconsiderate.
* Avoid jokes until you know people/host/guests well.
* Avoid asking personal questions about money, marriage, income, kids and age and the Swiss will do the same. They are private people and will treat your privacy with respect as well
* Bring a gift to the host and hostess, like chocolates or flowers. Do not give red roses, white lilies, orchrysanthemums. As in many countries, sharp gifts, like knife sets or scissors, represent the severing of all ties.
* A nice bottle of wine is a much better choice. If someone offers a toast you will be expected to stand up, look the person in the eye, raise and click glasses with everyone that is within reach, then sip.
* In some countries, leaving a portion of food on the plate is a complimentto the hostess. In Switzerland waste is not appreciated.
* Eat what you want but eat everything you take.
* Keep your wrists on the table but never your elbows.
* Do not place your hands in your lap during dinner.
* Place knife and fork parallel to one another, at an angle on the right side of the plate to show you are finished eating. If the fork and knife are crossed it meansyou are not finished eating.
* Never talk to someone with hands in pockets and avoid pointing the index finger (use entire hand).

* Do’s and Don’ts
* DON’TS
* DON'T drink until after the first toast. The first toast is always given by the host.  
* DON'T rest your hands in your lap during a meal. Keep your hands on the table, but keep your elbows off the table!
*DON'T ask for salt and pepper if it's not already on the table. 
* DON'T smoke while eating.  
* DON'T drink until after the first toast. The first toast is always given by the host.
* DON'T rest your hands in your lap during a meal. Keep your hands on the table, but keep your elbows off the table!
* DON'T ask for salt and pepper if it's not already on the table.
* DON'T smoke...
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