Chinese delicacies - what to do for duck foot allergy
Of course, many tourists have already read a bit about Chinese food, but they still have a hard time getting used to it. Although one looks forward to the first meal with Chinese friends, the next time one might wriggle out of the next invitation and prefer eating instant noodles and cookies alone in a hotel room instead of networking with Chinese friends or business partners. Business meals can be especially nerve-wracking because you read somewhere that politeness forbids one to refuse particular dishes or alcoholic drinks.
Here you need just one rule: be open to trying strange foods. China isn't famous for its manifold cuisine for nothing. Meals that are eaten every day by the Chinese are also well-suited to the western palate. Even Chinese people don't like to eat some stranger specialties.
If you will under no circumstances eat a particular dish, you can decline it with a (believable!) pretext or a polite excuse. Illness or allergy need not be claimed; the simple fact that, as good as Chinese cooking is, one's stomach must grow accustomed to it is completely sufficient-and doesn't sound as unbelievable as an allergy to duck foot.
One exception to this is when eating with a family. It's also completely normal in Germany to eat out of politeness and to praise the food, even when it doesn't taste good.
When in a large group of Chinese friends or business partners, toasts are often made with alcoholic drinks. When a single person from the group toasts you, you should toast to the whole group. That way, everybody drinks and you aren't the only one who gets drunk! As with food, it's ok to turn down alcoholic beverages, or to sip them slowly. The phrase gan bei ("empty the glass") doesn't necessarily mean that you have to chug it all down at once.
Chopsticks are normally used in China. When you're full, lay your chopsticks down next to the rice bowl. Never plant them sticking straight up out of the rice!
Avoid loud nose-blowing in public. Either leave the room or turn away and blow as silently as possible.
Don't play with your chopsticks .
Chinese people like to relax during meals-table manners aren't as strict as in the west-so stressful, "heavy" topics (e.g., politics) should be avoided. Don't crack inside jokes that the interpreter cannot bring across correctly; only you will find yourself amusing.