429 Banff Ave, Banff, Alberta | Tel: 403-762-2520 | Email: eltororestaurant@shaw.ca

Experience Spain through Restaurants in Banff: More than just Flavor

Posted by El Toro Banff on July 2, 2014

Experience a taste of Spain in the Great White North - yes, you don't need a plane ticket to do just this. Many excellent restaurants in Banff, like El Toro Restaurant, offer tapas, quesadillas, paellas, and most anything in between. Yet food is just one part of experiencing international cuisine; if you want to take your exceptional Spanish dining to the next level, here are some table etiquette you might want to practice:

Table Manners

Hidden hands are a no-no

Other cultures don't really mind things like where you place your hands on the dinner table (unless it's inside your soup bowl, perhaps). For Spaniards though, hiding your hands under the table is rather rude, because it implies shady, if not outright malicious intent, hence they keep them where everyone can see them at all times.

Bread Etiquette

Ah, bread - the food most common in all cuisines, and staple in most western dining styles, and yet everyone has it differently. In Spain, you DO NOT dip bread into your soup, but it is perfectly acceptable to use it as a piece of cutlery (although this might depend on the discretion of the restaurant you're in) to push pieces of food into your mouth.

Hide your Toothpick

According to an article by Gabriella Opaz in Catavino.net, Spanish people don't exactly appreciate you picking your teeth clean in public, and perhaps for good reason, too:

Ahh, so you've never heard of such a move. Well, let me tell you that this is tricky here in Spain, and you need to pay close attention when you attempt such a move. First, take the toothpick out of the container. Then, when you bring the toothpick up to your mouth, quickly use the opposite hand to cover said act. The goal, as you might imagine, is to look as if you're not participating in such a garish act as picking your teeth, even though it's completely obvious that you are.

Wine Etiquette

Now, you've finished your lunch or dinner, had a lovely dessert and are ready to kick back and relax a bit, so you order a bottle of wine - did you know you can do the same after breakfast, too? When it comes to the Spaniards, any meal can be taken with a glass of wine - of course, this again is under the discretion of your restaurant of choice.

How best to enjoy nice, small-town Spanish-themed Banff breakfast restaurants than by doing what the Spaniards do? When you do emulate these table manners in your next family dinner date though, be sure to be mindful of the people around you.

(Source: Table Manners in Spain: Tackling The Tough Questions Like Where to Put the Olive Pit, Catavino.net)