You will also notice that locals never place their feet on a foot rest or cross
their legs since it's considered rude to show the bottom of your foot to another
Food can be served in a number of ways. Restaurants typically serve food on individual
plates, however many families (and some restaurants, particularly local restaurants)
serve food in one large bowl or plate, from which everyone eats or serves themselves.
While cutlery (silverware) is common, many foods can and are eaten with thin bread;
picking up food with the bread and eating both together. Whatever you take, however
you must finish so your plate is clean when you're done.
Due to the variety in etiquette, just follow the locals' lead. In formal business
settings you may be required to follow European customs,
such as using your knife in the right hand and fork in the left, in less formal
settings you may not even have forks or knives.
Tipping in Jordan is common and expected in nicer restaurants
and hotels. Rates are roughly equivalent to Europe at about
5-10% for food service at a nice restaurant.
Celebrations & Events
When it comes to celebrations, festivals, and holidays, the only consistent in Jordanian cuisine is the vast amount of foods offered and
the huge variety that will be present. With any celebration you will be offered
cold meze, hot meze, drinks, breads, and grilled meats. Desserts are also common,
although you may not be hungry after your first round of meze.
There are two major food holidays in Jordan including Eid
al Fitr, which takes place after Ramadan, a religious holiday that requires
fasting for 30 days. To celebrate the end of this fast Eid al Fitr is filled
with numerous foods, which differ from family to family and region to region but
general consists of various meats and fish as a base with other grains and vegetables.
The second major food holiday is Eid al Adha, which is only celebrated
after a pilgrim returns from haj, the mandatory journey for every able
Muslim to go to Mecca. Again, this festival contains a large number of rice and
meat dishes, including many of those served during Eid al Fitr.
Nearly every popular international beverage is available in Jordan. This includes
international brand name soft drinks as well as local juices, tea, milk, and perhaps
the most popular, coffee.
As a primarily Muslim country, Jordan has little alcohol
available, but it can be purchased and many people do drink. Alcohol is more common
in Amman and other cities, but even today cafes tend to be more popular for going
There are arguments on the cleanliness of the tap water in Jordan.
Some argue that it is safe to drink, especially in the larger cities, like Amman.
However others claim it is not safe and should be avoided. Due to the uncertainty,
it is best to avoid all tap water. Be sure to also avoid anything with ice as it
may have been made from the tap water. Salads and fruits may have also been washed
in the tap water so be careful with those foods as well.