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Updated by Indian Travel on Aug 23, 2016
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Dining Etiquettes in Maldives – Enjoy Your Meals in True Islander Style

Maldives has a cuisine made up of limited ingredients. However, the food is delicious while the global influences are prominent. Here is a guide on the food, influences and etiquette.


Know the Maldivian diet

The Maldives is an island nation made up of more than a thousand tiny islands on the Indian Ocean. The most important thing you ought to know about the islanders' diet is the fact that it is rather limited due to the lack of variety among locally sourced ingredients. The entire Maldivian diet is based around fish and coconut as those are the most abundant ingredients in almost all of the islands. Even today, almost all Maldivian meals include fish and coconut in some form or other. The most common fish found in the islands include tuna, mahi-mahi and scad. If you are to pay a visit to one of the many luxury hotels Maldives has to offer, you are certain to find traditional Maldivian dishes as well as international cuisines. The PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi is a great choice if you wish to enjoy some great food during your stay.


Know the culinary influences

The Maldives diet has changed very little over the years. In addition to coconut, the diet also features taro roots. Since Maldives is an Islamic nation, many dietary restrictions exist. However, the restrictions on alcohol and pork had very little effect on the Maldivian diet as it was already limited. The islands received any visitors from all over the world. The culinary influences include India and Sri Lanka as well as some European influences that came with tourism.


Dishes to try

Although the diet and the ingredients are quite limited, there is no denying that Maldivian cuisine is absolutely delicious. Fish is presented in most dishes, accompanied by potatoes such as taro, sweet potatoes and of course, rice. The national dish of Maldives is Garudia, a dish prepared with tuna, onions, peppers and lime served over rice. Kavaabu is another popular dish which is made with tuna, rice, lentils and coconut which is made into a ball and then deep fried.


Rules of etiquette

Once again, Maldives is a Muslim country and requires certain etiquette rules to be observed. For starters, dressing conservatively is a must if you are out of your resort. If you are dining at certain restaurants or at conservative homes, dining with a member of the opposite sex who isn't a family member is highly unacceptable. If you are at a restaurant or at a local home, follow the lead of the locals. If you are eating at a local home, be sure to remove your shoes at the door and to greet the elders before anyone else. When greeting everyone else, wait until the women extend their hands if you wish to shake hands. Washing your hands is a must before eating. If your host offers any food, always accept as declining is considered rude. Accept small portions and ask for seconds if you like it as that is a great compliment for the host. Eat with the right hand or with cutlery but never with the left hand.