Meals are generally eaten privately in homes or in dining establishments. The only exception being outdoor cookouts during festivals. It is considered rude to walk around and eat in a non-dining situation. Often people will eat together, but lone meals are not too uncommon.
Seating arrangements are usually set so those with the highest status have the most view of all other guests.
Manners are fairly important while eating. It is considered rude to chew loudly or to flick one’s tongue at the dining table. Conversations are usually short and only between courses. Eating too slow or fast can be seen as embarrassing and people will try to match their pace to other diners. Things may be more lenient in casual settings.
Eating utensils include skewers, small ladles, and knives.
Formal dining areas are often decorated with nice cloths, candles, and foliage. People will take great pride in having pleasing areas do dine in. The most common setup is a low table, just high enough for one’s legs, and a low bench surrounding it. It is often arranged in such a way so most people have a view of the entire room and no one is staring at a wall.
Arde cuisine is known for being extremely spicy. Hot peppers and pepper oils are in the majority of dishes, making Arde cuisine not for the faint of heart. One pepper in particular, the vulcano pepper is highly sought after and it considered the hottest pepper in the world. Many non-Arde refuse to eat it as it has been reported to make people pass out and have hallucinations. To Arde however, those accusations are just silly.
Peppered charred meat (often served on a skewer), grilled roots, pepper broth soup (usually with an egg cracked into it), cactus juice, baked tortillas topped with chopped vegetables, and spiced meat stew are common dishes.
On special occasions, large meals such as rotisserie spiced boar and drinks such as jalapeño whiskey are popular. There are many liquors served burning hot as well, jokingly called lava shots.
Arde generally eat three meals a day: A light morning snack, and average sized midday meal, and a large nighttime meal. Often though, alcoholic beverages will be served late into the night. Coffee, which was introduced by Zahbians is an incredibly popular drink and drank all day.
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