Have you ever been grossed out by the fact that people have touched that apple that you’re about to buy and squeezed that avocado you’re about to eat? Probably not. Because us Aussies are quite content to poke and prod any produce we see in order to ensure it’s the best that we can buy.
However, in Rome it is considered rude for a person to touch fresh fruit and vegetables with their bare hands. They believe that doing so is likely to spread communicable disease more quickly and affect the quality of the produce.
Many tourists have recounted embarrassing memories from their trip, when they touched the produce and were confused and/or shocked to receive death stares from locals and shop-owners.
In attempt to minimise this cultural confusion (and many others) it may be wise to research the customs and etiquette that a culture uses, in order to avoid the ever-so-nasty death stare and have no clue as to what it refers.
The etiquette in Rome is for visitors to use plastic provided gloves (like the ones below) before touching and/or selecting any form of fresh produce and placing it into plastic bags.
Another cultural clash that many Aussies wouldn’t know about is that in Rome, one is expected to manually weigh and print out a price label themselves before proceeding to the check-out. Further tourists have recounted stories of embarrassment and confusion when they are asked to return to the produce isle and print out the label if they have not done so.
Should you ever find yourself in search of fresh fruits and veggies in Rome, follow these simple procedures in order to avoid confusion and embarrassment.