¡Buen Provecho! and its Cultural Meaning

There are very few things more valuable than knowing proper restaurant etiquette. While some are more well known than others, such as not talking with your mouth full, keeping your elbows off the table, and being courteous and polite, others are less known to the average person. If you’ve ever visited Verde Kitchen, you’re noticed the pride that we take in our authentic Mexican cuisine. It’s more than just preparation and recipes for us. The culture and customs of Mexico are what we wish to offer our clientele who come and visit us. You’ve heard our staff use the phrase “Buen Provecho.” Many diners think it simply means “enjoy your meal.” This is only part of it. 

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Appropriately used, buen provecho means much more than “enjoy your meal.” Not only is it proper to use the phrase when the waiter brings your food to the table, but also before you leave the restaurant. It’s not uncommon for patrons to tell one another buen provecho before the meal has begun. Why is this? Why would such a phrase be repeated throughout the course of the mealtime ritual? After all, here in the states, we use a variety of phrases whenever we’re out dining. “Please” and “thank you” are used for various exchanges we have with the waiting staff and the host. 

The answer is simple; in Mexico, mealtime is a very important event. From an early age, children are taught proper mealtime etiquette and the importance of seizing the day and reveling in its enjoyment. The phrase can be used to express a multitude of praises. “I hope your meal is well,” “I hope you have a hearty appetite and enjoy your day,” and even “Thank you for a wonderful time.” If you are traveling abroad and unsure how to respond to the phrase, acknowledging the kindness with a buen provecho will show your hosts that you understand the importance of gratitude and respect their customs. No matter where you travel, good manners are always welcomed. 

Visit Verde Kitchen 

For the best in authentic Mexican cuisine, you don’t need your passport, just your appetite. Verde Kitchen serves the best dishes and drinks that will give you a taste of Mexico while you’re north of the border. For a full menu, reservations, and more, visit us at verdekitchen.com.

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