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Tastes Like Friendship
"Ahhhh! Ruth! Ruth! Ruth! Baby! Ruth!"
Sloth, The Goonies

"It's Bill's birthday."
"Yeah, I hate that guy."
"There's cake in the conference room."
"Well, I should say hello."

Two characters who come from very different places meet for the first time. They don't speak the same language? They have totally different backgrounds? No matter how different their culture and origins, they will always become friends if they go through an almost ritual exchange of food the first time they meet - doubly so if the food is chocolate based.

Truth in Television: it's considered good manners in many cultures to offer food to people when you meet them, and sharing bread or salt created a real bond between people in the olden days. Several languages even have words for "friend" based around the concept of sharing bread. There's actually scientific evidence to back this cultural practice up, as the part of the brain that responds to food is the same part that responds to social interaction.

The trope generally occurs when the hero is in a Fish out of Water situation, and very often when they meet a character whose language they can't understand. After sharing food, the character helps them become familiar with their surroundings.

Subtropes:
  • There's a tendency for the hero to give chocolate, probably because chocolate is awesome.
    • This works twice as effectively on children, who almost invariably become sidekicks, be they neighborhood hooligans or Disaster Scavengers.
  • The hero can also make friends with animals that way. (But use something other than chocolate. It's poisonous to many animals, especially dogs).
  • When food is given to the heroes, it will look absolutely horrible. Two possible outcomes:

When a villain tries to invoke this, he may inspire I'm Not Hungry.

Part of Sacred Hospitality.

Compare Through His Stomach, which typically goes for more than just friendship, and Food As Bribe, which tends to be more practically oriented toward getting someone on your side. Contrast Enemy Eats Your Lunch, for when someone proves their hostility by taking your food. For the romantic side, see Chocolate of Romance.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In School Rumble, Harima first got to know Karasuma at the school's watering area because neither of them ever bring lunch. Harima offers Karasuma friendship in the form of treating his fellow curry-fan to lunch at his next paycheck. Needless to say, seeing as this never happened, the two never became friends; Harima saw Karasuma eating with the girl he loves (Tenma) at the end of the chapter.
  • Dragon Ball has an inversion. Goku and Krillin's first (one-sided) meal together involved Krillin preventing Goku from eating (He cheated at a contest in which the winner got dinner). Turns out Launch cooked untreated puffer fish that night.
  • In Negima, Kotaro is first greeted by Chizuru and Natsumi with a homecooked meal (after an appetizer of Marshmallow Hell); his constant complimenting of Chizuru's cooking pretty much seals it.
  • Subverted in an episode of Pokémon, when Jessie fails to lure Maylene's Lucario to her by offering chocolate. The offer itself is a reference to Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, where Max succeeded in making friends with Aaron's Lucario — who was untrusting of humans — this way (so the movie is a straight example).
  • Not as great a cultural barrier as in other examples, but when Shima from Stellvia of the Universe goes to study into space, she takes a can of confections with her, which play an integral part in her making-friends process. Given the tone of the show (and despite her own nature), Shima's can is empty before the series reaches its mid-point (and is then refilled).
  • The scenes showing Hayate's attempts to connect with the Wolkenritter in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's included one where Hayate cooks their first meal together, with Vita hesitantly tasting her share, finding it delicious, then asking for seconds in a Tsundere-like way.
  • One Piece: even after Nami betrays Luffy and lets him get captured by Buggy early on, the audience knows she's gonna stick with the crew when she feeds Luffy while he's tied up and caged. Apparently, you can do anything to Luffy and he'll still wind up liking you if you give him some food and nice treatment.
    • Also happens between Hiriluk and Chopper; this being the first time anyone's been compassionate and kind to him, the poor little reindeer boy cries tears of joy on the bread he's eating.
  • In Heaven's Lost Property, Tomoki does this twice. First with Nymph and a candied apple then later with Astraea and a full dinner at his house, along with a offer to feed her whenever she was hungry. Both instances of kindness eventually influenced their decisions to betray Synapse. Nymph also developed a Sweet Tooth.
  • In Monster, Tenma makes a traditional Japanese meal for his shooting instructor and his adopted daughter, whom he dragged home from Myanmar after killing her mother in self-defense. The girl shows nothing but icy hatred for him until his piss-poor skill with chopsticks makes her smile. The last we saw of them, she was happy as they walked hand in hand.
    • This trope goes in the other direction quite often, as well- Tenma Forgets to Eat, so a number of the good guys wind up feeding him (Maurer, Reichwein, and Grimmer, just off the top of my head).
  • SD Gundam Force episode 'Tears of Cobramaru' ends Cobramaru- once-again thrashed by the good guys, and abandoned by his once-allies- all but losing his will to live. Bratty Half-Pint Genkimaru tries to cheer him up with some riceballs, and the last scene is Cobramaru- tearfully- eating as the sun sets. This pays off as Cobramaru shows up as an ally.
    "I've come to pay you back...for the riceballs you gave me."
  • In Princess Tutu, one of our first indications that Fakir is not the Jerkass he seems is that he feeds, and is just generally kind to, a duck he found in his locker. The main character gets the same hint, since she's the duck.
  • Deconstructed in Digimon Frontier with Junpei/JP. He offers chocolate to people in order for them to be around him. We learn, though, that this has lead to him to having no real friends, and has caused him extreme loneliness.
  • According to Another Junk Railroad, the moment Ennis realized that Firo (who, in consuming Szilard, technically inherited her as his homunculus servant) had no intention of being her new "master" was when he brought her home and cooked her dinner.
  • In Suisei no Gargantia, this is how the Gargantians open negotiations with Ledo: Amy shares a dried fish with him. He's reluctant at first because he's never eaten "animal corpses" before, but when he realizes it's a diplomatic gesture of goodwill he accepts it. Tensions with the Gargantians do not drop immediately, but they are eased a bit by the exchange.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mami's favourite method of making friends is by serving cake and tea.
  • In Tweeny Witches, Arusu won Eva over with a chestnut. These are not native to the world of the witches and so Eva had never eaten anything so sweet before.

    Comicbooks 
  • Hellboy: sort of. One of the shorter stories is about Hellboy being given pancakes by someone from the army. He doesn't want to eat them, then tries... and it's good! Meanwhile, in Hell, demons scream that he's lost to them forever.
    • In B.P.R.D.: Killing Ground, Liz Sherman offers the mummy queen Panya a fruit smoothie to make her feel welcome. They hit it off pretty quickly afterwards.
  • Green Lantern Sodam Yat found an alien who crash landed in the woods near his house and help him as he recovered from his wounds. They shared meals together, learned from each other (even though they couldn't understand the other), and became friends. Unfortunately, Sodam lived on Daxam, a notoriously xenophobic planet who proceeded to kill and stuff the alien and try to Mind Rape Sodam into fearing everything concerning space. It didn't take and pissed Sodam off so much, he had to be convinced his people were worth saving when Mongul conquered Daxam years later.
  • Cartoon History of the Universe posits that offering scraps was how the first proto-humans befriended the first proto-dogs.
  • In one of the Wild Hunt arcs of ElfQuest, Ember tries to convince a human to work with the elves rather than against them, which involves offering him food, pointing out "We don't share meat with enemies".
  • When they first meet her, Runaways Karolina Dean and Molly Hayes take Klara Prast out for lunch, which helps them earn her trust and leads to her seriously considering leaving her abusive husband. In a later arc, Molly offers pizza to a captured Majesdanian who attacked the team, though it doesn't endear her to him. And then, during the final arc, Chase is seen bringing Klara a sandwich and a soda as a way of making amends for the way he treated her earlier in the arc.

    Film — Animated 
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup makes friends with Toothless by giving him a fish. Toothless responds in kind, by regurgitating half of the fish for Hiccup to eat.
  • John Smith befriends Pocahontas' raccoon Meeko by offering him a biscuit.
  • In Up, Russel wins over Kevin the "snipe" with a chocolate bar.
  • In Arrietty, Sho tries to give a sugar cube to Arriety as a gesture of friendship. She returns it because Humans and Borrowers can't be friends. The gesture is repeated at the very end of the movie when Arriety is leaving and she accepts the sugar cube.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Stargate: Daniel gives Shau'ri's dad a chocolate bar. He later is offered roasted dinosaur, which turns out to taste like chicken. Daniel also tries to share a candy bar with the yak type creature at the beginning- he likes trying that one out.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Indy and Willie are given food in the village. He makes her eat it even though it tastes awful because he knows the villagers gave them all they had.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: in the Tim Burton movie, Willy Wonka gives the chief a cocoa bean and is then offered a plate of mashed worms, which he pretends to like so the tribe will come work for him.
  • Lawrence of Arabia: Lawrence gives his gun to his guide who answers by giving him some of his food. Lawrence tries to not let his horror show when he tastes it (but fails completely).
  • Star Wars:
    • Leia befriends the Ewoks this way.
    • Yoda plays the reverse of this when he first meets Luke, deliberately swiping Luke's chocolate bar.
    Luke "Hey! That was going to be my dinner!"
  • King Kong (2005): Subverted with a horrible aftermath involving cannibal natives.
  • ET The Extra Terrestrial: Elliot makes friends with the alien by offering it Reese's Pieces. Interestingly enough, this led to Reese's Pieces sales rising as much as 65% in 1982.
  • The Goonies: Chunk befriends Sloth with a Baby Ruth.
  • In Surf's Up, a tribe of native (cannibal?) penguins try to eat Chicken Joe, until Joe offers them roasted squid on a stick. Finding that it "tastes like chicken", they make him their leader instead.
  • Éowyn offers Aragorn stew during the journey to Helm's Deep in the extended edition of The Two Towers. Though it's clearly awful, he tells her he likes it, and when she turns away, he goes to pour it out - but she turns back with a question, and he spills a bit on his hand, visibly attempting to prevent a grimace of pain at the presumably hot stew.
  • The Film of the Series Lost in Space Don offers The Blarp a "Banana Beef" bar (what?) The little guy gobbles it up wrapper and all and sticks around for the rest of the movie.
  • What Dreams May Come has the main character and his future wife share sandwiches the day they meet in the beginning and when they're reincarnated at the end.
  • Subverted in Empire of the Sun.
    • "Hey, Jim, do you want a Hershey bar?" - "Yes please." - "So would I kid, ya got one?"
    • "He gave me a mango!" - "I'll give you a whole d____ fruit salad. There are Frigidaire's falling from the sky. Kingdom come." - "He was my friend!" - "He was a J__."
  • Subverted in Enemy at the Gates, where the German Cold Sniper was paying a child spy in Chocolate bars (to be fair to the kid, it was German Chocolate.) The kid was actually a Double Agent, working with the Soviets to feed false information to the German sniper to try and put him in The Hero's scope. It ends badly for him.
  • In Hellboy, young HB is won over by Product Placement—I mean, Baby Ruth bars. Much later, when the new guy shows up with some in his possession, Hellboy knows that "Dad" has dropped by to visit him.
  • In Aliens, Ripley gets Newt to start talking again by giving her a cup of hot chocolate.
  • In Dances with Wolves, the main character befriends a wolf named Two Socks after giving him some meat, gaining his nickname.
  • In The God Of Cookery, Turkey befriends Stephen and breaks through his jerkass facade after she cooks him a bowl of barbecue pork on rice.
  • The Transporter. After reluctantly rescuing a Bound and Gagged Lai, Frank unties her, leaves her a microwave meal of noodles, then goes to sleep, making it clear she's free to leave. He's surprised when she's still there to cook breakfast for him the next day, and later accuses of her deliberately invoking this trope to get him on her side.

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry and Ron in their first year on the train to Hogwarts. Though the fact Harry bought every single kind of candy that was for sale on the cart certainty didn't mitigate anything.
    • Another Harry Potter example would be in the third book where Lupin gives Harry chocolate after the Dementors attack. Though in this case, the chocolate does more than just introduce the two. Chocolate in the Potterverse is apparently an actual remedy for the effects a Dementor has on people.
    • When Hagrid first arrives, he give Harry a birthday cake.
    • Hagrid feeds Ron when they are being introduced as well.
  • In the Elizabeth Moon novel The Legacy Of Gird, a fellow from the Evil Wizard Class tries to make friends with Gird by offering him food, only to be rebuffed because in Gird's culture providing for someone establishes your superiority to them. They realize that their two cultures have been misunderstanding each other literally from first contact, as the EWC had always thought of Gird's people as natural servants because they were so eager to provide for the new impressive strangers.
  • In The Dark Tower novels, when Jake befriends Oy (an intelligent, capable-of-talking creature like a long, thin dog), he does so by feeding him some of Jake's food. Oy then gradually becomes a vital member of the group, saving several member's lives over the course of the books.
  • Averted, subverted and played semi-straight in Nation. Daphne first sees Mau when he's dragging the bodies of all the Nation's people into the sea; recognising his numb grief, she leaves him mangoes when he finally goes to sleep. When she wants to make a proper introduction, she decides that tea and scones will surely overcome the communication barrier; unfortunately, she's trying to have a civilised English tea party in a grounded and listing shipwreck, and her terrible (first-time) attempts to make scones taste like rotten lobster, as the rather odd captain kept one in the flour barrel to eat the weevils; Mau comes away from the whole experience bemused and horrified by the foul taste, but recognising that the poor, strange Ghost Girl is making an effort. The third time, Mau makes a fish stew on the beach, which is much better; though they still can't talk to each other, their nervousness (and ridiculous attempts at table-manners given the circumstances) makes them crack up laughing, and they become proper friends.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Grey Hunters, after a tense Friend or Foe meeting, Trainor offers Ragnor a flask. They both drink.
  • In Gav Thorpe's Warhammer 40,000 Last Chancers novel, Kill Team, the kroot offer Kage a human brain to eat and he forces himself to do so. Afterwards, the kroot admits it was a test.
  • In one Doctor Who Television Tie In Novel, it's mentioned that the Doctor's companion Fitz Kreiner, who had a really crappy childhood due to being half-German during World War II, doesn't think too badly of military-type people because his most prominent memory of them was meeting some American GIs when he was about nine, who played with him and gave him a candy bar. He doubts they'd have been as nice if they'd known his surname, though.
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. The entire Martian society is based on the ritual sharing of water (a rarity on Mars). "Water brother" is the equivalent to the human "blood brother."
    • Also, the greatest complement you can pay the dead is to consume them.
  • Subverted in Brotherhood of the Rose by David Morrell. CIA chief Elliot befriends the protagonists as orphaned children by offering them candy bars. Later, when they're adult hitmen working for the CIA, Elliot continues to give them candy bars when briefing them on a mission, which they naturally assume is done out of sentimentality. It turns out that Elliot has been manipulating them from Day One; the candy bars are only to subconsciously remind the protagonists of their love for their surrogate father figure.
  • Subverted in Jingo; Carrot warns Vimes that not to accept food from the D'regs would be seen as a terrible insult. But in fact, Vimes and the D'reg leader bond when Vimes becomes the first visitor not to fall for the old sheep's eyeball gag.
  • Subverted in the Goosebumps book Deep Trouble, in which the main character tries to befriend a captured mermaid by dropping a chocolate chip cookie into her tank. She is not impressed.
  • Discussed several times in the Elenium when the knights encounter the Peloi, and their tradition of "Taking salt and talking of affairs".
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the guest right is traditionally invoked with an offering of bread and salt.
  • In Evil Star, when Pedro and Matt first meet; granted, Pedro tried to steal Matt's watch, so...
  • Early in Dr Franklins Island, Miranda's finding of a source of fresh water and young coconuts, soon after the planewreck, do a lot to put her companions in a better mood and stops Arnie from being argumentative and contrary, briefly - though Arnie being Arnie, it doesn't last.
  • In the Honor Harrington backstory, it is mentioned that Sphinxian Treecats go absolutely nuts for celery, being more than happy to utterly debase themselves to convince a human to hand over any stalks in his posession. It is mentioned that when she was at Saganami Island, Honor's instructors would bring some to give to Nimitz even while they were chewing her out over something.
    • This backstory is fleshed out more in the Stephanie Harrington spinoffs, where it is explained in A Beautiful Friendship that the breed of celery raised on Sphinx has high concentrations of a chemical which boosts Treecats' telepathic abilities. In fact, celery is to blame for the First Contact between the two races, when a treecat got caught raiding a greenhouse.
    • Later, in The Treecat Wars, several of the characters discover a clan of Treecats suffering from famine, and arrange for a discrete food drop to help them and earn their trust.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Daniel offers Betty half of a bagel as a peace offering in Ugly Betty, but when Betty says she had already forgiven him, he takes the bagel back.
  • Stargate SG-1: Daniel exchanges food with an Unas who captured him. Daniel goes from being an intended sacrifice to a valued friend. He even hangs a lampshade on this with a Continuity Nod, mentioning he met his father-in-law the same way.
    • Which would make Daniel's third use of the trope, and that's just the ones noted so far on this page. He'd already used it several times on earlier SG1 episodes. You might as well call it "The Daniel Jackson Method".
  • Subverted in Stargate Universe - Scott gives one of the Ursini a piece of fruit. It seems as if they might be able to bond... but the alien then spits the fruit out in disgust.
  • Stargate Atlantis episode "Childhood's End" has Ford offering chocolate to a few "guards" (they're young children.) He gets excited when he discovers that this will be their first chocolate experience.
  • Subversion: In Desperate Housewives, Susan welcomes her new next-door neighbours with cookies that she buys and pretends to have made herself. One of them turns out to have nut allergies, so she has to confess to her deception and just drives them further away.
  • In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina uses a spell to make Friendship Bread to get Harvey and Josh to stop fighting over her. It works a little too well.
  • Early on in the pilot episode for The Sarah Connor Chronicles, John offers Cameron a bag of chips, before remembering that she's not human. To his surprise, Cameron then accepts his offer and eats some chips anyway.
  • Dane Cook had a bit were he offered a candy bar to a co-worker and in an Androcles Lion moment repays Dane by not killing him during his later homicidal rage.
    "...and as he's going from stall to stall, <kaboom-chk> <kaboom-cchk>, he's gonna reach me and go <sharp intake of breath> "..Thanks for the candy."
  • In Bones, when Booth shoots an ice cream truck and is pulled out for psychiatric evaluation, his temporary replacement Sully offers numerous delicious sandwiches to Brennan in the spirit of this trope. (It...doesn't help that much)
  • Would you like a jelly baby?
    • In Matt Smith's first episode of Doctor Who, he meets a little girl who feeds him. She grows up to be his Companion.
  • The philosophy of Andrew Zimmerman of Bizarre Foods is that sharing food is the greatest way to break down barriers between different cultures.
  • NCIS. In "Kill Ari, Part II" Tony DiNozzo is tailing Mossad officer Ziva David. As he stands under an awning outside her hotel trying to keep out of the rain, she brings him coffee, and Tony gives her a slice of his pizza in return. The exchange lampshades their future partnership — though as they haven't reached that level of trust yet, Tony makes sure to take her coffee rather than the one she's offering him.
  • In Band of Brothers, during operation Market Garden, a couple of soldiers from Easy Company come across a Dutch farmer and his son and share some of their chocolate with them. The father then reveals to the soldiers that this is the very first time that his son tasted chocolate.
  • Subverted in the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Giles picks up one of the Potentials, and since they share no common language, he takes her out for ice cream as a way to show friendship. Unfortunately, like most Asians, she's lactose intolerant...
  • The minor character Zack from The Big Bang Theory is very upset when the science guys makes fun of him for his lack of scientific knowledge, but he quickly forgives them after Sheldon offers him Milk Duds as an apology.
  • Hannibal finds a way to make this trope creepy. Will Graham is fairly cold to Hannibal Lecter in their first meeting, but Hannibal later wins him over by bringing him a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausages. But this is Hannibal Lecter, so unbeknownst to Will, the sausages are almost certainly made of people. In later episodes, Lecter is shown cooking delicious meals for all his friends. Those meals are definitely made of people.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • Grimm's Tales are full of stories where The Fair Folk (or other supernatural creatures) respond to acts of hospitality with random boons (often, the Ugly Stepsibling then tries to replicate the event, but their stinginess gets them cursed instead).
  • In the tale of Momotaro, he gains animal companions by offering them his rice balls.
  • The Kappa will normally murder people and eat their intestines. If a person offers the kappa a cucumber, the one thing it loves eating more than human guts, it will be so overjoyed that it will spare them. In some cases, the kappa may even offer a gift in return and become a lifelong friend.

    Videogames 
  • In the Dragon Quest Monsters series of games, you make monsters your friends by feeding them. If you give them enough food (or good enough food), they'll gladly become your friends.
  • In the roguelike game Nethack, tossing food at some monsters will make them friendly towards you, or even make them your pet. With the right foods, you can even train pets to steal things for you.
  • In Pokémon, several Pokémon in the Safari Zone can only be caught if you leave food out for them.
  • In Sonic Unleashed, Chip often tries to offer a bar of chocolate to any character he meets.
  • In BlazBlue, Ragna sharing food with Taokaka in both his and her story paths prompts Taokaka to call him "Good Guy". Of course in his story path he makes her pay for the meal.
  • Gaius, a thief character in Fire Emblem Awakening, has a hell of a Sweet Tooth. When Chrom recruits him (from the opposing army, no less), it's because he offers him a bag of candy.
  • In Deus Ex, giving a candy bar to a kid early in the game will prompt him to give you some valuable information about how to get into the terrorist's hideout.
  • Played with in Dragon Age: Origins. If you attempt to have your dog be your champion against Loghain at the Landsmeet. Arl Eamon will have a "No. Just... No" Reaction based on this trope.
    Arl Eamon: Ah, Warden... No. I'm afraid we can't leave the fate of all Ferelden up to your dog. Anyone with a leftover ham bone could buy his allegiance.
  • In Little Nemo The Dream Master, you can ride on (or in) animals by feeding them candy.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, you befriend Gau by offering him some dried meat.
  • In the Super Famicom Miracle Girls game, throwing candy is the girls' main defense against enemies.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Subverted in Tiberium Wars; Corporal Goodman actually gives a captive Sandra Telfair some food, and along with it he treats her quite nicely, even trying to apologize for the rape attempt on her in the previous chapter. The subversion comes a few minutes later, when Sandra cuts his throat with a ripped-up aluminum soda can. You know what they say, War Is Hell....
  • Dept Heaven Apocrypha: If you feed Vienya, she will love you forever and ever—food is Serious Business for her.
  • In the Horseshoes and Hand Grenades story Month of Sundays, Jun gives a lollipop to Quetzie as an act of kindness. Said act also helps reconnect Quetzie to his grandfather, Damballa.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • In the animated Transformers movie, The Universal Greeting {Bah Wheep Granna Wheep Ni Ni Bong) is supposed to be accompanied by the offering of Energon (Which transformers uses as food/fuel). It works with the Junkions, but earlier the Allicons only ate all their snacks, then got mad when they ran out.
  • Parodied in one episode of The Simpsons, when Marge decides to take care of Nelson because her children don't want her to take care of them. The first thing she does is offer him a sandwich and he approaches it like a frightened squirrel.
  • Both Applejack with a pile of apple products, and Pinkie Pie with all manner of sweets in her party try this with Twilight Sparkle when she first comes to Ponyville in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Then it's subverted, in that she considers it a waste of her time; it isn't until they trek through the Everfree Forest to stop Nightmare Moon that she warms up to them.
  • Toph bonds with Iroh over a cup of tea in Avatar: The Last Airbender .

    Real Life 
  • Providing someone with food affects them on a very basic level. It's a good way to get animals to like you, and of course, people are animals. Hospitality and providing someone with a meal is a tradition in all human cultures to gain their respect and friendship.
  • Prehistoric humans probably first managed to win over the proto-dogs by letting them eat scraps from their campsites. This would have served both groups — the dogs would learn that if they left humans alone, they'd get free food, and the humans would get a waste-disposal system and early warning of any more hostile animals approaching. Later, cats began to hang around humans for scraps too.
  • During World War II, American soldiers came over to the UK with chocolate, unobtainable in Britain. Let's just say the women were very grateful.
    • After the war (and after relaxation of their non-fraternization policies), they did this in occupied West Germany too. This situation did also lead to many German kids of that era being introduced for the first time to American Pop Culture. (Even stronger examples may be the CARE-packages and the Berlin Airlift, or the Marshall Plan, which helped kick-starting the West German Wirtschaftswunder.)
      • And an example-within-an-example: The Candy Bombers, starting with Gail Halvorson, who would drop sweets from their planes with little parachutes while flying into Berlin. Halvorsen would signal that a candy drop was imminent by waggling his wings, leading to his nickname: Onkel Wackelflügel, or Uncle Wagglywings. This gained the attention of Halvorsen's commanding officer, then the press, and supporters back home, and eventually snowballed into "Operation Little Vittles", with the dropping of 23 tons of sweets over Berlin by the time the Airlift had ended.
    • After WWII during the reconstruction of Japan and through the end of the Korean war American troops often shared chocolate and other goodies sent to them with the Japanese people and showed them how to make other western foods like hamburgers and hot dogs (the latter would become a staple of many Bento lunchboxes) while the Japanese introduced the Americans to sushi in all its different forms (many of which would become very popular back home). This had the dual effect of re-introducing the Japanese to western concepts and ideas as well as forging a lasting partnership between the two nations that persists to this day..
    • This is standard operating procedure for the US military. Giving out chocolates was done during the Vietnam War, both Gulf Wars, and remains ongoing in Afghanistan. Chocolate is cheap, it's a common item in combat rations, children are easily bribed to reveal info with it, and most adults see the gesture as benign.
  • The word "Companion" may come from "cum pane" which in Latin means "with bread," making a companion someone you share bread with.
  • In the Arab world saying that two people "shared bread and salt" signifies a bond between them; eating bread and salt ritually creates the bond of Sacred Hospitality.
  • In many places in the world, showing hospitality to a stranger is still commonplace, and it's very bad manners to refuse anything offered to you, even if you're only doing it out of a desire not to impose.
    • This can cut both ways: in Mongolia (and some other countries), it's traditional to leave a small amount of food on your plate to show you've finished. In British & American society, it's generally considered rude not to finish everything you're given. Whoops...
    • If that's not complicated enough for you, in Tibet your cup/bowl/plate will be refilled as soon as you're done eating. Every time. The only way to be polite is to eat most of the food, and finish eating/drinking precisely upon leaving.
  • A good way to win over a domestic animal is to offer it some food. Offer really good food, and you've got yourself a friend for life.
  • This is a bad idea when it comes to dealing with wild animals. "Do Not Feed the Bears" signs exist for a reason.
  • In parts of Asia jewel merchants close a business deal with a toast. In some places they use tea which of course has a great tradition. In other places, for some inscrutably prosaic reason, they use Pepsi.
  • In Slavic countries, it is traditional to welcome guests (nowadays, mostly important guests like foreign heads of state) with bread and salt.
  • In Lapland it's tradition to leave the three basic neccessities in the cabins that are used by hikers and hunters alike: Firewood, matches and salt. Not leaving enough for people who might drop by later (for example, taking shelter from a storm) is considered rude to the point of taboo (since you endanger someone's life if you don't).
  • To "break bread" with someone is a commonly used phrase to signify a friendship. or at least tolerance.
  • Want to win a horse's loyalty for good? Feed it.
  • UsefulNotes.Tea And Tea Culture points at several ways in which the serving and sharing of tea serves this role around the world.
  • In the Philippines most social interaction involves sharing food (or the offering of such) with others.
  • According to double-blind tests, this reaction has a scent component. "Spiking" a piece of food with your scent causes the recipient's instincts to register you as a food provider. One medieval version uses this method to tame unmanageable dogs with a piece of bread that's been held under the arm for a time. (This was before commercial deodorants.)
  • In some communities, certain animals (Like migratory birds or deer) keep hanging around civilization because people keep feeding them.
  • Wanna know why the cat keeps leaving dead animals on your stoop? Kitty thinks you're a bad hunter and doesn't want you to starve.

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