Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: WestAussieGirl on March 10, 2007, 04:13:14 PM

Title: Food Aversions
Post by: WestAussieGirl on March 10, 2007, 04:13:14 PM
This has undoubtedly been asked before, but I can't find the relevant posts.  Is it the host's responsibility to ask about a guests food allergies/aversions or does the responsibility lie with the guest to let the host know?  Does it make a difference if the host would reasonably expect to know the preferences of her guests, but those have now changed?

I've been invited to a few lunches/dinners at various friend's homes (these will be casual dinner parties - probably just us and the hosts) over the coming weeks.  I am pregnant so there are many foods that I usually enjoy that are now off-limits for the duration.  One couple have recently had a baby so they would know the foods that are not preggie-friendly, but the others either don't have children or had them many years ago (before current recommendations on diet).  So far, they haven't asked if there is anything I can't eat and I'm not sure if I should say something, or just pick and choose the foods I can eat once I'm there.  I don't want to be rude but I don't want to eat high-risk foods either.

I don't remember what I did when I had my dd, I think I just ate a lot of bread.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Lisbeth on March 10, 2007, 04:28:40 PM
I think the host should ask.

What should not be happening:
1) Guests demanding that host provide special foods and then refusing to eat them anyway.
2) Guests bringing their own food that is for them only.
3) Guests making a huge issue of their special needs-it's okay for them to say, "I'm sorry, I can't eat this" but not to expect their hosts to have ESP about their dietary needs or saying, "Gross/yuck/disgusting."
4) Hosts coaxing guests to "try just a little" or playing martyr if the guest declines.
5) Hosts showing their disappointment if guests don't eat what they provide.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: kherbert05 on March 10, 2007, 06:18:40 PM
If I'm going to eat somewhere, I inquire about peanut products. When my cousin's got married, they each gave me the number of the food provider and the contact person, after telling the contact person I would be calling. Then I check with them about the peanut thing.

We've had a couple of family dinners out disrupted by ER trips after I was given incorrect information about the use of peanuts. I seem to pick up when someone isn't paying attention or is flat our lying (Hasn't happened since all the publicity about peanut allergies in the last couple of years), so the family always wants me to ask about the food.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: caranfin on March 12, 2007, 01:12:02 PM
I usually say "I'm planning on serving X, would that be okay?" rather than asking specifically about things they can't eat. I don't get into a lot of detail (i.e., I would say "we're grilling steaks" and not "we're having steaks, grilled zucchini, salad, and bread.") If there are children involved, I will be more specific in hopes of picking a vegetable that everybody likes, and will also offer alternatives ("will Bitsy eat a steak, or would she rather have a hot dog?")
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Mazdoy on March 13, 2007, 04:37:49 AM
As a long time vegetarian I tell people that I don't eat meat (or fish as some people seem to think this is ok for veggies).  All of my friends know I'm veggie so it's not usually an issue.  Sometimes people then ask "What do you eat?" and I say "Everything but mushrooms". 
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Just Lori on March 13, 2007, 06:57:20 AM
I think it's great if the hostess gives the guest a heads up on the menu.  But if that doesn't happen and a guest has a life-threatening allergy, I think he or she should speak up when the invitation is issued.  Hopefully, the host and guest can come up with a mutually acceptable decision, whether it means a different menu, the guest offering to bring in an acceptable alternative for herself or the host making a separate entree for the guest.

Food preferences are different.  I cannot stand mushrooms, but I wouldn't bring this up unless the host asks what I like and don't like on my pizza.  If the host doesn't offer the menu, I'm not going to ask whether mushrooms will be served.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Venus193 on March 13, 2007, 08:48:11 AM
I think a host should enquire about allergies or religious dietary requirements if a guest doesn't offer the information off the bat.  As for food aversions, I think that most good friends probably know most of each other's that this should not have to be discussed.

A friend I had fallen out of touch with and reunited with a couple of years ago forgot that I don't like lamb, but I ate two slices cut from the heel.  I will talk about this aversion another time.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Emmy on March 13, 2007, 08:55:02 AM
I think it is curteous for a host to ask about guest's food preferences if they do not know what the guest would like, however they cannot read minds if the guest's preferences has changed.  Hosts who haven't been pregnant shouldn't be expected to know what foods are and aren't good for pregnant women.  I would certainly be glad if a guest told me their food preferences ahead of time.  That way the host can make sure there are somethings you can eat.  Also offer to bring a dish you can eat that will serve everybody as well in case there isn't much food you can eat.

When I have guests, I'll usually say, "I was thinking of steak and potatoes, is that OK with you?"  If I know ther person well and their food preferences, I often don't say anything about the menu.  If their preferences change, they should let me know.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Mammavan on March 13, 2007, 11:12:01 AM
I don't want to take this off-topic, but can you tell me what foods they now tell pregnant women to avoid?  It's been quite a few years since I was pregnant and, while I might have paid for it with excruciating heartburn later, there were no foods that I was told to avoid.  I would like to ensure that I don't serve my pg guests foods they cannot eat but assume people would know about.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: kathrynne on March 13, 2007, 11:23:39 AM
I don't want to take this off-topic, but can you tell me what foods they now tell pregnant women to avoid?  It's been quite a few years since I was pregnant and, while I might have paid for it with excruciating heartburn later, there were no foods that I was told to avoid.  I would like to ensure that I don't serve my pg guests foods they cannot eat but assume people would know about.
I don't know about foods they're told to avoid, but I do know that when my best friend was pregnant her morning sickness was so bad the whole time that she pretty much lived on Frosted Mini Wheats. She just nibbled them the whole day.

Just the smell of many foods magnified her nausea, especially anything with a strong smell like fish or liver.

Poor thing was getting so little sleep I set a policy to last through friends' and relatives' pregnancies, illnesses and children's infancies: I won't call you, because I guarantee that'll be in the middle of that nap you so desperately needed. When you're up to it, you call me and we can catch up. The last thing I want is to contribute to someone's sleep deprivation. Works pretty well, too.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: kiero on March 13, 2007, 12:04:10 PM
In general:  If the host doesn't know the people very well I think she should ask about general aversions.  If someone is allergic (religious objection to a type of food, sickness made worse by a type of food) - they should make sure to say that straight up. 

With pregnant women:  I don't know about you - but the foods I couldn't eat changed almost daily for most of my pregnancy.  Some days I could eat things which would make me throw up the next.  In my circle it is perfectly acceptable to pack a small amount of 'safe' foods to take somewhere.  Then if the food prepared doesn't aggree with you you have something to fall back on.  With me I was often far more sensitive if I was hungry - so I would eat a bit of my food before the meal and then be able to eat some of what I was served.  I would take a little baggie of grapes or a cut up apple and some plain white bread. 
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: AdakAK on March 13, 2007, 12:18:19 PM
I don't want to take this off-topic, but can you tell me what foods they now tell pregnant women to avoid? 

This is what I was told to avoid-
Hot dogs, lunch meat and soft cheeses (listeria)
Raw fish sushi
Peanuts and other tree nuts in the third trimester and if breastfeeding to reduce allergy risks.

Susan
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Evil Duckie on March 13, 2007, 12:56:28 PM
Ideally the hostess should ask if there are any food issues.  If not then it is up the the guest to let the hostess know about any food issues especially allergies.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: NYGirl100 on March 13, 2007, 01:39:00 PM
I don't want to take this off-topic, but can you tell me what foods they now tell pregnant women to avoid? 

This is what I was told to avoid-
Hot dogs, lunch meat and soft cheeses (listeria)
Raw fish sushi
Peanuts and other tree nuts in the third trimester and if breastfeeding to reduce allergy risks.

Susan

I was also told to avoid not just raw fish sushi, but any cooked fish that might contain a high amount of mercury, such as tuna.  As for cheeses, I was told to avoid all non-pasteurized cheese. 

Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: ClaireC79 on March 13, 2007, 01:51:49 PM
No homemade mayonnaise, no runny yolked eggs (or anything with raw eggs in)
No shark or sword fish
No Soft or blue veined cheeses
Rare/raw meats/fish
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Sibby on March 13, 2007, 01:55:51 PM
I don't want to take this off-topic, but can you tell me what foods they now tell pregnant women to avoid? 

This is what I was told to avoid-
Hot dogs, lunch meat and soft cheeses (listeria)
Raw fish sushi
Peanuts and other tree nuts in the third trimester and if breastfeeding to reduce allergy risks.

Susan



I was also told to avoid not just raw fish sushi, but any cooked fish that might contain a high amount of mercury, such as tuna.  As for cheeses, I was told to avoid all non-pasteurized cheese. 



Exactly any large fish (tuna, shark, etc) has high mercury risk.  Anything normally would be but is unpasturised that isn't (like apple cider).  Raw or very soft eggs.  Nuts.  Things with alcohol (might seem obvious, but people do forget "oh!  It didn't occur to me rum cake would be an issue!")
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Gwywnnydd on March 13, 2007, 02:33:03 PM
This has undoubtedly been asked before, but I can't find the relevant posts.  Is it the host's responsibility to ask about a guests food allergies/aversions or does the responsibility lie with the guest to let the host know?  Does it make a difference if the host would reasonably expect to know the preferences of her guests, but those have now changed?

It would be courteous for the host to inquire if their guest has any food restrictions (allergy, religious, etc.). It is equally the guest's responsibility to speak up if their health (or that of an unborn child) could be at risk. Before the event if at all possible, of course.

I am on a very restricted diet, and there are a lot of dishes I just can't eat. If I am asked, I will tell my hosts about this. If I forgot, well, that's my bad. I guess I eat a small meal this time (I can usually find something I can eat). It's not like I'm teetering on the edge of starvation :). 
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: wordgirl on March 13, 2007, 08:31:34 PM
I am on a very restricted diet, and there are a lot of dishes I just can't eat. If I am asked, I will tell my hosts about this. If I forgot, well, that's my bad. I guess I eat a small meal this time (I can usually find something I can eat). It's not like I'm teetering on the edge of starvation :). 
That's pretty much how I handle it. My food issues are my problem, not my host's.

If asked, I will briefly outline my allergies (never my aversions) but if if I'm served something I can't eat, I just focus on the good company.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: VorFemme on March 14, 2007, 12:14:38 AM
I thought that pregnant women not liking the taste of shrimp was some kind of old wives' tale - until I had a plate of garlic shrimp set in front of my in the first trimester of my first pregnancy.

It was NOT an old wives' tale for me............I would suggest a chicken dish instead of shrimp - since I have found that the meats tend to go well in similar sauces (shrimp curry easily converts to chicken or even turkey curry, chicken in marinara sauce over pasta instead of shrimp, etc.).

Some women crave spicy, some crave sour, and some pregnant women cannont stomach anything but the blandest foods...........so preparing a couple of different things to accompany the main dish is a good idea. 
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: supernova on March 14, 2007, 04:49:43 AM
"Sheree, I'm so glad you and Fred can make it over for dinner next Thursday!  Is there anything you or Fred are allergic to, or just can't eat?  No?  Well, I was thinking about spaghetti, if that's OK?  Great!  See you Thursday!"

"Mary, thank you so much; Tom and I would be delighted to come for dinner on Wednesday.  You remember I'm a vegetarian and Tom can't eat mustard, right?  Oh, you're making fettucine alfredo?  It's my favorite!  Great!  See you Wednesday!"

In other words...  it's both the hostess's responsibility to ask on issuing the invitation; and the guest's to remind the hostess well in advance, especially if the hostess forgets to ask.  It's the belt-and-suspenders theory.   :)

     - saphie
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: magdalena on March 14, 2007, 05:38:56 AM
Is it the host's responsibility to ask about a guests food allergies/aversions or does the responsibility lie with the guest to let the host know?  Does it make a difference if the host would reasonably expect to know the preferences of her guests, but those have now changed?

I've just moved and lost and lots of friends have let us know that they'd love to visit ;-) Everytime we plan the visit/dinner/weekend, I make sure to ask if there's anything they do not eat. On the other hand, whenever I'm asked for dinner I try to remind the host gently that I am lactose intolerant and will not eat lots and lots of milk even if I do take the enzyme pills. I don't mind them servind dairy anyhow, I'll just skip some  :)
I really appreciated it when a friend reminded me that her soon to be husband cannot stomach spicy foods. I usually cook very very hot dishes, but will adjust and look for yummy mild things we can all enjoy, or I'd rather know that Babs doesn't like onions than see her suffer at dinner  ;)
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Mammavan on March 15, 2007, 11:33:02 AM
Thank you all for all the information on food pregnant women should avoid.  I guess most of them are common sense, but I don't think that I would have thought of them had this post not pointed them out.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Jaywalker on March 15, 2007, 01:12:14 PM
rum cake really isn't an issue -- the amount of alcohol is not enough
to matter

in fact an occasional drink after the first trimester especially really isn't an issue although many women avoid it entirely and that is fine too 

we find that people usually say something like 'Is there anything you don't eat?' when issuing dinner invitations -- which invites people to chime in with allergies and aversions -- as well as vegetarian status.  And with vegetarians you really have to get specific as it can range from Vegan (hard to adapt to) to people who only avoid red meat
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: WestAussieGirl on March 17, 2007, 11:29:49 PM
I don't want to take this off-topic, but can you tell me what foods they now tell pregnant women to avoid?  It's been quite a few years since I was pregnant and, while I might have paid for it with excruciating heartburn later, there were no foods that I was told to avoid.  I would like to ensure that I don't serve my pg guests foods they cannot eat but assume people would know about.

I haven't been too well for the last few days so I haven't been able to log in, sorry.  I think this has been pretty well covered by others by now but, for the record, I don't eat any kind of cold meats or seafood (or anything that might have touched cold meat or seafood e.g. the salad on the same platter), anything with mayonnaise, pate, soft cheeses, raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish that are filter feeders (e.g. oysters, mussels).  I don't eat large fish (because of the mercury) as a rule, but if it were served to me I would (since it is quantity of that that is the problem).  Basically the foods that are high risk for food poisoning.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: IndianInlaw on March 18, 2007, 08:22:57 AM
In the picky, picky world of etiquette, one should eat what one can among the dishes that are served.

If the hostess asks everyone their preferences (or what is allowable), what would she serve?

Not that I'm not sympathetic to your plight, that's just what Miss Manners says.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Mikayla on March 18, 2007, 10:31:15 AM
In the picky, picky world of etiquette, one should eat what one can among the dishes that are served.

If the hostess asks everyone their preferences (or what is allowable), what would she serve?

Not that I'm not sympathetic to your plight, that's just what Miss Manners says.

That's exactly how I see it.  Of course, there are shades of gray.  If it's 2 couples getting together and you don't know the hostess well, that might be a bit different.  But for a larger gathering, I personally (vegetarian) just go with the flow and eat what I can.  If asked, of course I tell the person I'm a veggie, but it would horrify me if I ever thought someone changed a menu on my behalf. 
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: freakyfemme on March 19, 2007, 12:46:08 AM
In the picky, picky world of etiquette, one should eat what one can among the dishes that are served.

If the hostess asks everyone their preferences (or what is allowable), what would she serve?

Not that I'm not sympathetic to your plight, that's just what Miss Manners says.

Except, supposing the hostess has gone to a TREMENDOUS amount of work, making baked ham, steak, chicken, pork-fried rice, and vegetables cooked in lard?  Would I be rude if I just didn't touch ANYTHING?  Or, would it be ruder to mention in advance that I'm a vegetarian even if I wasn't asked? 
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: caranfin on March 19, 2007, 08:47:39 AM
In the picky, picky world of etiquette, one should eat what one can among the dishes that are served.

If the hostess asks everyone their preferences (or what is allowable), what would she serve?

Not that I'm not sympathetic to your plight, that's just what Miss Manners says.

Except, supposing the hostess has gone to a TREMENDOUS amount of work, making baked ham, steak, chicken, pork-fried rice, and vegetables cooked in lard?  Would I be rude if I just didn't touch ANYTHING?  Or, would it be ruder to mention in advance that I'm a vegetarian even if I wasn't asked? 

If I were the hostess, I would be horrified to discover I had invited you to a meal where you couldn't eat a single thing (or only a couple of side dishes). I'd prefer that you remind me you're a vegetarian.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Lisbeth on March 19, 2007, 10:50:13 AM
In the picky, picky world of etiquette, one should eat what one can among the dishes that are served.

If the hostess asks everyone their preferences (or what is allowable), what would she serve?

Not that I'm not sympathetic to your plight, that's just what Miss Manners says.

Except, supposing the hostess has gone to a TREMENDOUS amount of work, making baked ham, steak, chicken, pork-fried rice, and vegetables cooked in lard?  Would I be rude if I just didn't touch ANYTHING?  Or, would it be ruder to mention in advance that I'm a vegetarian even if I wasn't asked? 

If I were the hostess, I would be horrified to discover I had invited you to a meal where you couldn't eat a single thing (or only a couple of side dishes). I'd prefer that you remind me you're a vegetarian.

If you were the hostess, and every guest reminded you that they're vegan/eat only free-range/are on Atkins/are allergic/are diabetic/are celiac/are kosher, etc., etc., are you going to prepare a separate dish for each and every one?
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Venus193 on March 19, 2007, 11:57:09 AM
If you were the hostess, and every guest reminded you that they're vegan/eat only free-range/are on Atkins/are allergic/are diabetic/are celiac/are kosher, etc., etc., are you going to prepare a separate dish for each and every one?

If my guest list included all those people I wouldn't try for a sit-down dinner.  I would do a buffet with everything very carefully arranged.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Lisbeth on March 19, 2007, 12:05:08 PM
If you were the hostess, and every guest reminded you that they're vegan/eat only free-range/are on Atkins/are allergic/are diabetic/are celiac/are kosher, etc., etc., are you going to prepare a separate dish for each and every one?

If my guest list included all those people I wouldn't try for a sit-down dinner.  I would do a buffet with everything very carefully arranged.

Even at a buffet, hosts really can't control whether or not guests eat anything provided, because in a situation like this, I'm sure there will be at least one guest who feels that they can't eat at least something no matter how hard the host tries to be prepared for them.

I just think it's a situation where hosts need to keep whatever disappointment or guilt they feel that their guests aren't eating anything to themselves.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Venus193 on March 19, 2007, 12:10:26 PM
You can't please everyone all of the time.  We all just have to suck up to that.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: twinkletoes on March 19, 2007, 01:33:16 PM
If you were the hostess, and every guest reminded you that they're vegan/eat only free-range/are on Atkins/are allergic/are diabetic/are celiac/are kosher, etc., etc., are you going to prepare a separate dish for each and every one?

If my guest list included all those people I wouldn't try for a sit-down dinner.  I would do a buffet with everything very carefully arranged.

I think that's what I would do, too - or I'd suggest we all go out to a particular restaurant instead!

But seriously - what sort of menu could a host/ess use when everyone they're inviting has some sort of dietary restriction (and it can range from religious restrictions, to personal restrictions, dietary, and even "I don't like X")?  I think I could see serving everyone Mexican food - you can make tacos with or without meat, and people can take what they want.

ETA:  Of course, pretty much everything should be labeled so no one thinks "hm, these tomatoes look odd" - only to find out they're hot peppers...
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: caranfin on March 19, 2007, 01:52:44 PM
In the picky, picky world of etiquette, one should eat what one can among the dishes that are served.

If the hostess asks everyone their preferences (or what is allowable), what would she serve?

Not that I'm not sympathetic to your plight, that's just what Miss Manners says.

Except, supposing the hostess has gone to a TREMENDOUS amount of work, making baked ham, steak, chicken, pork-fried rice, and vegetables cooked in lard?  Would I be rude if I just didn't touch ANYTHING?  Or, would it be ruder to mention in advance that I'm a vegetarian even if I wasn't asked? 

If I were the hostess, I would be horrified to discover I had invited you to a meal where you couldn't eat a single thing (or only a couple of side dishes). I'd prefer that you remind me you're a vegetarian.

If you were the hostess, and every guest reminded you that they're vegan/eat only free-range/are on Atkins/are allergic/are diabetic/are celiac/are kosher, etc., etc., are you going to prepare a separate dish for each and every one?

If I couldn't figure out one dish that would work for all of those people, I simply wouldn't invite them to the same dinner. We'd socialize at a restaurant. Quite honestly, anyone who eats only free-range food isn't ever going to eat at my house anyway.  ;D
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Lisbeth on March 19, 2007, 02:00:52 PM
Well, I think the way I would do it myself would be to have one or two soups, one poultry dish, one beef dish, one fish dish, and one vegan dish for entrees with salad and a variety of drinks (some alcoholic, some non) and desserts (some sugar, some sugar-free)-all kosher.

That way there's something for just about everyone.

But if someone still feels they can't eat, I won't lose sleep over it.  I tried.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: becurless on March 19, 2007, 05:32:24 PM
I didn't know you couldn't eat nuts in the last trimester. Heck my OB told me I SHOULD because it was protein. Oh well.

ANYWAYS....I had my gallbladder out so I can't have anything with much fat in it yet, so whenever I go to someone's home for a dinner party I usually munch on a salad and eat lots of veggies and cut my meat portion in half. I'm also diabetic, so I just mention that when they invite us. Usually it's not an issue, and I don't HAVE to have dessert. Not to mention I'm allergic to shellfish. I usually say "Oh my this smells delicious!!!! How did you make it? What's in it???" And that's my clue to there being anything in it I can't have and I let it go at that.

I usually ask any dinner guests if they are allergic or just plain old don't like something. Then I plan accordingly. Hope that helps!!! And have fun being preggers!!!!
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: supernova on March 19, 2007, 10:03:00 PM
Adaptability and flexibility are key.  I worked as a cook in a household where everyone had different allergies/intolerances:  one couldn't eat onions or bell peppers; one couldn't eat beef and shouldn't have refined sugar; one was lactose-intolerant and trying to kick carbs; one can't digest pork or iceberg lettuce.  And that's not getting into the likes/dislikes!

I still managed to come up with excellent menus and kept everyone well fed; even when Lactose's parents (who did the faux kosher thing:  no pork or shellfish, no combining meat and dairy; but no concerns about separate dishes) came to visit.

It's just a matter of reducing down to the common denominators and working with them; and separating out ingredients so some can add them on their own (think salad bar, or build-your-own burrito buffets--and be extra sure to avoid cross-contamination!). 

     - saphie
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Ferrets on March 20, 2007, 08:46:09 AM
Quite honestly, anyone who eats only free-range food isn't ever going to eat at my house anyway.  ;D

WAAAAAAAAAAAH! :'( I'm not WEEEEEEEEEEELCOME!

Couldn't you just do me a nice cheese omelette? Pleeeeeeeeease??? :-\

:-* You know I'm only kidding, caranfin ;)

(As I've probably mentioned umpteen times before, this is the reason I just say "vegetarian" when I'm asked about dietary restrictions. Far cheaper, easier and less demanding of the host all round!)
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: caranfin on March 20, 2007, 09:22:17 AM
Quite honestly, anyone who eats only free-range food isn't ever going to eat at my house anyway.  ;D

WAAAAAAAAAAAH! :'( I'm not WEEEEEEEEEEELCOME!

Couldn't you just do me a nice cheese omelette? Pleeeeeeeeease??? :-\

:-* You know I'm only kidding, caranfin ;)

(As I've probably mentioned umpteen times before, this is the reason I just say "vegetarian" when I'm asked about dietary restrictions. Far cheaper, easier and less demanding of the host all round!)
That's perfect. I'll make you a nice lasaga made with free-range ricotta.  ;)

(Not that I have anything at all against people who prefer free-range meat... it's just not convenient where I live.)
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Ferrets on March 20, 2007, 10:17:25 AM
(Not that I have anything at all against people who prefer free-range meat... it's just not convenient where I live.)

Darn. I was all ready to work myself up for a big long vent about your discriminatory dietary policies leading to the exclusion of such paragons of nutritional virtue such as myself. >:D

I'll be round for that lasagne tomorrow. (Along with my 6 fruitarian friends!) ;)
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: caranfin on March 20, 2007, 10:35:08 AM
(Not that I have anything at all against people who prefer free-range meat... it's just not convenient where I live.)

Darn. I was all ready to work myself up for a big long vent about your discriminatory dietary policies leading to the exclusion of such paragons of nutritional virtue such as myself. >:D

I'll be round for that lasagne tomorrow. (Along with my 6 fruitarian friends!) ;)

It just occured to me that I could stroll around the neighborhood and make a collection of free-range cats...  ;) That won't help your friends, though. Do you suppose they'd like diced peach lasagna?
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: tabigarasu on March 20, 2007, 12:20:06 PM
If you were the hostess, and every guest reminded you that they're vegan/eat only free-range/are on Atkins/are allergic/are diabetic/are celiac/are kosher, etc., etc., are you going to prepare a separate dish for each and every one?

I would and I have.   The most effort I have gone to for a party was one where I had invited
- one friend who had celiac disease
- one friend who keeps kosher
- three friends who are vegan
- one friend who is allergic to all members of the nightshade family (eggplant, tomato, potato) and peppers
- one friend who is allergic to all tree nuts



Obviously each hostess is going to have a different level of willingness to go out of her way for her guests, and guests should exercise some common sense in offering information to the hostess about what they cannot or will not eat.  If it's an intimate dinner party with only two couples, the guest should definitely mention restrictions. If it's a big buffet with twenty guests, they might only want to mention restrictions once the party starts, in the context of "Does this dish have an ingredient that will make me sick?"
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Twik on March 20, 2007, 12:52:27 PM
Well, I think the way I would do it myself would be to have one or two soups, one poultry dish, one beef dish, one fish dish, and one vegan dish for entrees with salad and a variety of drinks (some alcoholic, some non) and desserts (some sugar, some sugar-free)-all kosher.

That way there's something for just about everyone.

But if someone still feels they can't eat, I won't lose sleep over it.  I tried.

OK, so, you'd have at least 3 appetizers, 4 entrees, and multiple desserts for ONE dinner party? That's not a host, that's a short-order cook. I couldn't even begin to heat all those things up at one time in my kitchen.

I will make accommodations for significant health issues (not wanting to actually KILL my guests), but from that point on, they're on a priority rating system that includes cost, whether I have any recipes that will suit, ease of preparation and yes, whether I think they're being daft ("Please, don't serve anything curried since we're opposed to the Indian government's position on women's issues"). People with religious/philosophical restrictions on their food intake who wish to attend parties at short notice should be prepared to go with sparser fare, or bring their own contributions. It's part of the sacrifice of taking a moral position.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: twinkletoes on March 20, 2007, 01:02:21 PM
Well, I think the way I would do it myself would be to have one or two soups, one poultry dish, one beef dish, one fish dish, and one vegan dish for entrees with salad and a variety of drinks (some alcoholic, some non) and desserts (some sugar, some sugar-free)-all kosher.

That way there's something for just about everyone.

But if someone still feels they can't eat, I won't lose sleep over it.  I tried.

OK, so, you'd have at least 3 appetizers, 4 entrees, and multiple desserts for ONE dinner party? That's not a host, that's a short-order cook. I couldn't even begin to heat all those things up at one time in my kitchen.

I will make accommodations for significant health issues (not wanting to actually KILL my guests), but from that point on, they're on a priority rating system that includes cost, whether I have any recipes that will suit, ease of preparation and yes, whether I think they're being daft ("Please, don't serve anything curried since we're opposed to the Indian government's position on women's issues"). People with religious/philosophical restrictions on their food intake who wish to attend parties at short notice should be prepared to go with sparser fare, or bring their own contributions. It's part of the sacrifice of taking a moral position.

I agree.  There's being a good host/ess, and then there's outright insanity. 

One more thing - if one has a dietary restriction, it would behoove one to contact the host/ess and give them a heads up with regard to what foods aren't going to work for you.  Two diabetics, for example, might not have the same dietary restrictions; a vegetarian might not be ok with eating fish; and someone who requires gluten-free food might want to detail what, exactly, that means.  In other words, if a host asks one if there are any dietary restrictions, don't just respond with "I'm a diabetic/vegetarian" and hang up - you can't really be surprised if they serve you a fish meal because "well, you said you were vegetarian!"
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Lisbeth on March 20, 2007, 01:16:08 PM
I would do this for a large dinner party with, say, 10 people minimum.

For a smaller party, I'd limit it to whatever is there.  And I certainly don't expect everyone to partake of everything.

But no, I'm not going to inquire if the meat is free-range, for example.
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Ember on March 23, 2007, 03:02:11 PM
No homemade mayonnaise, no runny yolked eggs (or anything with raw eggs in)
No shark or sword fish
No Soft or blue veined cheeses
Rare/raw meats/fish

More to add to the list:

penut butter is also to be avoided
no processed meat (anything that might have nitrates and nitrites I think)
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: ccnumber4 on March 23, 2007, 04:28:51 PM
I will generally ask my guests if there is anything they are allergic to or plain won't / can't eat.  If I already have a menu in mind, I will usually give them an idea of what we are having and let them make the choice from there. 

A friend and I once hosted "Thai Night" and invited a smallish group of friends.  We were very clear that the focus of the meal was on Thai cuisine.  Even so, one friend spent the ENTIRE dinner suspiciously eyeing his food and making comments like "I'm really a hamburger / hotdog type guy" and "I prefer simple food."  He is still a good friend, but has not been invited for dinner since. 
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: twinkletoes on March 25, 2007, 09:19:49 AM
I will generally ask my guests if there is anything they are allergic to or plain won't / can't eat.  If I already have a menu in mind, I will usually give them an idea of what we are having and let them make the choice from there. 

A friend and I once hosted "Thai Night" and invited a smallish group of friends.  We were very clear that the focus of the meal was on Thai cuisine.  Even so, one friend spent the ENTIRE dinner suspiciously eyeing his food and making comments like "I'm really a hamburger / hotdog type guy" and "I prefer simple food."  He is still a good friend, but has not been invited for dinner since. 

Ack!  I want to scream after reading your post - you must have felt unnerved!
Title: Re: Food Aversions
Post by: Ondine on March 25, 2007, 10:59:32 PM
I usually ask my guests beforehand if there is anything they cannot eat, and I usually try to accomodate their needs. I had a party recently where I had two diabetics, a vegetarian, someone who is pregnant, and myself with IBS, and I was able to accomodate everyone. I made stuffed crust pizza (one without meat), and I had chips, and tons of diet pop, some sugar free candy, and of course, beer. Everyone loved the party, and I was happy that I was able to accomodate everyone's needs.