Author Topic: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?  (Read 5306 times)

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jeni

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Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« on: December 18, 2012, 06:28:54 AM »
I just wondered about peoples thoughts on this. I was in the kitchen at work some time ago and a lady that works in another section was heating up some food, it smelled absolutely delicious and I said so.  She said it was chicken curry.  Oh I love curry, I would love that recipe, I said.  She coldly replied, No it is my Mother's recipe and I never share my recipes. 

I felt a bit offended but also wondered if I was rude for asking.  Do you think so? 

From my perspective my question was more of a polite reply rather than a genuine request.  I just thought her reply was a little odd.  Is it common for people to be protective of their recipes?

I'm glad we have a folder here for recipe exchange!

Just Lori

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 06:43:38 AM »
Years ago we had a long discussion about sharing recipes.  It was an eye-opener for me.  I figured sharing was normal, but I came to understand that some people prefer not to share, especially when they have put a lot of time and energy into creating a recipe.

In answer to your question, no, I don't think you were rude to ask, but I don't think she was rude to refuse, either.  It sounds like she was abrupt with her response, and it's rarely fun to be on the receiving end of an abrupt response.  But yes, there are definitely people who don't share recipes.  I've learned to ask, "Do you share your recipe?" rather than "Can I have that recipe?"

rashea

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 08:27:55 AM »
Yeah, that was an interesting thread... http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=16907.0

My personal stance is that I am happy to share most recipes. I have a few I don't share, because I made them up, and they are really good, and I'm just not ready to share them with anyone else. They take a lot of time and effort to perfect.

But, I don't think it's rude when someone asks, as long as they take a graceful (and hers wasn't) no for an answer.
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cicero

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 08:44:56 AM »
i remember that thread

I always thought it was a compliment when someone asked for a recipe (as in "it's just THAT good").

also, since i am (she said modestly) a fairly good cook (OK, an awesome cook), i never had a problem figuring out a recipe on my own - so it never bothered me that people won't give out a recipe. also, with the internet and all, pretty much every "top secret" recipe is already out there, in one way or another. Years ago a friend of a friend, who is a caterer, had this "special top secret" recipe for a vegetable/vegetarian "crustless pie". my friend had the recipe but couldn't give it to me because she had promised her friend the caterer. I figured it out myself and then found it on the internet pretty quickly; turns out it wasn't even the caterer's original recipe - it was from an old classic cook book (think something like "joy of cooking").

anyway - to the OP - you are not rude to ask. she is not rude to decline. her response was abrupt

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CakeBeret

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 11:14:32 AM »
In my opinion...

It's not rude to request a recipe, as long as it's done politely.

It's not rude to decline to share a recipe, as long as it's done politely.

It IS rude to snap at someone, reply coldly, or otherwise act angry or displeased at a polite request.

I think in the future, you might want to word your request a bit more gently. "Would you mind sharing your recipe?" or "If you don't mind me asking, would you be willing to share the recipe?"

Recipe sharing is completely common in my circle, but I know that some people are very protective of their recipes.
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GoTwins

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 03:09:07 PM »
I would much rather someone politely tell me that they don't care to share a recipe than do what my sister's inlaws do to her.
They will "gladly" write the recipe down for her but change or leave off an ingredient so hers is never as good as theirs. One of her husband's cousins confirmed that this is what is happening.  >:(

PastryGoddess

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 03:12:32 PM »
I have two thoughts on this. 

If it is a recipe that I got from somewhere else in the public domain, I share it since it wasn't mine to begin with.  I don't share any extra tips or ingredients I may add or subtract to the recipe
If it is a recipe that I created myself or got from someone, I don't share unless I've been given permission to do so.

Most of my friends and family know that 90% of the time I'll happily share a recipe with them and so don't get upset when I say no.  My go to phrase is "I'm sorry, I don't share that recipe" with a smile.  The smile goes away if you keep asking

cicero

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 03:19:23 PM »
I have two thoughts on this. 

If it is a recipe that I got from somewhere else in the public domain, I share it since it wasn't mine to begin with. I don't share any extra tips or ingredients I may add or subtract to the recipe
If it is a recipe that I created myself or got from someone, I don't share unless I've been given permission to do so.

Most of my friends and family know that 90% of the time I'll happily share a recipe with them and so don't get upset when I say no.  My go to phrase is "I'm sorry, I don't share that recipe" with a smile.  The smile goes away if you keep asking
really? so if you find a recipe on the internet, and you make it, and you find that the recipe writer forgot to add an egg, or used too much pepper (say they wrote 1 TBLS of hot pepper instead of 1 TSP) - you wouldn't tell someone? you would let them make that same mistake?

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CakeBeret

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 03:28:04 PM »
I have two thoughts on this. 

If it is a recipe that I got from somewhere else in the public domain, I share it since it wasn't mine to begin with. I don't share any extra tips or ingredients I may add or subtract to the recipe
If it is a recipe that I created myself or got from someone, I don't share unless I've been given permission to do so.

Most of my friends and family know that 90% of the time I'll happily share a recipe with them and so don't get upset when I say no.  My go to phrase is "I'm sorry, I don't share that recipe" with a smile.  The smile goes away if you keep asking
really? so if you find a recipe on the internet, and you make it, and you find that the recipe writer forgot to add an egg, or used too much pepper (say they wrote 1 TBLS of hot pepper instead of 1 TSP) - you wouldn't tell someone? you would let them make that same mistake?

I think Pastry Goddess means that if she discovered adding a tsp of lemon juice made it extra fluffy, or that she prefers to omit the dried parsley and use fresh basil instead, she still gives the original recipe. I can see that point of view. The original recipe is delicious as it is, but her changes make it uniquely hers.

I doubt she would deliberately give someone a recipe destined to fail, such as missing an egg or using too much pepper.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

PastryGoddess

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 04:54:08 PM »
I have two thoughts on this. 

If it is a recipe that I got from somewhere else in the public domain, I share it since it wasn't mine to begin with. I don't share any extra tips or ingredients I may add or subtract to the recipe
If it is a recipe that I created myself or got from someone, I don't share unless I've been given permission to do so.

Most of my friends and family know that 90% of the time I'll happily share a recipe with them and so don't get upset when I say no.  My go to phrase is "I'm sorry, I don't share that recipe" with a smile.  The smile goes away if you keep asking
really? so if you find a recipe on the internet, and you make it, and you find that the recipe writer forgot to add an egg, or used too much pepper (say they wrote 1 TBLS of hot pepper instead of 1 TSP) - you wouldn't tell someone? you would let them make that same mistake?

I think Pastry Goddess means that if she discovered adding a tsp of lemon juice made it extra fluffy, or that she prefers to omit the dried parsley and use fresh basil instead, she still gives the original recipe. I can see that point of view. The original recipe is delicious as it is, but her changes make it uniquely hers.

I doubt she would deliberately give someone a recipe destined to fail, such as missing an egg or using too much pepper.

That is correct CakeBeret.  I would never give someone a recipe that is destined to fail.  But I don't add in my own flourishes either.

cicero

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 02:34:49 AM »
I have two thoughts on this. 

If it is a recipe that I got from somewhere else in the public domain, I share it since it wasn't mine to begin with. I don't share any extra tips or ingredients I may add or subtract to the recipe
If it is a recipe that I created myself or got from someone, I don't share unless I've been given permission to do so.

Most of my friends and family know that 90% of the time I'll happily share a recipe with them and so don't get upset when I say no.  My go to phrase is "I'm sorry, I don't share that recipe" with a smile.  The smile goes away if you keep asking
really? so if you find a recipe on the internet, and you make it, and you find that the recipe writer forgot to add an egg, or used too much pepper (say they wrote 1 TBLS of hot pepper instead of 1 TSP) - you wouldn't tell someone? you would let them make that same mistake?

I think Pastry Goddess means that if she discovered adding a tsp of lemon juice made it extra fluffy, or that she prefers to omit the dried parsley and use fresh basil instead, she still gives the original recipe. I can see that point of view. The original recipe is delicious as it is, but her changes make it uniquely hers.

I doubt she would deliberately give someone a recipe destined to fail, such as missing an egg or using too much pepper.

That is correct CakeBeret.  I would never give someone a recipe that is destined to fail.  But I don't add in my own flourishes either.
ok, sorry i jumped to the wrong conclusion.


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MariaE

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 03:16:28 AM »
Not rude to ask, as long as it's done politely.

Not rude to decline, as long as it's done politely.
 
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jeni

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 04:20:33 AM »
Thanks everyone for your lovely responses. 

I really like the suggestion to phrase requests along the lines of 'Do you share recipes' or 'would you share that recipe', rather than a straight out request which might even sound like a demand.   That's definitely a much better way to go about it.

It's also interesting to hear peoples thoughts on how they regard their recipes.   It's obvious that many of you put a lot of work into creating certain things, so that's made me see things a little differently.

I'm not a great cook or very adventurous with my cooking, so I need all the help I can get  ;D

I love EHell, thank you everyone  :)

Two Ravens

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 06:24:37 AM »
I have two thoughts on this. 

If it is a recipe that I got from somewhere else in the public domain, I share it since it wasn't mine to begin with. I don't share any extra tips or ingredients I may add or subtract to the recipe
If it is a recipe that I created myself or got from someone, I don't share unless I've been given permission to do so.

Most of my friends and family know that 90% of the time I'll happily share a recipe with them and so don't get upset when I say no.  My go to phrase is "I'm sorry, I don't share that recipe" with a smile.  The smile goes away if you keep asking
really? so if you find a recipe on the internet, and you make it, and you find that the recipe writer forgot to add an egg, or used too much pepper (say they wrote 1 TBLS of hot pepper instead of 1 TSP) - you wouldn't tell someone? you would let them make that same mistake?

I think Pastry Goddess means that if she discovered adding a tsp of lemon juice made it extra fluffy, or that she prefers to omit the dried parsley and use fresh basil instead, she still gives the original recipe. I can see that point of view. The original recipe is delicious as it is, but her changes make it uniquely hers.

I doubt she would deliberately give someone a recipe destined to fail, such as missing an egg or using too much pepper.

That is correct CakeBeret.  I would never give someone a recipe that is destined to fail.  But I don't add in my own flourishes either.

But you make it with your "flourishes," correct? So if you make the recipe and someone asks for it, you actually don't give them the true recipe for what you have just made. So if it does not come out as well, the cook would blame themselves? I think it would be kinder just not to share it at all.

Luci

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Re: Is it rude to ask for a recipe?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 09:29:41 AM »
Not rude to ask, and not rude to decline if it is done politely or gently.

Some people I will not give a recipe to. Like the niece who used a different tomato sauce and cottage cheese instead of rocotta and left out an egg, then complained that she couldn't make the lasagne taste like mine and blamed me! Happily I give a recipe to my friend who makes it my way first, then tweeks it and shares the tweeks with me - she is an excellent cook.

(We had a great thread about this a couple of years ago, started by Venus, maybe.)