General Etiquette > general

Not eating food served to you

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It is polite to take what is offered. It is also polite to decline things you don't like with a "No, thank you".

I think the proper thing to do is if you're unsure of whether you will like it is to take a very small bite, because if you do not like it, you are not wasting it for the people who do, and if you do like it, you can easily take a larger second helping. But if you know you have strong food aversions or restrictions, then perhaps the most polite thing when confronted with a mystery food item is to say "I'm not familiar with this dish - what's in it?", and then decide whether to take a courtesy bite based on that.

I try to take courtesy bites, but I have some very strong food aversions (fish, black olives), some mild food allergies (peppers, melons), and one possibly deadly seasoning allergy (lavender), and I don't tolerate spicy food well. So when presented with something I've never seen before, it makes sense to me to ask a few questions about the preparation and flavor. I think it remains polite as long as I don't suggest the food is somehow disgusting for daring to be something I don't like, can't tolerate, or am allergic to.


--- Quote from: nutraxfornerves on January 27, 2013, 10:15:36 AM ---Don't forget Scarlett O'Hara being forced to eat before going to the barbecue, so she would only do a ladylike picking at her meal.

In some cultures, it is considered polite to leave a bit on your plate. To eat everything implies that the host hasn't provided enough food. Your hosts may put another helping on your plate, even though you are stuffed.

Miss Manners herself notes that children used to be taught to "leave some for Miss Manners," lest they be thought greedy. 

It is rather hard to cope with hosts who keep insisting that "you must try this" or "Ah, but you'll love THIS way of cooking it." I don't think I'd mention that something makes me ill while at the table, but I would probably say "it disagrees with me and I find it best just to avoid it."

--- End quote ---

"If you don't care what folks says about dis family I does! I is told ya and told ya that you can always tell a lady by the way she eat in front of folks like a bird. And I ain't aimin' for you to go to Mr. John Wilkenson's and eat like a field hand and gobble like a hog!"

It's one of the funnier scenes in the movie.

It's funny until you realize what it means or until you read the book for the rest of the conversation.


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