Author Topic: Asking for food without "stretchers"  (Read 12192 times)

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turnip

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2013, 01:28:05 PM »
If you have a tuna salad without the "stretchers," then you don't get as thick a filling. Your sandwich has 1/4 can of tuna on it, and so it's thinner than the other ones.

In other words, this:

What I'd probably do, when asked to make something without an ingredient, is portion out the main ingredient for the people eating.

So if there were 4 of us, I'd set aside 1/4 for the person who didn't want the extra ingredient(s) and mix everything up separately 3/4 and 1/4.  If the 1/4 portion ends up being smaller overall, oh well.  They can eat more of the sides.

As a guest, I would try to be mindful of the amount of food available and not take more than my fair share.

As a host, I would be horrified if one of my guests felt like they had to carefully make sure they didn't over-spread their sandwiches.   I think it goes back to being thoughtful of what you are preparing, and what your guests preferences are.   If I know my guests like celery/pimento/olive laden tuna salad, then I'll make a big batch.   If I don't know if or how they like their tuna, then I'm going to ask around, take their preferences into consideration, and make sure everyone feels sated.   I don't want my guests worrying about whether or not they are consuming too much of the main item.

Lynn2000

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2013, 02:07:53 PM »
I agree with most other people, that in most cases I think people are asking to NOT have an item they dislike--not thinking they can now get more of the rest. For the record, I don't generally eat tuna salad except that my mom makes, because I find people put all kinds of "weird" things in it that I don't like. I grew up with it being tuna, mayo, pickle relish, and hard-boiled egg. Sometimes we leave out the egg just because it's a pain to boil eggs. I think of these things more as "ingredients to make the food taste better," not fillers to make it stretch farther. I also dislike celery intensely and would rather have my lobster roll without it if that was an option--I wouldn't expect to get more lobster meat because of it.

In the roast example it sounds like people were being rude, if they took a lot more meat than their share. But, sometimes it's difficult to determine what your "share" is, and a lot of people don't even try (veteran of trying to order pizza for my office!). I think that's one of the hardest things about hosting, trying to figure out how much food you should have available for people, especially if you're serving an expensive specialty item. Honestly I think if you (generic) are deliberately using fillers to stretch a meal for your guests (barring extreme circumstances), you should rethink serving that particular food, or having guests at all. As a guest, I would try to take only my "share" of food, to avoid shorting other people or looking like a pig, but it would never occur to me to consider the host's finances as well. Another option is pre-dividing the food into the serving sizes you want and just giving that to people, rather than letting them decide.

It's debatable if the people were rude to ask the host to modify the meal at all, I think. It depends on the relationship and the circumstances. I would ask my mom or best friend to leave out an ingredient I didn't like, for sure. Or if the host asked me, I would say I didn't like a certain thing. If I had an actual restriction/allergy/gag reaction, I would mention it. If it's just not liking something (like celery), I would probably just eat it (or pick it out once served). But again I think it usually has to do with not liking ingredient X, rather than thinking they're going to get more of ingredient Y now. And you don't have to give them more of ingredient Y, just give them the same amount you would have before, even if the overall amount of food is less.

And for the tuna salad stuffed in meatloaf, covered in chocolate pudding, or whatever it was... :D Honestly if I liked all the component parts I would just eat them separately, and not eat the parts where they touched. If that offends the host and they don't want to invite me back... frankly I don't think I'd be too sad about that! Not that I would be deliberately trying to be rude, I would be trying to cheerfully make the best of the situation, but I'm not putting meatloaf and pudding in my mouth at the same time. I'm not a very adventurous eater but I don't have any actual restrictions/allergies, so if I'm just served something without a choice I'll try to make the best of it--eat the parts I can (and sometimes if I don't know what it is, I'll try it and find that I like it fine), fill up on sides, push the thing around on my plate, and hope no one quizzes me on it! :)
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WillyNilly

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2013, 02:35:43 PM »
I just have to say the idea of relish in tuna salad is really weirding me out.  I love tuna and eat it often.  I've had it from grocery stores, deli's and diners.  And no where is relish part of it. relish seems to me a very odd ingredient, yet clearly to so many its quite normal...

A common 'stretcher' unknown to many in tuna from a deli or restaurant is actually bread or cracker crumbs.  Sometimes rice, but usually crumbs.  What the kitchen does is not drain the the tuna, then they add the crumbs which soak up the tuna water. Then they add the mayo (and perhaps celery and/or onion) and mix it up.  You can almost double the volume of "tuna" from a can this way.

BarensMom

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2013, 02:45:56 PM »
This thread is making me go back to childhood, when my mom would make tuna and egg sandwiches with dill pickle relish on Wonder bread.  Yum!  I'd mix some up now, but it won't be the same w/o Wonder bread  :'(

camlan

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2013, 03:05:39 PM »
I just have to say the idea of relish in tuna salad is really weirding me out.  I love tuna and eat it often.  I've had it from grocery stores, deli's and diners.  And no where is relish part of it. relish seems to me a very odd ingredient, yet clearly to so many its quite normal...

A common 'stretcher' unknown to many in tuna from a deli or restaurant is actually bread or cracker crumbs.  Sometimes rice, but usually crumbs.  What the kitchen does is not drain the the tuna, then they add the crumbs which soak up the tuna water. Then they add the mayo (and perhaps celery and/or onion) and mix it up.  You can almost double the volume of "tuna" from a can this way.

I always use relish in my tuna. But the thought of egg in tuna salad--I don't know anyone who uses this and never heard of it until this thread. Because eggs are the one thing I can't eat, it's really weirding me out, because I've always thought of tuna salad as a safe food, and now I'm going to have to worry that someone, somewhere is going to serve me tuna salad with egg. Just the thought is making me shudder.

Relish, or pickles chopped up very fine, is used by pretty much everyone I know. I guess it's a regional thing.
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Yvaine

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2013, 03:09:51 PM »
I just have to say the idea of relish in tuna salad is really weirding me out.  I love tuna and eat it often.  I've had it from grocery stores, deli's and diners.  And no where is relish part of it. relish seems to me a very odd ingredient, yet clearly to so many its quite normal...

A common 'stretcher' unknown to many in tuna from a deli or restaurant is actually bread or cracker crumbs.  Sometimes rice, but usually crumbs.  What the kitchen does is not drain the the tuna, then they add the crumbs which soak up the tuna water. Then they add the mayo (and perhaps celery and/or onion) and mix it up.  You can almost double the volume of "tuna" from a can this way.

I always use relish in my tuna. But the thought of egg in tuna salad--I don't know anyone who uses this and never heard of it until this thread. Because eggs are the one thing I can't eat, it's really weirding me out, because I've always thought of tuna salad as a safe food, and now I'm going to have to worry that someone, somewhere is going to serve me tuna salad with egg. Just the thought is making me shudder.

Relish, or pickles chopped up very fine, is used by pretty much everyone I know. I guess it's a regional thing.

Even when there aren't chunks of egg in tuna salad, I've almost always seen it with mayo (which contains eggs) in it, so it might not be safe for you anyway :(

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2013, 07:07:40 PM »
Tuna salad can be made with sour cream, mine has half and half with mayo. Just add vinegar or have some pickled onions or gherkins to get more flavour.

BTW, I thought Americans called tuna 'tuna fish'.

blarg314

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2013, 08:38:23 PM »

The variations are interesting. I grew up with tuna salad being tuna, Miracle whip, a little bit of mustard, finely diced onion and celery, and maybe some finely diced pickles (rather than relish), salt and pepper.

No hard boiled eggs, though, which I'm grateful for, as I'm not fond of hard boiled eggs in most contexts. I tend to take a small portion of potato salad until I can determine whether or not it's got egg chunks in it, or whether I want more.


Sharnita

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2013, 09:06:19 PM »
Here's what I am wondering - if the host feels comfortable speculating that the guest is being piggy for asking that the stretchers be left off, is it OK for the guest to speculate that the host is being stingy for adding "stretchers"?  I would have just assumed that both were asking out of taste preference before.

baglady

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #54 on: March 04, 2013, 11:10:46 PM »
I'm another who doesn't think of additions to something like tuna salad as "stretchers" -- they're just ingredients that are there to make it taste better. As someone who cringes at the idea of eggs in tuna salad, but probably makes others cringe with my love of cheese in tuna salad, I'd assume that if a guest wants an ingredient left out of his/her portion, it's because s/he has a problem with the ingredient, not because s/he wants a larger portion of the "good stuff."

The posts on what people like and don't like in tuna salad are fascinating! Maybe we should start serving tuna salad sandwiches by the "taco bar" method so people can mix in what they like!
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Sophia

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #55 on: March 04, 2013, 11:15:59 PM »
...The posts on what people like and don't like in tuna salad are fascinating! Maybe we should start serving tuna salad sandwiches by the "taco bar" method so people can mix in what they like!

The filling needs time to meld, though

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #56 on: March 05, 2013, 11:02:38 AM »
"Unmelded Tuna Salad" would be a good name for a rock band.
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Tilt Fairy

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #57 on: March 05, 2013, 11:07:20 AM »
Canned tuna for humans has something in it that cats can't properly digest - I just don't remember what it is.  It is one of those things that isn't a problem as a 'rare treat" but is a problem if the owners try to feed the cat canned tuna instead of tuna cat food.

The problem is more that tuna lacks several nutrients that cats need (Vitamin E, calcium, etc.), so cats on a tuna-only diet will suffer nutitionally.  The mercury in it isn't good for them, either (nor for humans).

Source: SPCA (http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/ask-the-expert/ask-the-expert-poison-control/canned-tuna.aspx)

We've given tuna to foster kittens when they're sick and not eating. It's like crack cocaine for kitties. Better to have a not-ideal food than no food at all.

Yep. This. It normally has high levels of mercury which is ok for human digestion but not good for cats. It's ok to feed very rarely like if you run out of cat food or something. You can't feed them off it frequently because of the mercury but also mainly because human canned Tuna doesn't contain something called Taurine which is the most essential nutrient for cats. If they don't get Taurine from their cat food every day, it can cause fatalities. That's also why complementary cat food (which usually doesn't contain taurine) can only be fed to cats every now and again as a treat.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #58 on: March 05, 2013, 03:06:25 PM »
But, mercury is toxic to humans too...

violinp

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Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #59 on: March 05, 2013, 03:08:46 PM »
But, mercury is toxic to humans too...

True, but adults/older kids can handle it in small doses, which is why certain kinds of fish are "forbidden" to pregnant women, because the amount of mercury would hurt the developing fetus.
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