Author Topic: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?  (Read 13612 times)

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snowdragon

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2013, 01:16:57 PM »
 Not telling someone you are feeding them something that is a common allergen is rude. I know several people who would be made physically  ill because of eating it. Why would you risk that.

Also I think that if you would tell a began/vegetarian what they are eating you also need to tell the rest of your guests what they are eating.  Otherwise it would feel like you were trying to sneak them something they may not want to eat - especially since you stated that you are thinking of not disclosing because some one might be upset at a vegan meal.

wolfie

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2013, 01:17:13 PM »
^ To me what you are talking about is "vegetable pizza" and yes it is a specific thing and different then plain cheese pizza.
But what I mean , lets say its an office and the boss is providing lunch and pizza has been ordered.  A few employees are casually chatting by the coffee machine:

Employe A: "Oh cool, pizza for lunch today!"
Employee B: "Yeah that's awesome, so you know what kind?"
Employee C: "Mary did the order I think she said it was one pepperoni, one sausage and two cheese pies"
Employee B: "Oh hey did anyone remember  Bill? he's a vegetarian!"
Employee C: "Oh well thats ok, cheese pizza is vegetarian"
Employee A: "Oh gross! Its vegetarian cheese pizza?  Both of them? Dude not cool, why does everyone have to suffer because one person won't eat meat?"

And yes, I have heard this type of reaction, more then once.

I am wondering if they think the cheese is the fake cheese that is vegan safe and aren't thinking that no meat = vegetation. I will admit that I have never eaten anything that was labelled vegan and enjoyed it - it always seemed to taste bland or dry - when it wasn't meant to be that way at all. So I tend to stay away from anything with the actual label on it. To me the label = we substituted something in this meal and you probably aren't going to enjoy it.

rashea

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2013, 01:19:50 PM »
^ To me what you are talking about is "vegetable pizza" and yes it is a specific thing and different then plain cheese pizza.
But what I mean , lets say its an office and the boss is providing lunch and pizza has been ordered.  A few employees are casually chatting by the coffee machine:

Employe A: "Oh cool, pizza for lunch today!"
Employee B: "Yeah that's awesome, so you know what kind?"
Employee C: "Mary did the order I think she said it was one pepperoni, one sausage and two cheese pies"
Employee B: "Oh hey did anyone remember  Bill? he's a vegetarian!"
Employee C: "Oh well thats ok, cheese pizza is vegetarian"
Employee A: "Oh gross! Its vegetarian cheese pizza?  Both of them? Dude not cool, why does everyone have to suffer because one person won't eat meat?"

And yes, I have heard this type of reaction, more then once.

I am wondering if they think the cheese is the fake cheese that is vegan safe and aren't thinking that no meat = vegetation. I will admit that I have never eaten anything that was labelled vegan and enjoyed it - it always seemed to taste bland or dry - when it wasn't meant to be that way at all. So I tend to stay away from anything with the actual label on it. To me the label = we substituted something in this meal and you probably aren't going to enjoy it.

Technically, most cheese isn't vegetarian, though many people who are otherwise vegetarian don't follow that. Cheese making requires rennet, which can be made veggie, but isn't traditionally.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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snowdragon

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2013, 01:20:27 PM »
^ To me what you are talking about is "vegetable pizza" and yes it is a specific thing and different then plain cheese pizza.
But what I mean , lets say its an office and the boss is providing lunch and pizza has been ordered.  A few employees are casually chatting by the coffee machine:

Employe A: "Oh cool, pizza for lunch today!"
Employee B: "Yeah that's awesome, so you know what kind?"
Employee C: "Mary did the order I think she said it was one pepperoni, one sausage and two cheese pies"
Employee B: "Oh hey did anyone remember  Bill? he's a vegetarian!"
Employee C: "Oh well thats ok, cheese pizza is vegetarian"
Employee A: "Oh gross! Its vegetarian cheese pizza?  Both of them? Dude not cool, why does everyone have to suffer because one person won't eat meat?"

And yes, I have heard this type of reaction, more then once.

Could that be because they are thinking vegan cheese ? There are several places that I know of that offer a cheese pizza with regular cheese and one with a soy based cheese.  Most folks I know would not balk at the regular cheese but would not want the soy based cheese for various reasons. ( Soy gives me hives, for instance)

Firecat

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2013, 01:39:49 PM »
Add me to the "please make sure people know" chorus. I'm not allergic to soy, but for some reason, my digestive system does NOT like tofu. If I ate tofu without knowing it at your reception, I'd be hogging the restroom 30 minutes after dinner.

I wouldn't object to vegetarian/vegan food, I'd just need to know which items contained tofu and/or soy in some other form, so I could figure out what would be ok to eat.

WillyNilly

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2013, 01:41:05 PM »
^ To me what you are talking about is "vegetable pizza" and yes it is a specific thing and different then plain cheese pizza.
But what I mean , lets say its an office and the boss is providing lunch and pizza has been ordered.  A few employees are casually chatting by the coffee machine:

Employe A: "Oh cool, pizza for lunch today!"
Employee B: "Yeah that's awesome, so you know what kind?"
Employee C: "Mary did the order I think she said it was one pepperoni, one sausage and two cheese pies"
Employee B: "Oh hey did anyone remember  Bill? he's a vegetarian!"
Employee C: "Oh well thats ok, cheese pizza is vegetarian"
Employee A: "Oh gross! Its vegetarian cheese pizza?  Both of them? Dude not cool, why does everyone have to suffer because one person won't eat meat?"

And yes, I have heard this type of reaction, more then once.

Could that be because they are thinking vegan cheese ? There are several places that I know of that offer a cheese pizza with regular cheese and one with a soy based cheese.  Most folks I know would not balk at the regular cheese but would not want the soy based cheese for various reasons. ( Soy gives me hives, for instance)

Maybe (although I don't know any standard pizzerias that serve cheese alternatives). But it happens with other foods too - chips & salsa, and peanut butter, and all sorts of foods - people are fine with it until the word "vegetarian" is attached and then they are distressed by it. Im sure its because they fear its not the real deal but some strange mysterious substitution, but I've always gotten the impression its due more ignorance of what "vegetarian" means (simply, no meat products) then actual substitutions taking place. It seems many people just honestly don't realize that many foods are vegetarian naturally and by default, they think "vegetarian' is a process that is applied to foods to make it different.

Technically, most cheese isn't vegetarian, though many people who are otherwise vegetarian don't follow that. Cheese making requires rennet, which can be made veggie, but isn't traditionally.

Just for reference I know of no one personally who calls themselves a "vegetarian" who refuses to eat most cheeses based on vegetarianism, in my life only people who call themselves "vegan" avoid cheese as part of that choice (some people avoid cheese due to the fat levels, or lactose intolerance or dislike, just not because its not vegetarian). I guess I know lax vegetarians, or very discreet ones.
FWIW I just checked the Cabot cheddar and Cabot pepperjack cheese in my fridge and both say at the end of their ingredient lists "contains no animal rennet".

Tea Drinker

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2013, 01:58:09 PM »
If you offered me "tofu with cashew nuts" I'd happily eat it, since I like both those things. If you offered me "entree with cashew nuts" I would wonder what was hiding there. Tofu? Seitan? Is the caterer even telling you?

As others have noted, soy is a fairly common allergen: it's one of the "eight most common allergies" on the New York Department of Health restaurant posters advising servers about how to deal with customer allergies.

I agree that you don't have to explicitly flag the menu as vegan or even vegetarian, but if people ask, tell them--that might be either a vegan guest who wants to be sure s/he can eat those foods, or an omnivore who doesn't expect to be satisfied without meat and will look up where to get a burger or cold cut sandwich before or after the reception.
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rose red

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2013, 02:23:06 PM »
If guests get to chose their dinner, it's best to say exactly what they are choosing.  Like a PP said, if you were giving a choice of *Chicken with green beans* or *Steak with baked potato* would you hide chicken and steak with the word "entree?"

I think if we all stop thinking "vegan food" and just think "food," people might not even notice.  Like PP's said, how many of us have had spaghetti with marinara sauce or minestrone soup and never cross our mind to label it as "vegetarian?"

NyaChan

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2013, 02:27:33 PM »
I think in general, you have no obligation to say "We will be serving a vegan meal." 

You do have an obligation to disclose the typically expected ingredients if you are describing the dish in the invitation cards or when you show a menu/labels at the actual wedding.  Basically, if you were labeling a chafing dish on a buffet, I would expect the protein and basic flavor profile to be evident, so tofu should be disclosed as should the pesto.  If you are letting them choose ahead of time, then err on the side of caution and put more detail. 

Carotte

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2013, 02:32:03 PM »
I think in general, you have no obligation to say "We will be serving a vegan meal." 

You do have an obligation to disclose the typically expected ingredients if you are describing the dish in the invitation cards or when you show a menu/labels at the actual wedding.  Basically, if you were labeling a chafing dish on a buffet, I would expect the protein and basic flavor profile to be evident, so tofu should be disclosed as should the pesto.  If you are letting them choose ahead of time, then err on the side of caution and put more detail.

POD this, no need for the word vegan or vegetarian anywhere on the menu, but do state a "dish contains soy product, nuts and dairies" "dish contains nuts and honey"...

Eeep!

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2013, 02:32:45 PM »
[Snip]
I would wonder what was hiding there. Tofu? Seitan? Is the caterer even telling you?


I first read the bolded as Satan? Hee.
Would the caterer tell you I wonder? They say the devil is in the details.
 >:D
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 02:40:25 PM by Eeep! »
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artk2002

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2013, 02:38:50 PM »
You absolutely must let people know that you're serving tofu. Soy is (at last check) the #8 allergy worldwide. We have two soy-allergic people in our household and would have to decline the meal.
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Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2013, 02:42:33 PM »
So glad to hear that I'm not alone in my digestive soy intolerance.  That's all I have to say.
Formerly Mrs.Bart

LadyL

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #43 on: June 17, 2013, 03:13:24 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback and ideas! I had no idea how prevalent soy allergies were. I checked the menu that the caterer sent for us to choose from, and there are 6 entrée options that don't have soy, and a few that don't have either soy or nuts - they seem very conscientious about accommodating allergies and intolerances so I'm sure they will be able to prepare a variety of options.

We are also going to put a link to their menu on our wedding website, so anyone with complex food issues can take a look in advance if they so choose.

I agree with others that labelling the ingredients but not calling it vegan makes the most sense. So no "vegan pizza" but instead "flax crust pizza with cashew cheese." I am already designing cute little signs for the buffet in my head :).

lowspark

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #44 on: June 17, 2013, 03:26:42 PM »
I recently went to the wedding of a friend who is vegan, and, as follows, all the food at her reception was vegan. And it was all delicious. It was a buffet and there were plenty of "mainstream" items (such as green salad) in addition to some wonderful dishes I'd never tried before. No one had any complaints about the absense of meat, eggs or dairy. Now, I'm sure everyone expected it to be vegan but my point is that you can certainly have a filling and delicious vegan buffet at a wedding.

It sounds like you're going to do the buffet and I honestly think that's the best way to go. Then people can just pick and choose what they want that day. And if anyone grumbles about the lack of meat, well too bad. There's always someone complaining about something. If you're lucky, they just won't complain to the B&G, which would be pretty rude.