Author Topic: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?  (Read 12502 times)

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saki

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #60 on: June 18, 2013, 08:02:51 AM »
I think it's great that you're going for interesting food for your wedding. While, obviously, it is always good to cater for allergies, it is only (based on a quick Google) about 2.5% of the population this have allergies so I'd be inclined to flag that your menu is Asian fusion and ask anyone with an allergy to let you know. You could then ask your caterer to do a separate plate for the (likely) handful of people involved.

I also wouldn't get too worried about picky eaters. There will be some (though again onoly a few) who will not love the food but there will also be loads of people who will be thrilled to have something exciting and different.

I have never had any menu info in an invitation, it's just not common in the UK. You tell the couple if you have any dietary issues and then you get whatever you get. Chances are it won't be exactly what you would have ordered in a restaurant but that's not what accepting hospitality of any sort is about.

Jones

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #61 on: June 18, 2013, 08:17:59 AM »
Do allergies run in families? Fully half my cousins on Dad's side have allergies or intolerances, slightly less than half on Mom's side, and a bunch of people in DH's family have discovered food allergies in recent years. Last time we had a dinner we made 3 versions of one dish to cover for all; but, we had a general idea what we were in for. OP, I'm glad you are planning on accommodating allergies. Once you find out the type and quantity it will be easier to proceed.

lowspark

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #62 on: June 18, 2013, 08:26:54 AM »
Just reading through this thread about all the different possible allergies to possible ingredients makes my head swim. Unless the bride, groom, or one of the close family members or bridal party have an allergy and you want to cater to that, I would not focus on that. And sorry, but I would not explicitly list every ingredient in every dish. No one does that, regardless of whether the meal they are serving is vegan or laden with meat or whatever.

I applaud kherbert who has learned how to live with her severe peanut allergy and has said repeatedly, including in this thread, that it is up to the person with the allergy to vet the foods they eat, not up to the host.

So I think you just set aside all the allergy concerns being discussed here. Giving people plenty of choices and a heads up by posting the menu in advance is really way more than most people do for a wedding reception. My son got married just over a year ago. Everyone got a small portion of two entrees which the bride & groom decided on, a couple sides and some appetizers which were passed around. If anyone wasn't happy with that, well, they just kept it to themselves.

Another wedding I went to, again, everyone got served pretty much the same thing. It was a buffet line with a minimum of choices. I didn't hear a single complaint. Everyone was there to celebrate the couple. The meal was, of course, part of the celebration, but not the main focus.

LadyL, don't fret too much over this.

Eden

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #63 on: June 18, 2013, 08:46:11 AM »
In the case of an allergy rather than a preference, I think most people with allergies are well-practiced at inquiring ahead of time or at the time of the event to ensure the food is safe for them to eat. Most I know would not expect to be presented with a huge range of options to cater to potential allergies. But I do think people's points about disclosing the primary components of a dish are important for both guests' preferences AND for allergies.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #64 on: June 18, 2013, 08:52:15 AM »
Lowspark, I get what you are saying but I would never go to a wedding, expecting a lot of dishes to contain soy.  Serving an entirely vegan meal isn't the norm.  I think it is valuable to the OP to know that there are quite a few people with soy allergies/intolerances, so she can ensure that there are a variety of dishes, including some that are soy free.
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lowspark

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #65 on: June 18, 2013, 09:12:54 AM »
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 :).

Sure, I can see what you're saying Outdoor Girl. And she's pretty much seen to that as noted above (bolding by me).

I'm just saying that there is an awful lot of discussion about allergies and I just think that what LadyL is already doing is enough. It's likely that even the dishes without soy or nuts contain something that someone is allergic to.

I'll refer to this quote which gave me pause:
Please label all "non-mainstream" ingredients such as flax. Personally I carry an Epi pen due to my flax reactions, but I don't normally look for it at weddings.

(I doubt it's a very common allergy but you never know)

I simply do not have enough knowledge about allergies to know which ingredients might cause reactions in every one of my guests. How do you decide if an ingredient is "mainstream" or not? So, do I list every single ingredient? It just gets to the point of getting too cumbersome.

I understand that you might not expect something such as flax to be on the menu at a wedding. But to be honest, if I were alergic to something to the point of needing to carry an epi-pen around with me, you can bet I would ask ingredients every time. I wouldn't differentiate between food at a wedding or food at a friend's house or food at a restaurant. If I've got an allergy, it's on me to make sure about what I'm eating, regardless of where I am.

As far as ensuring there are a variety of dishes, like I said, there are plenty of weddings where that simply does not happen.* Quite often, everyone gets pretty much the same thing, so if you're particular, for whatever reason, it's on you to figure out how to handle that.

*I did forget to mention that they served vegetarian plates specifically to a few of the guests at my son's wedding who required that. However, again, there was no choice. The veg dish was selected by B&G and all the guests that needed that got the same food.

rose red

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2013, 09:24:48 AM »
Allergies do tend to take over food threads, don't they?  I can understand a reminder, but I do get weary when the thread is no longer about the original question, but about allergies.  Yes, I know it's an important topic and discussions will naturally take twists and turns.  That's just my thoughts on food threads.  YMMV.

rashea

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2013, 09:41:35 AM »
Just reading through this thread about all the different possible allergies to possible ingredients makes my head swim. Unless the bride, groom, or one of the close family members or bridal party have an allergy and you want to cater to that, I would not focus on that. And sorry, but I would not explicitly list every ingredient in every dish. No one does that, regardless of whether the meal they are serving is vegan or laden with meat or whatever.

I applaud kherbert who has learned how to live with her severe peanut allergy and has said repeatedly, including in this thread, that it is up to the person with the allergy to vet the foods they eat, not up to the host.

So I think you just set aside all the allergy concerns being discussed here. Giving people plenty of choices and a heads up by posting the menu in advance is really way more than most people do for a wedding reception. My son got married just over a year ago. Everyone got a small portion of two entrees which the bride & groom decided on, a couple sides and some appetizers which were passed around. If anyone wasn't happy with that, well, they just kept it to themselves.

Another wedding I went to, again, everyone got served pretty much the same thing. It was a buffet line with a minimum of choices. I didn't hear a single complaint. Everyone was there to celebrate the couple. The meal was, of course, part of the celebration, but not the main focus.

LadyL, don't fret too much over this.

I don't disagree, but if you are serving an unusual menu, I think it's on the host to consider the consequences of that choice. If there is something as simple as an undressed stir-fry I think the OP is covered. I think the issue is that it sounds like a lot of the dishes will have soy as the protein, and there are a lot of people who can eat tiny amounts of soy but for whom having that as the entree would be a problem.

I think in general it's best to have a few things that even really traditional eaters will be okay with. Even just having a bread and cheese station could make a huge difference in how comfortable some people will be.
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rose red

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #68 on: June 18, 2013, 09:54:12 AM »
Just reading through this thread about all the different possible allergies to possible ingredients makes my head swim. Unless the bride, groom, or one of the close family members or bridal party have an allergy and you want to cater to that, I would not focus on that. And sorry, but I would not explicitly list every ingredient in every dish. No one does that, regardless of whether the meal they are serving is vegan or laden with meat or whatever.

I applaud kherbert who has learned how to live with her severe peanut allergy and has said repeatedly, including in this thread, that it is up to the person with the allergy to vet the foods they eat, not up to the host.

So I think you just set aside all the allergy concerns being discussed here. Giving people plenty of choices and a heads up by posting the menu in advance is really way more than most people do for a wedding reception. My son got married just over a year ago. Everyone got a small portion of two entrees which the bride & groom decided on, a couple sides and some appetizers which were passed around. If anyone wasn't happy with that, well, they just kept it to themselves.

Another wedding I went to, again, everyone got served pretty much the same thing. It was a buffet line with a minimum of choices. I didn't hear a single complaint. Everyone was there to celebrate the couple. The meal was, of course, part of the celebration, but not the main focus.

LadyL, don't fret too much over this.

I don't disagree, but if you are serving an unusual menu, I think it's on the host to consider the consequences of that choice. If there is something as simple as an undressed stir-fry I think the OP is covered. I think the issue is that it sounds like a lot of the dishes will have soy as the protein, and there are a lot of people who can eat tiny amounts of soy but for whom having that as the entree would be a problem.

I think in general it's best to have a few things that even really traditional eaters will be okay with. Even just having a bread and cheese station could make a huge difference in how comfortable some people will be.

Perhaps it posted the same time as you and was missed, but it's been pointed out that six entrees doesn't have soy or nuts.

Mikayla

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #69 on: June 18, 2013, 10:50:47 AM »
I don't think every ingredient (common or uncommon) need to be listed.  The OP can ask a general question about allergies on the invitation, but don't need to go further than that.

I agree.  In fact, I wouldn't even go that far!  LadyL would get a list of ingredients people can't eat....now what? 

I remember someone in here stating one time that the burden of food "responsibility"  at a wedding is not the same as at a restaurant.  (They stated it better).  Because the menu is a little unusual, a good hostess would do what she could to minimize problems.  Maybe a card could be set up by each dish, listing common allergens it contains.  The website could also mention this.

IMO, that's the end of her hostessing burden.



rashea

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2013, 11:06:11 AM »
Actually, for allergies, I think I'd just give people the info on the caterer ahead of time so they can contact them directly and find out what's safe.

I still think it wouldn't hurt to have at least one dish that is easy and common. Stir fry over rice, or something similar would likely be popular. A friend had a stir-fry bar at her wedding (you picked out your ingredients and sauces and they would cook it). Which was cool, but took too long.
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Figgie

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #71 on: June 18, 2013, 11:13:30 AM »
I have an odd allergy (peppers) and it is completely and totally my responsibility to check to see if a dish has peppers in it or not.  For weddings, I have a location and that means it is really easy for me to call the location, find out who is catering and then speak directly with the caterer.  No need to add any more work to the bride or groom, who are quite frankly, busy enough with everything going on with their wedding.  :)

The OP is putting the menu on her wedding website.  She doesn't even need to do that much and it is extremely gracious of her to make the effort for the comfort of her guests.  From everything that she has written, there is going to be a great plenitude of food choices and she really has no responsibility to make sure that every allergy, desire or choice is there for every guest.

This is one one of the reasons I seldom invite people over for meals anymore...I get multiple lists of allergies, intolerances and dislikes.  I'm not a short order cook and I don't run a restaurant.  It is just easier to meet people out for a meal, since a restaurant has many more options than the average home cook has.  :)

Peregrine

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #72 on: June 18, 2013, 11:17:36 AM »
I think the poster up-thread who suggested letting your guests know the theme of your meal would be a suitable compromise.  If you are going to offer an Asian fusion buffet, just state that.  That should be enough of a reminder for those who either don't care for that style of cooking to pack some granola bars in their purse and for those with allergies or intolerances to be aware that Asian typically contains a lot of soy/gluten, what have you. 

At the very least I would make sure that your caterer has a lot of green salad and dinner rolls, which is something normal enough that everyone should be able to eat.  If you are serving alcohol keep in mind that if people aren't eating as heavily because the food doesn't agree with them or they don't care for it, you may have some additional issues.

Dorrie78

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #73 on: June 18, 2013, 11:24:18 AM »
I also think that if you are serving something that looks like a commonly served item, such as pizza, but contains very unexpected ingredients, it should be noted. The flax-crust pizza is an excellent example. When most people see a pizza, they assume it is a wheat-based crust with regular cheese on it and they might not think to ask if it contains flax or almonds, even though they may be allergic.

I think we've had a few threads about this in the past - if an unusual food is "disguised" as something more common, it should be disclosed. And in my relatively-limited experience, it seems that vegan foods often have unusual ingredients disguised in it - not in an effort to be sneaky, but in an effort to mimic the effect of the non-vegan ingredient (think baking without eggs or butter, things like that).

Winterlight

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2013, 11:33:44 AM »
I also think that if you are serving something that looks like a commonly served item, such as pizza, but contains very unexpected ingredients, it should be noted. The flax-crust pizza is an excellent example. When most people see a pizza, they assume it is a wheat-based crust with regular cheese on it and they might not think to ask if it contains flax or almonds, even though they may be allergic.

Agreed. It would simply not occur to me that the dish in front of me that looks like cheese pizza is something very different.

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