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Author Topic: Diagramming your dinner guests' diets  (Read 841 times)

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Offline Larry1

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Diagramming your dinner guests' diets
« on: June 21, 2015, 03:18:21 PM »
It has been quite some time since I helped to prepare a full-on dinner party for 8-10 people, but it seemed easier back then. I didn't even know any vegans or people who ate gluten free.  This is a piece by Megan McArdle, who writes generally about business and economic issues but sometimes writes about food. She grew up in New York City but now lives in the Washington, D.C. area.

Quote
These days, it's not uncommon to give a dinner party where you find that one person's a vegan, a second eats gluten free, the third is allergic to tree nuts, and a fourth will not eat shellfish or berries. After you add up all the religious and moral prohibitions, the allergies, the sensitivities, and the preferences, what remains to serve your guests is ... a nice big helping of air. HEPA-filtered, low-humidity air.

I recently saw just such a problem in my Twitter feed: One brunch guest was a vegetarian and another guest had eschewed gluten, nuts and dairy products. How do you cope with such a conundrum?

There are three basic strategies you can employ here: Capitulation, Divide and Conquer, or Armistice...

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Capitulation is for those who are grimly determined to find a menu that will enable you to serve all of your guests the same thing. You ruthlessly chuck out any dish that contains one of the offending ingredients. You find yourself perusing websites of obscure cuisines in the hope that the Afghan Kyrgyz nomads may have a solution to your problem. (They don't.) Then you set aside your weekend to procure ingredients and cook things you have never made before.

Divide and Conquer

This is pretty easy. Let's say you have couples in which one person is vegetarian and one eats meat. She serves one meat dish and a vegetable dish but prepares more of the vegetable dish because the vegetarians will double up on it. There will likely be many more dishes but this example illustrates the approach.

Armistice

This approach puts the onus on the selective eater. You tell the person that you'll be making a salad and would love to have them bring a dish they can eat.

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When I was a vegan, I always volunteered to bring my own main dish and supplementary dessert, because vegans who expect non-vegans to suddenly learn to cook for them are history's greatest monsters. People with seriously restricted diets should not be offended if you say "I'm afraid I don't have any good recipes that fit your dietary requirements; would you mind bringing something you like for the table?" Trust me, they're used to it.

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-19/friday-food-post-diagramming-diners-diets

If you're a vegetarian you can't eat meats but you can eat dairy products and eggs. If you're vegan you can't eat those.  There are also pescatarians, who can eat fish but not meat. I think some vegans are stricter than others, including one sect called fruitarians, who eat only fruit.

While browsing around to find some information about that I came across this:
Vegansexuals are people who follow vegan diets but who also avoid sexual intimacy with nonvegans.

Russians generally seem to be easier to feed than Americans.  What has been your experience accommodating guests' dietary choices?

Offline Boethius

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Re: Diagramming your dinner guests' diets
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2015, 03:22:37 PM »
My better half is a vegetarian, no meat, no fish.  We never ask for anything special, he will just stick to salad if we go out and that's the only option.


We generally prepare more vegetables than meats in any event, as did my mother, so there would be no issues, ever, for a vegetarian or someone on a gluten free diet.  I don't think the nationality of the guest has ever changed our approach.
True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Offline Larry1

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Re: Diagramming your dinner guests' diets
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2015, 03:32:20 PM »
This is a funny scene about an American vegetarian who goes to Ukraine. It's from the movie "Everything Is Illuminated"




Online 2tallbill

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Re: Diagramming your dinner guests' diets
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2015, 04:12:33 PM »
I like almost everything and now that I don't live in the Bay Area it's rather
rare that we run across any vegetarians. I know about as much about gluten
as I know about the olfactory behavior of fruit flies. So if somebody has a
gluten issue then they are on their own.

If I know somebody is vegetarian I can easily make something tasty for them
which they can have along with the other dishes we've made.

The militant vegetarians, the ones who give us grief about eating flesh etc,
don't get invited to the 2tallbill household. I don't give people grief if they
want to eat that way, I won't listen to them telling me what/how to eat.

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Online 2tallbill

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Diagramming your dinner guests' diets
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2021, 03:12:19 PM »
There are three basic strategies you can employ here: Capitulation, Divide and Conquer, or Armistice...

From the Simpson's

    Homer: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Lisa, honey, are you
    saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
   
    Lisa: No.
   
    Homer: Ham?
   
    Lisa: No.
   
    Homer: Pork chops?
   
    Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!
   
    Homer: [chuckling] Yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

FSUW are not for entry level daters
FSUW don't do vague
FSUW like a man of action. Be a man of action 
If you find a promising girl, get your butt on a plane.
There are a hundred ways to be successful and a thousand ways to f#ck it up
Kiss the girl, don't ask her first.

 

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