[Sca-cooks] food dislikes, cultural mores and being polite. was Re: Re: P B & J

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Wed Aug 26 19:41:41 PDT 2009

>Judith Epstein wrote:
>>There are a lot of reasons. Sure, the reasons are valid because 
>>they're yours, but if you're good enough friends to be sharing a 
>>meal, doesn't your friend deserve to know whether you're objecting 
>>to something they might be able to fix, so that you can enjoy one 
>>another's company over a nice plate of food?
>No, they don't "deserve" any of that.  They don't "deserve" to be 
>treated like a restaurant, or "deserve" to be loaded up with my 
>objections to their house, their spouse, or their neighbourhood, and 
>in general, they don't "deserve" to be given a list of what they 
>need to do before I will deign to visit.  They *do* deserve that I 
>show up, behave graciously, don't complain, and do eat my dinner. 
>It is possible that there will be something that I don't eat, but 
>it's really not a big deal-- it's a home, not a restaurant, and if 
>there's something I really don't like, I say "no, thank you" *and 
>forget it*.
>Antonia di Benedetto Calvo

It occurs to me that one part of the question that hasn't been 
discussed is the nature of the dinner. If we're inviting one other 
couple over and making one main dish--as we would if cooking for 
ourselves--then someone not eating that dish is a substantial 
problem. If we are having a dinner party with, say, six guests, and 
making two or three main dishes, in part because we're doing medieval 
cooking and want our guests to experience a range of it, then someone 
who doesn't eat one dish eats something else and there is no problem.

Antonia writes:

>I wouldn't dream of suggesting that my hosts forego cooking 
>something they (or other guests) like because I don't care for it. 
>I don't know why you're so wound up about it.

I wonder if part of the problem is that you are imagining a dinner 
party with lots of guests and lots of dishes, Judith a more intimate 
occasion with one or two guests and a much smaller range of dishes.


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