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when you have a dinner party...

and one/some of your guests are vegetarian(s), do you make special food for just the vegetarian(s), or how do you handle it? thanks! i am a vegetarian and new to my community, so i have received many invitations to welcome dinners and the like. i would like some feedback from people on how they would feel if (a) i told them i am a strict vegetarian, (b) brought some vegetarian dish to their home (even though most invites clearly state to NOT bring a thing!), or (c) did not mention my preference and just ate the things i could. of course, i may have to disclose the truth if offered something made with meat, so (c) may not be the option i'll go with. thanks!

Tue. Mar 6, 12:35pm

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I appreciate being told of someone's vegetarianism. I've had people assume that I knew and then get offended that I'd forgotten ("didn't you notice that I always order vegetarian dishes when we go tor restaurants?" kind of a deal). Usually I "use" my vegetarian friends as a good excuse to make a cheese fondue :)

Given your situation, I'd go for (b) at the moment and just explain that you didn't want to make a fuss about rennit-free cheese and such.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007, 12:45 PM

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I find it an fun challenge to be able to cook a meal that everyone at my table can/will eat. That said, you should tell your hosts that you are veg and offer to bring something. They may tell you that it isn't necessary.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007, 12:50 PM

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thank you, that IS a major part of the problem. the whole thing with coagulants/additives in cheese that are not vegetarian-sourced. and people almost always fall into serving cheese as an option for non-meat eaters! thanks for the suggestion! and please, more people respond! thanks again!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007, 12:52 PM

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As a frequent hostess who has friends with almost every imaginably dietary restriction under the sun - I say bring it! I love to experiment and figure out ways of cooking a meal that everyone can enjoy. If you said 'strict vegetarian' than would say 'no animal by-products' to me, but you can't depend on that, so I'd mention that to my hostess and ask if I could bring a dish. I never mind if someone does, but I may want to know what it is so I can plan the rest of the meal so that it all works together.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007, 1:25 PM

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I apologize for my altering the course of conversation, but I have to admit I'm a little confused as a non-veg. I only know the very basics about vegetarianism, but if there were cheeses you couldn't eat, wouldn't that be vegan then? Or do the cheeses have some kind of meat in them?

I would also assume (incorrectly, apparently) that cheese would be safe for a vegetarian (but not a vegan). If anyone can help me make sense of this, that would be great.

And to answer your question, OP, I would also let the host know your preference and offer to bring something.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007, 1:25 PM

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here's a quick lesson in the different types of coagulants used in cheese making. this is just a summary. i don't want to get into the graphic details of cheese ingredients because i do not want to come off as preachy or gross anyone out. (i've had a few friends react badly when i explained why i didn't eat jell-o.) vegan would indicate no dairy or meat in the diet. i happen to eat vegetarian-friendly cheese, but i don't eat butter, milk, cream or eggs. trust me, though, it's not difficult these days to accomodate a person with my preferences. but it can be a bit intimidating for those who know nothing about this type of diet!!!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007, 1:50 PM

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i would prefer to be told about your food preferences, but maybe not what you CAN'T eat. tell me what you like to eat, what particular dishes you like. then i can create a menu that fits that dish into it. if i am not at all familiar with the dish, i can then ask you for a recipe or to bring it with you.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007, 10:18 AM

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Wouldn't true vegan's not eat cheese? I mean cheese does come from a cow or goat. I know a lot of vegans who truly don't eat anything that comes from animals, like eggs, milk, and cheese even though the animal doesn't have to be killed for these things, they won't even eat rices or things that are made with broths except of course veg.. But I don't think mentioning the fact that you don't eat meat would be a big issue. There are lots of fabulous dishes with tofu.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007, 10:27 AM

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VEGAN DO NOT EAT MEAT / DAIRY / ANY ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS. oops. vegetarians generally speaking do not eat meat. general definitions.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007, 10:35 AM

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I make special foods. That's the number one rule about having a dinner party. Treat everyone like a special guest.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007, 11:04 AM

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