It is always
a good idea to discretely ask ahead of time if your visitors have
any dietary specifications: i.e. religious restrictions, physical
challenges, allergies to or dislike of certain foods. Technically
it is, their obligation to provide this information to the host
but don't assume they will offer the information without you inquiring.
if a guest refuses an offering of food, offer it again, up to three
times. In many cultures it is rude to accept food on the first or
Guests who visit
the U.S. from abroad typically want American cuisine, not their
own, which is probably a poor replication. Exception: Guests from
the Peoples Republic of China often dislike American food.
Here are some
A guest from the Sichuan Province of the PRC, would sample
many varieties of American food and promptly proclaim, Not
hot! and pour copious amounts of Tabasco sauce on everything
from hamburgers to cereal.
Day Adventists don't eat meat.
Indians don't eat fish.
serving guests from abroad large portions of meat, which are difficult
to cut and appear gluttonous to foreigners. The one exception
is serving the Japanese who covet good meat and are well known
for their Kobe beef.
- Moslems eat no pork (no ham, bacon, sausage, goats, no flesh
of scavenger animals, birds or fish, lobster and crab to a lesser
extent). No animal with a cloven hoof or anything that is cooked
in oil from an animal, or prepared by using an animal byproduct
(bacon grease, lard, pates, terrines, frankfurters). NOTHING cooked
in alcohol, although alcohol is forbidden by religious law, many
Moslems take exception. Saudi's are quite strict about abstaining;
in fact at State dinners when a member of the royal families of
Saudi Arabia or Kuwait is present, NO alcohol may be served period!
Fruit juice should be served for toasts. During the month of Ramadan,
Moslems may not eat, drink or smoke between sunrise and sunset.
is practiced in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Customs vary widely
so research or ask in advance. Most do not eat meat, fish or fowl,
or drink alcohol.
is practiced in Burma, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Nepal, Sri
Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. Buddhism practiced in Southeast
Asia is different from that in Northeast Asia (two sects). Since
Buddhism is a personal and individualistic religion, Restrictions
may be self-imposed. They abhor killing so some do not eat meat,
other's don't drink alcohol. Those from India, Pakistan, &
Bangladesh- are often vegetarians. Many don't eat root vegetables
because it "kills living things". They would eat only
those things where the mother plant is not destroyed.
restrictions - no caffeine nor alcohol, everything in moderation.
- Orthodox Jews do not eat pork or shellfish, nor do they eat
certain parts of the cow. "Kosher" means, "ritually
clean". Dairy and meat products should not be prepared, co-mingled
or served together. Several hours must pass after the consumption
of one and before the other. A kosher meal may be offered or a
fresh fruit salad. Any wine offered must be from a US kosher vineyard
or from Israel. This subject is an entire lecture or book in itself
so we will not attempt to be all inclusive in this brief article.
The important part is to ask in advance if your guests are kosher
and if so, are they "strictly" kosher due to many variants.
Senior level Israeli officials require another careful set of
- welcome beef, and steak in particular. They also enjoy fresh
melons because they are not indigenous to Japan.
true meaning of the word "vegetarian" is no meat at
all, not just red meat.
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