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 second offering.
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
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
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
- 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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