Social Question

BeccaBoo's avatar

Is it rude to take your own food to someone else's house if you are invited to dinner?

Asked by BeccaBoo (2725points) October 25th, 2011

By this I mean, should you only drink fizzy water and rather than be fussy and make a scene about it, just go prepared and have your own?
Or say you like certain condiments with your food, you take them? Or say for example, you are vegan and the host has no idea of this and rather than make them feel uncomfortable you provide a dish, just in case.

I know some of you will say, that a good host will already prepare for their guests and know that they are vegan,vegetarian, or in tolerant to something, but sometimes it’s not possible to know, especially if it’s a last minute arrival.

Is it considered rude to do this?

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19 Answers

Buttonstc's avatar

There are so many people who have restricted diets for a variety of reasons, as long as you prepare enough to share and let the hostess know (even if last minute) I don’t see how that could be offensive.

A lot depends upon the attitude you portray as well. But as long as you’re being reasonable about it, most people would be fine with it.

I’m not a vegetarian but have numerous friends who are and I always love trying something new and most vegetarians have become good cooks in self defense at social situations so I always enjoy their spin on something.

Bring a casserole or salad large enough to share and don’t worry about it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Buttonstc GA. As long as you let the host(ess) know it should be fine.

Judi's avatar

It’s amazing how much food is involved in socializing!
I have been on a special diet and I usually clarify with the host or hostess upon the invitation. I say, “I would love to attend, but I’m on a medically supervised diet. Do you mind if I bring my own food?”
If I were vegan, I might say, “thank you so much for inviting me! I don’t know if your realized that I am vegan. I would love to bring one of my favorite recipies to share, then you won’t have to worry if what you prepared would fit into my limited diet. ”

wonderingwhy's avatar

To me it depends on the meal. If it’s a formal, set menu, dinner being served, then yeah, I’m going to take offense to that. If it’s an open event like a BBQ, a party, a random spur of the moment thing, or something similar, the only way you might get yelled at (by me anyway) is if you didn’t bring enough – to me in situations like that the more the merrier!

As you pointed out in the question, in the first case I would’ve covered the bases with you on dietary restrictions. In the second case I’m feeding a large group long term – majority rules; I’ll take care of you if I can but probably can’t guarantee I’ll have time. (i.e. I’ve got no problem tossing some veggies, or fish or whatever, on the grill between steaks but I’m not going to be heading into the kitchen to put together eggplant ravioli for you.)

In my experience most people plenty happy to have a little extra food and wine on the table but general rule of thumb, if your not sure, ask.

marinelife's avatar

If you want something particular to drink, bring it.

If you have dietary restrictions, remind the host or hostess when you are invited and offer to bring something then.

Condiments? No, it is not OK to bring those.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think it is rude if you don’t bring enough to share, otherwise, no.

Judi's avatar

I don’t think anyone would want to share my little portion controlled entrees.
It is more important to me that I take care of my health than that I don’t offend. I make every effort not to offend, but I don’t care how many hours you slaves over that chocolate cake I will not take one bite. It’s like asking an alcoholic to take one sip of alcohol.
Food is such a central part of socializing, and obesity is out of control. Many people suffer from food allergies and it appears gluten intolerance is increasing as fast as lactose intolerance. It would be rude of a hostess to take offense at someone who is trying to make their own accommodation to stay social and eat within either their medical limitations or their self imposed efforts to navigate the dietary land mines that the modern American diet throws in our path.
It would be rude to ask a host or hostess to prepare a special meal for you, but to bring your own and some to share is quite reasonable.

syz's avatar

If you have dietary restrictions and don’t want to create a hardship for your host/hostess, sure it’s fine, as long as you let the host/hostess know in advance.

If it’s because you have a personal preference (fizzy water and condiments!), then yes, it’s rude.

Ayesha's avatar

Don’t surprise any of the people throwing the party. Or if it’s that much of a problem eat at home, so that you don’t feel hungry at the party. Party food is usually good though.

nikipedia's avatar

If you have important food restrictions for moral or health reasons, I agree that the best course of action is to bring a dish you’d like to share.

If you are just being picky, though, I think you have to be a grownup, eat what’s served to you, and thank your gracious host/ess.

My friends have so many dietary restrictions that dinner parties are virtually impossible. I don’t eat meat, one girl has a lactose intolerance, another has a gluten intolerance, and another is constantly on insane diets. I have given up cooking for them. From now on: potlucks.

Pandora's avatar

I think a good hostess should provide everything for every diet. Before I have a sit down dinner I always make sure to find out if anyone has any sort of allergies or diet restrictions. I find people don’t do this anymore.
At my last party I had a person who didn’t eat pork and so I made two pasta salads. One had ham and the other had none. Then I always make two types of cheese cake. One all natural and fattening as hell and the other for anyone who may be diabetic or simply wanting to fight the bulge.
I’ll also include a Bruschetta and some sort of meat, and salad.
I would be offended if they brought seasonings since I have a ton of seasonings.
I try not to include nuts in anything I make in case of allergies and I’ll also have fruits.
I’ve even done a lasagna that is meat filled on one side and cheese only on the other side.
I ask people for a list of any food allergies but not for what they like or don’t like. I’ve had people tell me, I don’t like onions and yet they eat my food fine. I just chop it up so fine they don’t know its there.
Really picky eaters should just stay home.
If you do bring a casserole, than please be sure to take home the left overs. I hate it when people pass along stuff that no one has eaten but themselves and I’m am forced to throw it out.
If you see no one is eating it than a person should take the hint and take it with them.

wundayatta's avatar

Well, a host makes a lot of preparations and the kitchen is full. Having a guest show up with a whole second meal makes things very difficult. Sometimes the host knows your dietary restrictions and goes all out to accommodate you. If you bring your own meal, it is a big downer for the host who feels like their efforts are not appreciated.

Of course, I have a friend who always brings her own stuff, and so since we’ve been doing this for years, I know what to expect. She’ll bring her salad and her salmon and she’ll ask for time in the over to broil it and she’ll be underfoot in the kitchen and that’s just a part of why we love her. She was also chronically late to every event ever when her husband was alive. Too soon to tell if that is still the case. But it’s not looking good.

I think that if these things are hashed out before hand, then it’s not rude. A host should ask and a guest should inform if not asked. Then people expect what happens. If it is sudden and your demands make it difficult for the host to do what they planned, then I think it is rude.

SuperMouse's avatar

Whenever I have hosted dinner parties, I asked the guests with whom I am not as familiar if their were any dietary restrictions this goes for kids parties too what with so many nut allergies these days. If a hostess does not ask this question then I think @Judi‘s idea about discussing with the hostess and way of doing so is brilliant. All of that being said, I do think that if neither of these things happened, it would be my choice to politely decline the invitation rather than risk humiliating the host by bringing my own food.

Hibernate's avatar

I wouldn’t be insulted if someone else comes to my house and brings their own food. But usually they come to my place to eat because I make good food.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Judi It’s amazing how much food is involved in socializing! That is the rub, isn’t it? We stress over what to eat, how to eat it, etc when millions in the world would just be happy to eat, no condiments, no seasoning, they just want something to eat. In industrial societies food is not just to keep the body going anymore, it becomes an event.

lonelydragon's avatar

It depends on how you approach the issue. If you bring enough to share, then no one will think anything of it.

creative1's avatar

When I was really restricted on what I could and couldn’t have I would take a dish I could eat with me and bring enough for others to share if they wanted it. I then knew I at least had something there I could eat. My mother taught me to do this along time ago, that way the hostess doesn’t have to cater to each individuals special needs.

blueiiznh's avatar

I don’t think it is rude. Bring anything you want. If I invite people over it’s because I enjoy their company. They can bring grocery bags if they want or just for them. No big deal..

AshlynM's avatar

No, I don’t think so. Especially if it’s a desert or a bottle of wine. It’d probably be best if you let your host know you’re going to be bringing your own dish, just so they don’t t feel left out.

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