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Kardamom's avatar

If you are a picky eater and you are invited to a potluck party, what would you bring?

Asked by Kardamom (28248points) July 9th, 2014

Would you simply not attend the party, or would you bring something that you like, and expect that that is probably the only thing you would eat at the party?

What would you hope that other people would bring to the party, that you would be willing to eat?

Just in case we decide to have a summer Fluther potluck party, what do you picky folks want us to bring for you?

As most of you know, I am a vegetarian, and I have a cousin who has celiac disease, several relatives that have diabetes, my Dad is lactose intolerant, my best friend’s boyfriend won’t eat mushrooms, beans or anything spicy (even though he’s a vegetarian) and one of my close friends has a severe peanut allergy. Thank goodness I’m not a picky eater and I love to cook and track down recipes, so I don’t mind trying to accommodate everybody’s tastes and needs.

I’m just wondering if there are a few universal recipes that everybody likes.

If you are the picky eater, what will you bring to the party, and what would you like us to bring?

I’m putting this in General, because I don’t want anybody to make fun of, or be disparaging towards anybody who has unusual or special eating habits, because it can be tough.I just want to figure out what foods might work for everybody.

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19 Answers

GloPro's avatar

Honestly, if it were a big potluck and I had dietary issues I’d eat prior to going and take a dish I like.

That way you don’t have to worry about getting sick or violating your dietary choices.

Kardamom's avatar

@GloPro That is the question, what would you bring? You, specifically.

I’m trying to figure out if there are some recipes that 99% of people with dietary restrictions or propensities towards finickiness would actually like to eat.

Potato salad seemed kind of universal, but then a bunch of folks mentioned how they hate mayonnaise. So I’m wondering if there is something that everybody likes and can tolerate.

longgone's avatar

I was an extremely picky child, as well as a vegetarian from age five. I’m used to surviving parties on bread, cheese, and baby tomatoes.

Unfortunately, I doubt there’s aynthing everybody likes. You may be able to sneak around the issue by bringing a kind of “mix and match” dish…a dessert example would be ice cream with several toppings – fruit, sprinkles, nuts, hot fudge…

Kardamom's avatar

@longgone I was thinking that bread (gluten free for my cousin with celiac disease) might work, but then I remembered that my other cousin and her family are doing the paleo diet and won’t eat bread made with any kind of grain. This is going to be harder than I thought. Sigh…

P.S. She actually does eat bread, but she just says on Facebook that she doesn’t, ha!

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Boy, do I have food issues! I love the flavor provided by onions, but I am allergic, and the only form I can tolerate is onion powder.
I need to eat mild, mostly, though sometimes I can’t resist torturing myself to have general’s chicken.
I think with a large gathering, having themed sections would be appreciated rather than ridiculed. I have asked, sometimes,“Your dish looks delicious, but I mustn’t have onions. Did your recipe include onions?” That way, the cook knows their dish is desired, even if it must be passed over by one.
I would probably bring a soup or stew. If I knew I was attending a shindig with a number of vegetarians, I would bring two versions, and, again, perhaps there would be segregation of suitability to various needs.
At family reunions, we used to set up main dish here, salads there, desserts in their spot. I see no reason not to have: no meat, bland, diabetic, or whatever areas to accommodate special needs.

livelaughlove21's avatar

If this many people in my family had dietary issues or were on special diets (Paleo? Seriously?), I’d avoid these get-togethers at all costs. I certainly wouldn’t host any. I honestly don’t know a single person like this in my family or my husband’s. We southerners are simple and we all eat burgers, hot dogs, pasta, steak, chicken, deviled eggs, desserts – you name it. Easy.

If it were just me that was picky, I’d bring something I like. It’s not my job to please everyone. People’s dietary restrictions are not my problem.

jca's avatar

In the summer, I would bring fruit. Everybody likes fruit and it accomodates a lot of dietary needs.

For myself, if I were a picky eater (which, thankfully or not, I am not), I would eat first. I would bring dessert, because I like dessert. That way, if there wasn’t anything I could eat or wanted to eat at the party, I would know that there’d be a good dessert at the end.

Usually when I visit people for dinner, I bring dessert, so I know there’s good dessert, since that’s what I am into.

If you read etiquette books, they usually say that the host is not required to try to accommodate people’s dietary needs or desires, and nor should guests comment on their health issues, likes and dislikes. They say eat first and shut up about your needs. When I go to someone’s house, even if they have food I can’t stand, I smile and say “It looks great!” I take a little and try to eat some, and push it around on my plate. Then I say I’m stuffed.

kritiper's avatar

Home-made mac and cheese.

Kardamom's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I guess me and @Jonesn4burgers wouldn’t be welcome at a party at your home then?

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

People who don’t care about diet issues never had their throat and tongue swell, breathing become all but impossible, and their skin crawl so bad they want to peel out of it.
I am also one of those people who don’t care for mayo. I have sometimes made my way through some mayo, but at home I make substitutions. I have thought about trying to develope a deviled egg recipe with maybe cream cheese, but so far I haven’t just boiled the eggs and given it a go.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m a vegetarian and I’m famous for my chicken and noodles. Yes, a boiled chicken picked clean and diced and homemade noodles (dumplings) cooked in the broth. Masochistic tendencies? There was one particularly dire reunion, and I took 3 things I could eat to the next one.

“Aunt Dorothy Salad” is usually a hit. Little bits of raw cauliflower & broccoli, thin sliced red onion, black olives, canned mushrooms and sliced water chestnuts marinated in Italian dressing with grape tomato garnish. Keeps well, the ingredients are all very visible, and delicious.

Aunt Mildred was famous for her corn. During the summer she cut 100’s of ears of corn off the cob, and during the winter heated it in a pan with a bit of real butter. Heaven! We couldn’t get enough of it.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I’m a somewhat picky eater, not due to religious belief or health issue, but because of my hyper-sensitive tongue. Therefore I can’t really predict which food I can’t eat. When attending such party, I think I’ll just take the leap of faith and see what I can eat.

What I will bring? I think I’ll bring corn-and-shrimp soup, fried chicken, Olivier salad and grilled rib. I’ll try everything else, but in case nothing fit me, I’ll come back to my food then.

ibstubro's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers if you search for a mayo free deviled egg recipe, you’re sure to find dozens. It’s finding the good one that’s the trick.

I’m not far off @livelaughlove21‘s territory. Fend for yourself, ye of little faith!

Coloma's avatar

I’d bring a giant watermelon, can’t get much safer than that. No gluten, no lactose, not spicey, vegan, and oh well…maybe the diabetics gonna have to take one for the team. lol

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Kardamom Oh, you’re welcome to come, but you’d probably want to bring your own meat-free dish unless you just plan on eating sides. Accommodating for one person with one restriction is different than accommodating for 40% of the party, all with different restrictions. I simply wouldn’t do it.

GloPro's avatar

I agree. A potluck party implies many different dishes. Is everyone in attendance expected to cater to all of the restrictions you mentioned? If not, then it sounds like a recipe for everyone walking away with upset stomach or feelings, or worse. With potluck and dietary restriction you are asking those attending to have to inquire about onion, or meat (or meat based broth), etc. I think most would feed themselves prior to and then nibble for visual effect on the dish they brought and maybe one or two others.

I personally am the type of host that will go out of my way to cater to my guest’s dietary needs. I would host dinners accordingly, not throw a potluck.

If you twist my arm I would show up with Bloody Mary skewers. Inject heirloom grape tomatoes with Absolut Peppar or Limon, let sit overnight, and line on a skewer with a slice of celery, a pepperoncini, an olive, pickled asparagus and green beans, and peppered bacon. You can make skewers with different stacks to accommodate vegetarians, etc. sprinkle celery salt over skewers. Eat until buzzed.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I am a very picky eater. I have a few things I always tend to lean toward bringing when it comes to potlucks. I usually opt to bring desserts, such as cookies, brownies, cakes, and pies. Other times, I’ll bring meatballs (in red sauce) and rolls or lasagna (red sauce, meat, 3 cheeses). I always take things I like to eat in case I don’t like the things other people bring.

Coloma's avatar

@GloPro OMG your Bloody Mary skewers sounds amazing! I love marinated strong beans. Mmmm….

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