Hot answers tagged

104

As a white, Christian, American person I can definitely say that nobody would (perhaps should) be offended by your dietary restrictions. I have a number of friends who are vegetarians for no reason other than they decided they wanted to be. In my opinion, that is far less sacrosanct than religious reasons, and I have always made sure to accommodate them when ...


58

Not rude here in the UK, or anywhere in the western world so far as I'm aware. It is polite, though, to tell your host at an early enough opportunity that they haven't already bought the ingredients and cooked the meal! Really you don't have to just ask them what's in the meal so much as tell them your dietary requirements - it would be inconsiderate of ...


35

I can not answer for the average USA person, but I can answer for the Dutch and likely also for those of Dutch descent who still hold most of their Dutch habits. For us the worst question is the one that is not asked but should have been asked. If you can ask before the cooking is done, like a few days ahead of time when you are invited, your question will ...


32

Last year, I was in the Middle East (in one of the countries where pork and alcohol are available, at least in major hotels) and I invited a colleague to dinner at the hotel restaurant one evening. This person happened to be deeply religious. Before accepting my invitation, he asked me, very apologetically, if I had any plans to consume alcohol at the table, ...


22

Only barely. Vegetarianism in general and veganism in particular is very poorly understood in Japan, and this r/japan thread goes into gruesome detail on what a world of pain you're about to find yourself in.The one vegetarian sushi place I'm aware of in Tokyo (Potager) has now closed. The only vegan items you are likely to encounter in the average sushi ...


22

I am a Christian born and living in Lebanon which is a country populated with an almost 1:1 ratio of Christians to Muslims. I have as much Muslim friends and as I have Christians and we invite each other for meals all the time, and almost always my Muslim friends ask if the food contain any alcohol or pork. This is very normal to a point that I don't ...


19

No, it would never be considered rude to inquire after the contents of food being offered for your consumption, whether for religious or health reasons, as long as you yourself are not rude in your manner of inquiry. "I'm personally deeply religious and my faith precludes me eating pork, or consuming any alcohol; may I ask if you were planning on using any ...


17

You (as well as PLL, who commented and RoboKaren, who answered) need to straighten the confusion here. On the one hand, there is "sushi" (let's call this sushi1), which is an American food, hinted from Japanese cuisine and originated in California, and is usually served by Korean-Americans, Chinese-Americans, or other Americans. It uses normal rice, and is ...


17

Vegan is more than possible in Japan. There are a number of blogs on the topic that I suggest you look at. In terms of the specifics of a sushi restaurant, the vegan basics are: Kappa maki - cucumber roll  カッパ巻き Natto maki - roll with natto 納豆巻き Abokado nigiri/maki - avocado nigiri or maki アボカドにぎり Ume shiso maki - Plums paste with shiso herbs -- see ...


14

Not rude at all! Even more : the substances you've mentioned are potential causes of an allergic reactions and conditions, so it's nothing bad in asking if there's such a substance in the food you're about to eat.


14

I know this question has been covered pretty extensively, but I thought I would put in my two cents worth: If a dish is prepared with alcohol, and there is just the taste of the alcohol left, sometimes just the taste of alcohol can be deadly to a person who is an alcoholic and is trying to stay away from abusing it. So whether or not it is burned off is ...


10

A a westerner who doesn't eat onions, it's fine to tell someone you can't eat something, but do it in a nice way, and ask far ahead of time.


9

In the UK, there are a wide variety of non dairy "milks" for sale, and all chain coffee shops offer soy. There are also lactose free dairy milks in stores. Unsure about the other countries in the list, but would anticipate major supermarkets stocking it


9

In all the countries you have listed, soy milk is easy enough to find; most supermarkets will sell it. In France, you should be able to find it in Super U, Auchan, and Carrefour, and maybe in some Aldi and Lidl too if they're big enough. In Switzerland, I got many links to Reform Haus; you can find those in most of the northern part of the country. In ...


9

Are Allergies Rude? Imagine you were allergic to, say, garlic. Would you feel rude to mention this to your host? In my opinion you should not. Similarly, should not feel rude when mentioning any other dietary restriction or preference, regardless of the reason behind it. It makes no sense to compare the importance of one dietary restriction over the other, ...


8

Yes, I've seen it (and various other non-diary milks) in markets (even smallish ones) in the UK, the Netherlands, and France — coincidentally, because I don't actually drink soy milk. So I'm thinking if it's so common that I remember seeing it even though I don't look for it, it must be fairly common. It may be useful to take a list with you of ...


8

I went to Japan on Feb. 2014, I am allergic to shellfish. I did a lot of research. First thing, it is illegal to bring an epi-pen to Japan and almost impossible to get a special permit to get them in the country. I got the printed card and also a pandora charm that said I was allergic to shellfish. I carried with me Benadryl everywhere. Server at restaurants ...


7

Either you've been misinformed, or we're travelling on different airlines... For a flight I have next week, I've just logged into the "Manage My Booking" section of the airline's website (BA). Once I pick the flight, I see this: By picking the Special Requirements link, I can request a special meal, and additionally on the right hand menu of special ...


7

Airlines provide special meals as an accommodation for special needs (religious, medical, etc), not as an a la carte option. As such they make it something you have to request direct, to indirectly limit it to those who really need it. Allowing passengers to essentially order a la carte online makes catering the flight more difficult and more expensive. ...


6

If you feel too shy for even the suggestions already given, how about, “I appreciate the invitation, but I have too many dietary restrictions to bother you with.”


6

(expanded from my comment above) Background: I am an atheist and will-eat-all-that-stays-in-my-plate. I can also understand that some people find some food disgusting and would prefer not to eat rather than witness that. This can be pork, alcohol, cheese, dogs, reptiles, humans - whatever. My son has an almost-vomit reaction to cheese (and yes, we are ...


5

I am no definite expert on the topic but this customization of a flight, called ancillary services, are usually marketed to travel agents as a profit generator. First let's clarify the different actors. The airlines offer and operate flights, the GDS (Global Distribution System) companies distribute the flights to travel agents and the latter sell to the ...


5

I can't give you any specific information about the Palace on Wheels, but I can tell you that Indian's are very accommodating to people with dietary restrictions. Indian culture encourages individuality in religious practice, and that individuality often shows up as self imposed dietary restrictions (Gandhi is an excellent example). In rural parts of India ...


5

It's common in Italy, too. Most supermarkets have it. You may have more trouble in restaurants and bars (although there are many places where you can get dairy-free Cappuccino); remember to specify your dietary restriction when you eat at restaurants.


5

There have been a lot of excellent answers, and I agree with all/many/most of them. However, to simplify matters: it is as rude as informing people of dietary allergies. You can't/won't eat something for whatever reason. Personally, I cannot tolerate mushrooms, simply for their texture. Sometimes I lie and tell people that I am allergic. More often, I ...


4

In Germany and Austria you can buy soy milk in most supermarkets. If you are interested in a broader selection of soy and tofu products you will find a Reformhaus in every larger city. These supermarkets are specialized on food with special ingredients.


4

As others have said if there are items that you must, or wish to, avoid then politely stating so as soon as possible, possibly including giving the host a chance to withdraw the invitation if the restrictions are severe or contrary to point of the invitation, e.g. Shellfish allergy at a clam bake or pork at a hog roast. Do be prepared to need to clarify the ...


3

You could acclimatize yourself to raw fish now. I am not a big fan of fish and I do not find it hard to avoid fish products when I'm in Japan (although I suppose I could be consuming them unwittingly). In most large, commercial places the Japanese are quite accepting of foreigners' strange requirements, although in the smaller restaurants and bars where ...


3

No, it is not rude (unless the inquiry itself is made in an obnoxious way). People have all sorts of dietary restrictions for any number of reasons (religious/cultural, allergies, interaction with medications, other medical conditions, etc.) After all consuming food is an intimate act and no one should expect anyone to ignore what they are putting into ...


2

This is the survival vegan tip I learnt on my travels: whenever you arrive to a country where normal supermarkets don't have soy milk (which is rare, most of them do), go to an Asian supermarket or try to find an asian neighbourhood (chinese, vietnamese, etc) and you'll get those things there. Sometimes soy milk will necessarily have sugar (ough!) like in ...



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