There is virtually nothing I would not eat so this would probably not apply to me often.
My brother as a teenager, took some cheese and realised it was one he did not eat, so he stuffed it in his pocket -this would have been OK but he forgot about it and it was a "smelly" cheese -he was not popular.
If there was something I could not eat, I think I would just eat everything else and leave that on the plate and not say anything, or perhaps say, I'm sorry, I do not eat .......
I'd most likely just leave it on the plate in a discreet way of possible! Such as putting a napkin on the plate when finished!!! If it was something I am allergic to,I would very quietly,out of hearing of other guests,explain to the host that I am very sorry to be unable to eat it. This has happened to me ,and rather mlore often than I cafre to admit,but it is never a drama as long as I am polite and do not make a huge deal ver it.
Unless I have a legit reason I can't eat something (eg. it's meat when I'm vegetarian) then I usually feel pressured to at least try a little to be polite. The trouble is if you seem to like it you might get served it over and over.
Majority rules. I think it is unacceptable for you to expect a meal that suits you when you have been invited to a function where the majority of the people invited are meat eaters or whatever is the opposite to your meal preference.
If, on the other hand, it is a celebration for YOUR b'day, anniversary, whatever - then whomsoever is catering for your function, should provide you with whatever you prefer.
If it aint your party, then you just have to go along with whatever is provided - you certainly don't ever want to be the centre of attention. You just have to remember to have a snack ready for yourself when you get home.
I did say that I would eat what was put in front of me unless it had meat in it. I will not eat meat just to please a host. Philosophical objections aside (and those should be enough) it literally makes me sick to eat meat (I have trouble digesting animal fat). I didn't say I would walk into someone else's home and demand vegetarian food be prepared especially for me. Generally there's something I can eat, and if it's not much I suck it up until I get home.
Oh! Jennifer, wouldn't it be easier for you tell an unknowing hostess of your meal preferences, upon invitation?
If I was hostessing work colleagues of my husband's, from overseas, which I had to do on many an occasion, I always asked hubby to check their dietary requirements. It was no a 'big deal' for me to provide for anybody in this way.
Of course I would tell them on invitiation. I was responding to Fran, who was saying that one should never even mention it. And sometimes even when people know ahead of time you get served meat anyway. Sometimes people get the idea that chicken, lamb or pork aren't meat.
This can happen to me quite a bit as I don't eat a lot of meats - I only eat chicken or fish. I haven't eaten any other meat for over 15 years. I couldn't force myself to eat the meat. What I usually do is just have everything but the meat. A problem only arises when someone cooks something that is incorporated into the dish and not easily taken out - like lasagna
If it is a barbecue and you NOTICE that there is only steak next to the barbecue, you can mention it to the host and assure him/her that you have NOTICED the salads available and there will be plenty of food for you to pile on your plate to satisfy your hunger. I would NOT mention being vegetarian AT ALL to my host as I just couldn't bear being asked to the celebration or whatever, and having to see my host worry about me and whether or not they had some alternative. I have vegetarian friends who do this all the time, as well as mentioning their vegetarianism AT THE DINING TABLE after the barbecue coals have died down. I have asked in the past of my vege friends, if they ever take along something (for themselves) to dinner invitations - just in case. Like a lump of lentil and bean meatloaf or something which would enable them to get the salad or vegies onto their plate and then when at the table they could QUIETLY slip the appetising "byo" item onto their
plate and avoid both hurting the feelings of the host and making the person next to you wonder if they should scrape the vege or salad off their plate and onto yours.
Of course, if the host is a friend or yours they will know that they need to provide something separate for you. But it is far more likely that you won't WANT your host to go to any trouble or treat you any differently, isn't it.
Sounds like you've had some bad experiences with people being rude. As a host I would much rather know in advance if anyone has any special dietary requirements because I'd rather there was something all my guests can eat. I have a few vegan and gluten intollerant friends but I might have anything for them if we don't talk about it ahead of time. As a guest I have brought along veggie food to share at a casual gathering like a BBQ where it's a very simple matter to stick some veggie sausages or mushrooms on. It's slightly more awkward at a formal dinner party. Dietary requirements are actually a serious thing. It's not about wanting to be the centre of attention or cause anyone extra trouble. Being violently sick at the table after eating something that disagreed with me would certainly tick both of those boxes.
My friends' know my culinary tastes!
They would NEVER, same as my thinking, serve something absolutely sickening!
Many moons' ago, I stupidly had my in-law's to Dinner. You know, new d/i/l & all that!
Big, big mistake!
Their food taste was ick, she couldn't cook to save herself, in anyway shape or form. Very ignorant woman on just so MANY levels! I wondered why my husband ate so much bread & jam!
Anyhow, I'd cooked a recipe we love, 'Porc en Croute'.
Which is Pork Fillet with Duxelles of Onion & Mushroom atop, then Pate, topped with Prosciutto, all wrapped in Pastry, & baked slowly.
It comes out golden crispy, & the pork fillet melts in your mouth!
When I served it to them, ignoramic m/i/l asked, 'what's this?'.
It's amazing she didn't see the 'steam' coming out of my ears!
Thankfully, their son (my husband) said to them, 'just eat it, & enjoy as it's very tasty, & delicious'.
He's seen the 'look' on my face!
NEVER, never ever, had them to a meal at our house again!
All my friends know I don't eat certain vegetables so I'm not served them. In our place we eat European style where all the meal is placed in serving dishes and platters. This way everyone helps themselves so no problems for guests.
Yes, this is a good idea. It is the ideal way to serve meals. I do this with a roast, I slice the meat onto one plate all the roast vegetables onto another plate, I put the gravy into two gravy boats and there is never a problem. On one occasion I had a problem with a vegetarian sister in law who asked what the vegetables were cooked in, and I said olive oil only - but the potatoes were actually cooked in goose fat. I didn't remember this until later at the dinner table. After discussion with my husband, and his suggestion to say nothing more about it (and I didn't) I felt embarrassed about it. But I got over it.
When I am invited to a meal I let the host know that in meats - I only eat chicken and fish and my husband cant eat mushrooms or avacados and I hope that wont cause any extra trouble.
If something was served that I dont eat I would eat what I can and be grateful.
I went on a tall ship, sailing for a day, where lunch was part of the package. I asked when I booked if there would be a vegetarian option and was assured there was." Lunch" turned out to be a hot dog- a bread roll, tomato sauce and a sausage. The vegetarian option had no sausage. Lol.