Dinner-party protocol

Scripps Howard News Service

Must credit Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When inviting someone new over for a meal, it's a good idea to get a sense of what they do and don't eat. While people who have allergies or follow special diets usually feel comfortable being upfront about their needs, many people are more wary of sharing foods they just really dislike. But if the goal is to serve a meal that everyone will enjoy, author Stephanie Lucianovic suggests the following guidelines:

-- Ask people if there's anything they don't eat. If it's something like celiac where cross-contamination is an issue, that's something I want to know, but in general, I don't care why people don't eat something.

-- If someone asks to bring a dish (to make sure there's something they can eat), let them.

-- If possible, serve food family-style, so people can take what they like and avoid other things. And if someone skips over a dish, don't call attention to it.

-- If someone hates a food that you love, don't take it personally.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com.)