NEXT time you get invited to a dinner party, be on your best behavior by dialing back on the compliments – or at least skipping certain “prai
NEXT time you get invited to a dinner party, be on your best behavior by dialing back on the compliments – or at least skipping certain “praise” that experts warn against.
According to etiquette pros, certain compliments and questions are actually very rude, so keep them out of your table chatter to avoid committing a faux pas.
You’ll enjoy a dinner party when you avoid ‘compliments’ that are etiquette faux pas[/caption]
The advice comes from the experts at EatingWell, who know better than anyone how to effectively navigate dinner party conversation.
“When it comes to a personal endeavor, such as cooking, it’s especially important to approach commentary in a gentle manner,” the experts explained.
If you’re dining at someone’s home, remember that you’re being welcomed into their space, to enjoy the result of their labor, and it’s rude to overstep.
That means you shouldn’t ask your host for their coveted family recipe, no matter how delicious it is.
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“Akin to a treasured wooden salad bowl or an heirloom Dutch oven that’s been passed down through generations, certain recipes are nostalgic, holding particular meaning, and may be a best-kept family secret,” the experts wrote.
Asking for a recipe to replicate a dish at home can lead you down an awkward path, or put undue pressure on your hosts.
“Instead of straightforwardly asking for the recipe or secret, inquire about the story behind the dish,” the pros recommended.
Encourage the chef to share the story behind the recipe, like where it originated from or who taught them to cook it.
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That’s especially true if your host has prepared a unique dish that you haven’t tried before.
When presented with a new food for the first time, there’s one word you should avoid at all costs: “interesting.”
“Saying a dish looks ‘interesting’ or ‘adventurous’ leaves your host wondering what you meant and may cause them insecurity,” the pros wrote.
A culturally-specific dish or something with complex preparation might stir you to make such a comment, but it would be a big blunder, and may be seen as a backhanded compliment.
“Even if the remark rings true, try opting for more supportive phrasing,” the experts advised.
You can say you’re impressed by the technical or artistic aspects of the preparation, or simply thank your host for taking the time to cook for you.
If you harbor any doubts about your own enjoyment of the food, don’t let that skepticism infect your praise later.
Words like “actually” or “surprisingly” can cancel out any positive feedback you provide.
“Commending your host on the meal they worked hard to prepare is always a win,” the experts said. “Just be sure to steer clear of passive-aggressive phrasing and unnecessary words that could potentially offend.”
Finally, avoid making comments on the “healthiness” of a dish, or suggesting ingredient substitutions that your host could make.
You could inadvertently lead your host to believe you didn’t like the food.
Or, you may seem like you’re commenting on the household’s entire lifestyle if you badger the cook about the nutritional details of a meal.
“If you have a diet to adhere to or specific food preferences, let your host know beforehand so they can prepare something you’re sure to enjoy,” the experts wrote. “But bluntly asking if a meal is healthy is unclear and may put your host in an uncomfortable position.”