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A discerning citizen asks:

What do you say when someone serves you something disgusting?  I spent the holidays at my in-laws and everything came out of a can.


The trick is – what do you mean by disgusting?

Is it undercooked or raw meat or fish?  It’s one thing if it’s chicken and another if it’s sushi.  Let’s say it’s a steak instead – can’t you ask them to pop it back on the grill for another hour or however long it will take it for you to be satisfied?

Perhaps it’s an allergy – peanuts or shellfish or – in your case – canned.  Since it’s not life or death with canned, we’ll stick with the original and just say so.  “I’m so sorry – I’m allergic.”  The profuse apologies you’ll get should more than satisfy your hunger for attention.

What if it’s perfectly prepared, but something so obscure you’ve never heard of it, or are just terrified of trying it?  Like caviar, or foie gras – in which case you ask for extra and slide it my way – you really should take and try just a little bit.  So what if you get sick?  Big deal.  Worse things have happened.  I’d rather gag than insult a host.  You say “Oh, my, I’m terrified!” and then stick it in your mouth.

Finally, to your question.  What do you say if you find yourself being served food you believe to be below your standards of taste or social class?

You say, “Thank you.”



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