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Ketchup with Prime Rib??!!??


Just curious how other CHs feel about this - had fam over for dinner last night for rare mid week dinner but it was Bday for family member. The butcher had rib roast on terrific special ($5.99/lb with bones!) and ordered big roast thinking this would be great tasting and easy to make on work day. Roast turned out very delectable, lots of garlic, crusty on outside, perfectly med rare inside. A little tension ensued over 4 bones and 6 diners. Anyway, the niece asked for ketchup with her prime rib and proceeded to drown my beautiful roast in the red glop. Honest to goodness, did not say anything negative to her but my face must have given away my feelings. What do you do when your guests ruin your meal with ketchup, mustard, other condiments that detract from the main event? How do you convince an almost 21 yo that not everything needs to be doused with red sauce to be consumed? What would you have done?

  1. Hate to say, different strokes for different folks. Is it really worth making a big fuss and possibly making people feel uncomfortable? The most I would do is make a small casual joke like "boy, you really like your ketchup....", very casually, and I would try to keep any judgement out of my voice, because I would not want to make a scene. But I feel your pain about the prime rib...

    Now, if she had doused MY serving of Prime rib, different story... Don't mess with my food! But for her own serving, well, maybe someday she'll see the light...

    1. While I would never do the ketchup thing myself, who am I to tell someone what they should like. To my way of thinking, it's no different than seeing a beautiful steak "ruined" by the addition of a nasty sauce made with a moldy cheese. Live and let live.

      1. I would have smiled, happy that my guest was enjoying the meal, and the celebration.

        And just so I can be clear , "Anyway, the niece asked for ketchup with her prime rib and proceeded to drown my beautiful roast in the red glop" mean she did this to the portion on your plate? If so, I would have made myself a new serving. If however you mean she used ketchup on the portion on her plate, well, sorry, her portion, her plate, she eats it, shrug.

        Right now, my face may have given away my feelings, that I am relieved that I am not a guest at a dinner where the host is watching to make sure everything is consumed in the manner/methods she has deemed to be the "correct".

        1. I had a friend years ago that put ketchup on everything from burritos to a fish dinner. And I'm talking about something that had a complimentary sauce to top the dish. So the food was not dry. And there was no tasting beforehand so it was not meant to insult me. However I had to laugh it off. Making a comment doesn't help. I myself am a big fan of hot sauce on many things but I try to refrain when I am a guest. Sometimes I would say that I'm out of ketchup(which I don't use for many things)just to see the worried reaction. I still consider it immature and bad manners.

          1. I once heard that ketchup has more sugar than ice cream so there may be more to it.

            1. we had a Norwegian exchange student a few years back. She LOVED ketchup and put it on EVERYTHING. We don't care for ketchup and it can take us years to get through the small glass bottle...the year she lived with us i went through SEVERAL of the Costco sized bottles.

              At first it was a shock to see her put it on everything I put in front of her at dinner...but...it was her plate so she could do as she pleased. I did usually try and get her to taste new things first without ketchup since a lot of what we fed her WAS new to her and that's part of the experience. We all laughed about the whole ketchup thing(we never got her ketchup addiction and she never got our feta addiction)...and whenever she's come to visit us since we've met her at the a/p with a big bottle of ketchup and a big bag of Cheetos(her other favorite food...though this one she discovered here).

              Anyway, live and let live and all that. Life is too short to let things like this set me off.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ziggylu

                We had a Dutch exchange student that did the same thing. He substituted catsup for salad dressing and then mixed everything on his plate together. Quite a sight, but his plate, his meal.

              2. That had better been the best ketchup in the world :)

                1. I feel your pain. I consider asking for a condiment that isn't on the table a veiled implication that I don't like the host's cooking well enough to even try their dish without the "help". My Mom does this same thing to me by salting everything she eats without even tasting it first. I don't like it, but as you did, I hold my tongue. People are going to do what they're going to do and while it may not be worth making trouble over, I don't see anything wrong with sharing my frustration on a food discussion board like this one.

                  1. I'd probably say I didn't have any ketchup. Which would happen to be true, since I normally don't keep any in the house. Then I'd feel guilty about being a bad host, and worry whether she was enjoying her ketchup-less meal....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bat Guano

                      Me the same - lie and then worry about her discovering the ketchup when she goes to get something from the fridge - crazy "noises off" drama ensues....and I wish I would have "gone with the flow."

                      I maintain that some/many people these days do not know their cuts of meat as they did when you went to a butcher -so, she probably did not appreciate the cost/special occasion. It could have been London broil as far as she knows.

                      I do love ketchup on fish sticks. :)

                    2. One person's ketchup is another's horseradish/creamed horseradish. And as one respondent stated, different strokes for different folks. Your nieces choice of ketchup is what made it a 'main event' for her. I would've done nothing except to sit back and enjoy my piece of prime rib my way! Again, to each their own.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: crt

                        The thing about this instance is that one would hope that once the "kid" is out of the primary grades she might have a little more grace than to "drown the roast in red glop". As a dad/uncle I've tried to get the youngsters to grow out of their "hotdog and macaroni" taste limits. One way that I've done this is to plate up dressings and sauces in serving bowls with tiny spoons -- tends to make it less easy for the the plate to get covered the way it would with one of those handy squirt bottles...

                        Undoubtedly this girl has not had an intervention even so mild, unfortunately the right time is not at a birthday dinner. Perhaps you can make a foodie of her yet, but I think you have to decide if/when the effort will be appreciated.

                        1. re: renov8r

                          "The thing about this instance is that one would hope that once the "kid" is out of the primary grades she might have a little more grace than to "drown the roast in red glop"."

                          I'm reminded of a great line in the movie Grumpier Old Men. When Jack Lemon's (son) character is grocery shopping with Burgess Meredith's (father) character. Father throws a package of bacon into the shopping cart and says, "I'm done." Son says, "Gee, Pop, I wish you'd try the low fat bacon." Father to son, "Well, you can wish in one hand and crap in the other, and see which gets filled first."

                          And I think jfood makes a couple of excellent points. As do those of the 'wouldn't do anything' camp.

                      2. Jfood couldn't care less if someone asks for something to better jfood's cooking as long as they enjoy the meal. Jfood would give someone mayo for a prime rib if that is what they wanted. If she enjoyed it more with the ketchup then she did not ruin her meal, but made it better in her eyes.

                        As far as convincing a 21 y.o. about this, it falls into pick your battles. Heck, having a 21 y.o. over for mid-week dinner with the family at all is an accomplishment in many households. Enjoy the time with her.

                        1 Reply
                        1. What would I have done?? Nothing (besides a little joke maybe).

                          How would you feel if someone said you ruined your Rib Roast by cooking it all the way to medium rare rather than keep it rare? Why ruin a beautiful piece of meat but overcooking it? its the same thing with ketchup. She likes it, its her meal so let her enjoy it as she chooses. If she wants to taste nothing but ketchup, so be it.

                          1. I have a similar pet peeve. With steak and some other dishes I make, I have a few friends that love to drown them in condiments that detract from the intended taste. While I understand "different strokes for different folks," what incenses me is that they try and force me to try their bastardized version while insisting that "it tastes better!" This is the point at which I feel like wringing their neck because I feel like I spent all that time marinating/cooking/etc for nothing - I may as well have invested little to no effort. What is the proper way to deal with this recurring situation sans violence?

                            14 Replies
                            1. re: LTL

                              I'm in the, "would have said nothing" camp but I'm sure my face would have said all that I could not! I never take it personally when people, "doctor up" my dishes I just loathe ketchup!

                              1. re: LTL

                                "What is the proper way to deal with this recurring situation sans violence?"

                                Here are your choices!

                                1. Choose new friends. I must admit, I rarely want to wring the necks of my friends... something's gotta give.

                                2. Don't eat steak with your friends. Or any other dishes that make you want to wring their necks. (nothing like a neck wringing to put a damper on the evening).

                                3. Don't invest any effort in cooking for these friends. Perhaps they can cook their own steak when they come over? A steak bar, with spices, condiments, and they can cook it any way they like?

                                4. Invest in a thicker skin :) No one is going to win the argument of "what tastes better". If they are important to you, you may have to accept their tastes as being different from yours, and move on.

                                1. re: moh

                                  It's really not a matter of me insisting my way is best - but it annoys me when they try and force me to eat it their way. I already said I agree that they can eat it their way - just don't insist I do too! There's only so many times you can politely but firmly say "no thanks."

                                  1. re: LTL

                                    I hear you! So perhaps avoiding the situation is best: #2, don't eat steak with your friends...

                                    Sometimes, friends don't realize that their behavior is upsetting to you. Maybe a quiet gentle word sometime in private?

                                    Or sometimes, they know it pisses you off, and they continue to push the button just to get under your skin (we have a friend whom we constantly tease about his hatred of wicker). It's a different dynamic.They know you have a hang-up about an issue, and it is part of the witty repartee. So one thing I get bugged about is my refusal to go back to a certain breakfast restaurant because of their terrible maple syrup policy. They love to get me grumpy by suggesting we go back. I accept this good-natured ribbing, and it continues precisely because i react so violently to their suggestion. I realize there may be some unreasonable component to my refusal to go to this place, but hey, it is part of my character, and part of the joking that defines our relationships.

                                    1. re: moh

                                      I definitely agree with the third point. Just have to try and ignore it I guess :)

                                2. re: LTL

                                  Number 1, have your tried their concoction? Who knows, jfood giggled many years ago when someone placed a glass of sauterne in front of his foie gras. Voila.

                                  Jfood suggests trying it with an open mind. And when the person asks, be honest and tell him/her that you like the original presentation without the stuff.

                                  Jfood has tried a lot of things from people on these boards and from people at his house. 90% of the time he can;t stand the change. But those 10% still bring a smile to jfood's face whenever he takes a bite of a true "new and improved."

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    I'm also big on trying everything once since you never know what gems you might discover, but to answer your question, yes I have tried it and disliked it very much.

                                    1. re: LTL

                                      in the 90% bucket so you can let them know you did not like the change and move on. After a few of these, you have the option of stating, "you know every time we try to change I keep coming backto the original, so i think i'll pass this time."

                                  2. re: LTL

                                    Perhaps they just don't like the flavors you marinate your steak in, and so like to disguise the flavor with other condiments. Why get upset? Enjoy your meal and let them enjoy theirs. If it's such a concern, make chicken instead. :-)

                                    1. re: Catskillgirl

                                      Cats-That's mean! :-) Some of us hate chicken!

                                      In all seriousness, what is "perfect" for the chef may not be for the guest. Maybe she was doing her best to eat something that might have been over/under-cooked for her. My husband and I might be weird but when an invitation is accepted we ask about allergies, dislikes and such. Our bottom line is we want our guests to feel welcome in our home, "It is my pleasure to get you ketchup, can I get you anything else?"

                                      1. re: Catskillgirl

                                        Clearly you have not read the entire exchange ;) Nowhere did I state that my opinion of how something should taste is "perfect" - but they do this everywhere they go, so it's not a matter of "disliking the flavours I marinate my steak in." I couldn't care less about others' tastes AS LONG AS they don't force it onto me even though I'm accepting of their opinions. To all the people telling me to "live and let live": shouldn't my guests be held to the same standard and therefore be discouraged from continually badgering me to adopt their tastes?

                                        1. re: LTL

                                          >>shouldn't my guests be held to the same standard (live and let live) and therefore be discouraged from continually badgering me to adopt their tastes?

                                          AbsoLUTEly, LTL!! I would no more expect a host or a restaurant (unless it's one of those scary steakhouses) to tell me I can't have ketchup for my steak or mayo for my fries than I would expect them to share in my culinary delight.

                                          1. re: dolores

                                            The difficulty lies in the fact that "true believers" have it in their nature to try and convert the "heathens" to their way of eating. No matter which side of the steak sauce issue one stands on, if one passionately believes that their approach is the one true way to eat it, then they will be driven to carry that message to the unwashed masses who just haven't seen the light of day yet.

                                            No wonder I am always being branded a "food heretic" by the enlightened! I may have to start wearing a string of garlic around my neck to ward off the evil vampires. (Mmmmm - garlic) ;-D

                                    2. As long as she enjoyed the meal, that's what matters. As others have said, to each their own. I would never want anyone to give me the stink eye for putting peanut butter on my waffles (which I do religiously), so I would never criticize another for their condiment choices.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Suzy Q

                                        Well, um, yes, I put ketchup on prime rib, if given the opportunity. I also put it on filet mignon.

                                        I usually like a little food with my ketchup.

                                        1. re: Suzy Q

                                          O Suzy Q! I would never ever give you the stink eye for putting PB on my waffles! It's YUM!

                                          1. re: crt

                                            Ketchup on my prime rib - NEVER! But if that is what floats your boat, fine. I just have to draw the conclusion that the only taste you have is in your mouth and it is full of tomatoes!

                                            Peanut butter on my waffles - ALWAYS! A whole grain waffle with PB is a good healthy breakfast and one I ate with my grandson every morning!

                                          2. re: Suzy Q

                                            Waffles? heck, peanut butter works on anything.

                                            I remember the Taco Bell commerical a few years back when they had their fire burritos or whatever they were called. A customer was stopped from adding sauce and was encouraged to "taste it" first.

                                            I do think if someone is putting forth and effort to make something special, with pride behind it, tasting it is the very least a guest can do before dousing it with anything that would compromise the taste.

                                            It's no fun to eat what you can't even see.

                                          3. Well, I had friends over in my high school days, and once I made a greek salad that seemed perfectly spiced to me. One of my friends decided it wasn't salty enough, salted it more, more, more... until it was inedible and she (I) had to throw it out. Boy was I pissed.

                                            My man likes his steak with A1 steak sauce *gag*, while I prefer mine au nature... but I'm not going to give him shit for that. As long as he doesn't make me eat it that way ---

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              I've had plenty of "Can I have some A1 steak sauce?" tossed at me over the years. I've even had relatives ask for Worcestshire sauce, horseradish, etc. You know what, it never bothered me. It did mean that I needed to keep an inventory of these condiments around, but that was a small concession in order to please a visiting relative. I had one guest bring a bottle of brown deli mustard to our house because he was afraid that his friend's "goy" wife (me) might only have yellow mustard for his pastrami. It was a bit funny and I wasn't insulted.

                                              The ketchup obsession is usually something you see with very young kids, but I do recall watching adults put it on scrambled eggs, veggies, and (horror) spaghetti. Everyone's taste is different. My only concern would be that if she ever decided to douse her meal like that during, say, an important business dinner or job interview, she might not make the best impression. Because of this, some adult needs to pull her aside, when not in the middle of meal, and probably point out that it would be considered a bit uncouth in certain settings. It will be for her own good. But for the family B-day dinner, I say let her slather away. In Texas, I have discovered that many people just love to sauce their food with hot sauce, or put jalapenos on everything. Hey, it's their food, and in a family setting, no need to be judgmental.

                                            2. I happen to like prime rib or any type of steak with ketchup or steak sauce. I just like my condiments. I'm sorry if it hurts someone's feelings but I like the flavors and textures together. It doesn' t mean the meat isn't tasteless and needs something else, just that I happen to like it. I'm 34 years old and cook and eat a lot of different foods.

                                              People are just different. They have different tastes. That is what makes this world such an interesting place. If we all liked the same things, how boring that would be! The culinary world certainly would be less interesting by far!

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: alliedawn_98

                                                I agree, alliedawn98. Although good natured ribbing doesn't hurt, continual entreaties to 'try it try it try it' can get annoying. I like ketchup on my steak and mayo on my fries. Others don't.

                                                That's why there is vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  I don't like the idea of even "good-natured ribbing." Let the girl eat her meal the way she wants, for heavens sake! I would be very insulted if my host made jokes about the way I ate my meal! Live and let live.

                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                    Yum! Mayo on fries it good!! lol I don't ever tell someone how they should eat something. My way is my way and not necessarily what someone else would want. To each his own!

                                                    1. re: alliedawn_98

                                                      Totally agree, alliedawn. I am at a loss to understand why 'to each his own' isn't the first thing that comes to mind.

                                                      My food, my choices.

                                                2. Wow, there are a lot of people out there in a very short amount of time with very strong convictions.

                                                  1) to answer other posters - niece only put ketchup on her dinner. There were 2 other teenagers there who expressed horror that she did this, I kept my mouth shut, but my facil expression must have given my position away.
                                                  2) strangely, if friends had insisted on ketchup, would have thought they were nuts, but wouldn't have said anything. Niece is like another daughter, but yet not. Our kids were raised that you had to TRY everything once the same it was prepared before you "doctored" it up. She is also of the "put salt on everything before tasting" persuasion.
                                                  3) I gladly give people condiments but reserve my judgment for myself and discreet others. Was happy that kids would interrupt school, jobs, etc. for workday evening meal. Also proud that they jump from the table to clear plates, load dishwasher, etc. and generally have excellent manners.
                                                  4) as for hope of turning niece into Chowhound, don't think it's going to happen. Much as I love her, she waitresses part time at Olive Garden and thinks their Italian food is terrific. I need to keep repeating to myself - to each, his own, different strokes for different folks.
                                                  5) Was curious if this happened to others and their reaction, as for the number of strong responses, obviously, this does

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                    Yeah, if she wants to drown her meat in ketchup, you can't stop her. I can understand how you may have felt a bit mortified. I remember when I was 19, I was at a dinner party. The host made pesto pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes. I took a couple of bites and thought it lacked salt. She gave me the death glare as I salted my pasta. Seriously, it was in dire need of salt but it triggered ill feelings on her part. From then on, I learned that I needed to do those things more discreetly.

                                                    1. re: Diane in Bexley


                                                      If she puts ketchup on the blintzes, then you need to have a chat with her. :-))

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        Only if they're cheese...

                                                        Putting ketchup on potato blintzes is like putting ketchup on french fries: perfectly normal. Sweetens up the sour cream, too. :)

                                                        1. re: Striver

                                                          absolutely fair point. jfood has not had the pleasure of potato latkees in probably 30 years, but ketchup on potatoes is not only OK but encouraged.

                                                          jfood gotta have a long chat with mrs jfood about this disappearing from the rotation. :-))

                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            actually, this might be the source of the comments from two prior posters about the Dutch using lots of ketchup: when I was in Zeeland every meal I ate at a restaurant came with at least three types of potatoes on the plate! Could be they started there and then got addicted to the red stuff :-)

                                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                                              I wonder if the ketchup enthusiasm among the Dutch (which I take from your comments-- have not noted myself) is related to the Indonesia connection and ketjap manis. Not identical, but related (especially with the sweet/savoury blend).

                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                          J, have witnessed her putting ketchup on latkes, but didn't think that seemed too gross.

                                                          Latkes are easy to make and store great in vacuum sealer bags for reheating in single portions. Haven't had them since Chanukah, still on SB diet (more or less).

                                                          1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                            sorry, potato blintzes would be great, latkees OK, but apple sauce is too good to give up and cheese blintzes, well not such a good idea.

                                                      2. ketchup on Prime Rib, or steak?(with the prime beef I buy.....certainly not, ketchup is for french fries)... not something I would do, but whatever floats their boat.

                                                        1. Not what I would do as an adult, but as a kid, perhaps. I always liked it mixed with worcestershire sauce....How would you have felt had she asked for a tomato sauce, a sauce that had been "enhanced" with spices, vinegar, and yes, sugar??

                                                          1. I would have let it go. Her prime rib...she can eat it how she wants.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                              I to would have let it go. This reminds me of a friends birthday dinner I attended at a new restaurant (in Calgary) a couple of years ago.

                                                              It was a group of about 15 of us and the restaurant was quite nice (trendy upscale with a focus on steak and seafood). A girl that was sitting next to me had ordered a steak. When it arrived, the girl asked the waiter for some ketchup, to which the waiter promptly replied "we don't serve ketchup with our steaks" and walked away. I don't even think this restaurant lasted a year.

                                                              1. re: djdragan

                                                                I can top your story. I was dining at a high end steak house in Carmel, CA and the special of the day was a kobe steak (at about $70 or $80, IIRC)....so the couple at the next table (a very well-dressed older gentleman and a young woman in a mini skirt with blonde hair...well, let's just say they matched a certain stereotype..) ordered the special. When the young lady asked for the steak to be done to 'well-done' the server said, 'the chef really prefers this special to be less cooked than that, let me bring it to you as he prefers and if you think it isn't good that way we will cook it more' (or something like that, and yes, tables were close enough for me to hear the entire exchange). Young lady agreed.

                                                                So, when steak came, she tasted it, server came over to ask how it was, she answered, 'oh its fine, but could I have some ketchup for it please?'

                                                                True story. Really. The look on the server's face was priceless....

                                                            2. I would have cared less. Would you have been more or less insulted by her not eating the beef?

                                                              1. I had a similar experience. I made the mistake of making roast of beef for a dinner party with friends. The roast was fabulous, and perfectly rare (thanks, Alton Brown). One of my guests took her plate, threw it in the microwave and cooked it until her beef was well-done. I was horrified. When she asked for ketchup, I gave it to her, and said "If I were eating meat well-done, I'd need ketchup, too."

                                                                I will never make roast beef for friends again. But we're good friends, and I do not have a poker face. She knew I was horrified. If I were to again, though, it wouldn't be an option. I no longer keep ketchup in the house. If they want sugar, though, I have that!

                                                                Moreover, if I am a guest in a home, and what I want isn't on the table, I would never ask for it. Even if the meal was horrible (and some of them have been), I would eat everything on my plate. In fact, when I was a child with a dairy allergy, I was once served macaroni and cheese, and I ate it because I was afraid of insulting the cook. I guess I just feel that the way food is served is how I should eat it. and when I do the cooking, I get to choose what goes on the table.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: miss_bennet

                                                                  I totally agree (except with the allergy part; I would draw the line there). I never ask for what isn't on the table.

                                                                2. That's sad, but I agree with the others who've said her plate, her call. I had a similar shock last week when dining out with my parents and grandparents. Everyone at the table ordered steak, a huge prime rib for my Pappaw. The first shock came when everyone with the exception of myself ordered their meat either medium well or well. Then when the food arrived eveyone doused their plates in Country Bob's. I just don't get it, but live and let live. I suppose, if like them, I had been served a plate of leather i would have to moisten it up to get it down as well =)

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                    That's totally what I've found! For the past 3 years, when I see that someone likes their meat well done (or it comes up inconversation) I ask if they use seak sauce. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't use it on a well done piece of meat.

                                                                    1. re: miss_bennet

                                                                      Guess I'm the exception then - I like my beef rare to medium rare, and depending on my mood, I often choose to use steak sauce.

                                                                      1. re: Suzy Q

                                                                        Don't get me wrong; I love sauce for EVERYTHING. My point here is more that I've never met someone who can eat well-done meat without steak sauce. Because it tastes terriblle. Like dead cow. With steak sauce (or ketchup), it just tastes like the sauce.

                                                                      2. re: miss_bennet

                                                                        I think so many people don't know better or come from a fear of meat culture - if you don't cook it til whatever degree you WILL get sick.

                                                                        My grandma would buy us a cow for Christmas. We pick up the meat which is ROCK Frozen - and drive the 30 minutes back to my parents (in the winter), and she thinks the whole thing will thaw and we will all be poisoned. From a farm woman!

                                                                    2. It's hard to allow people to ruin good food, but thats just the way it is sometimes. Being a self-proclaimed master of the grill I feel your pain. Manning the grill during parties and family outing's is almost more then I can bear. It NEVER EVER fails, no matter where i'm at or who i'm with. But when grilling steaks the VAST majority of people want thier steaks med-well or well-done (most popular)!!!! It brings a tear to my eye to burn good meat. So just be glad they even ate your med-rare dish. If you'd put a med-rare anything in front of my familiy, they would have looked at you like you were crazy!! It's sad.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Ranger05

                                                                        Interesting... the many posts about people preferring their steak/meat/dead cow well-done or med to well-done really suprises me. I always thought Germans had the reputation of ruining a perfectly fine piece of meat by cooking the sh!t out of it -- I wasn't aware of the fact that this seems to be case in the US as well.

                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          I think the overcooking of meat (at least in the case of my family) comes from our Grand and Great-Grand parents, etc. not having refrigeration, hence overcooking of "questionable" meat. I have friends who love their beef bloody rare but when pregnant could only eat it well done. Our bodies have an amazing way of steering us away from possibly questionable foods.

                                                                          Fortunately for us later generations, again relating to my family, we've learned the benefits of less done beef. If only I could get them from overcooking pork!

                                                                          1. re: hipquest

                                                                            I work as a server. And notice that most African-Americans will order their steak/burgers well done. Doesn't matter if it's Prime Rib, Filet Mignon, Ribeye, or Strip Steak.
                                                                            I asked one of my managers (African-American) and he said it comes a lot from ignorance and tradition. With soul food didn't come the best meat, so you had to cook it until it was safe to eat, or tasted good. Now, most people like the same things they were raised on, so it continues to be the preference. But, I also have noticed that these same customers will seem very very uncomfortable if they see any blood or juice in their meat. So, I would assume that's fear/disgust.

                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                            Only for some, not all. I am a rare/med rate gal myself.

                                                                          3. re: Ranger05

                                                                            'Allow' people to 'ruin' good food???

                                                                            What an interesting thread. What difference does it make to your taste buds if your guests want their meat cooked really well or if they want to smother the meat in ketchup?

                                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                                              The more I read on this thread, the more I start to feel the way you do, dolores. Why is it considered "ruining" good food if someone wants it cooked, prepared, seasoned, or ketchup'ed to their taste? Just because it's not *your* preference doesn't make theirs any less valid.

                                                                          4. Lots of different opinions here. I would have tried to keep my reaction to myself (not sure I'd be able to), but I would also mentally make a note that I would never serve her prime rib again. She can do what she wants to her food, but I'm not going to spend big bucks on a nice piece of meat for her to treat it in a manner where a much cheaper cut would suffice.

                                                                            1. I'm diven to comment: Live and let live. I like my meats hot but next to raw. Here in Colombia, people like theirs in thin pieces burnt to a blackened piece of patent leather. I like chilies; Colombians won't touch em. We eat together and laugh with each other.

                                                                              1. I use ketchup on all steaks. It's not to hide the flavor to steak but it adds a little somthing! As the story goes when I was younger my parents put ketchup on my steak to get me to eat it. No I don't like it w/o it haha.

                                                                                1. Is putting catsup on steak REALLY that different than mint jelly with lamb? They're both loaded with sugar and mask the taste of the meat. While I personally think both sound absolutely disgusting, people have been bastardizing their meat for years. Why is one perfectly acceptable and the other not?

                                                                                  1. I had an experience with my grandkids similar to yours. They asked for ketchup and I happily handed it to them. The difference being that we make our own ketchup, carefully seasoned and lovingly slow cooked and stirred until it's rich and thick and then we can it. They turned up their noses. It wasn't bright red. it wasn't sugary sweet and it didn't come in a squeeze bottle. They were totally out of luck and giving me the double pout for having to eat their meal the way it was intended. *snicker*

                                                                                    1. Diane, I feel your pain.

                                                                                      Hmmm...if it was MY relative putting ketchup on SOMEONE ELSE's cooking, I would've said, "are you SURE you want to put ketchup on a rib roast?"

                                                                                      But if it was MY cooking...then I'd have to agree w/the majority. I would've let the look on my face speak for itself.

                                                                                      1. I never invite them back, but you say this was your niece? Can you join another family...? '-)

                                                                                        I once did a dinner party for twelve and served tournedos Rossini. One guest, without so much as a by-your-leave, got up from the table, retrieved ketchup from my refrigerator, pushed the foi gras/truffle garnish off his steak and drowned it in ketchup! I was stunned, but my husband just asked, "Would you like a little pickle relish to go with that?" A lot of guests couldn't eat for a while because they were busy biting their lip to keep from laughing. No. He was never invited back. Or spoken to again.

                                                                                        Niece, you say? Under twelve?

                                                                                        1. Ha ha, watching a repeat of Sex and the City and I quote (Sam and Carrie) "It’s not what he said, it’s how he said it, in baby talk. Baby talk’s the worst. How can they think it’s sexy? It’s like putting ketchup on prime rib."

                                                                                          1. Your dirty look was probably the best response, given that it was family.

                                                                                            Some folks think that they have the right to act as boorish and ignorant as they want to, and to pass that off as a matter of taste. Some folks think that this behavior should be tolerated. I think it's inconsiderate of others, and I have no problem with public chastising and even humiliation, if necessary, to let people know that their behavior is not appreciated. A guest has obligations, and being considerate and thankful are part of them. Personally, I probably would have made some comment about thinking that they would have grown out of their childhood tastes by now - especially given the wonderful flavors of this special and expensive cut of beef.

                                                                                            True ignorance is something else again - the one post above about a couple getting real Kobe beef for the first time, and asking for it well done - that's just ignorance. But a twenty year old putting ketchup on a great piece of meat is just childish indulgence, behavior that shouldn't be tolerated in good company.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: applehome

                                                                                              I think it's inconsiderate of others, and I have no problem with public chastising and even humiliation, if necessary, to let people know that their behavior is not appreciated.

                                                                                            2. I was at a company function once at a very upscale establishment, when someone asked the waiter for some ketchup/catsup for their steak, the waiter didn't miss a beat
                                                                                              "Yes I believe we keep some in the kitchen for the help"...I was tempted to get up and leave but I was such an underling I lacked the stones...today I would be out the door!!!

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Hue

                                                                                                I would have been on the floor laughing. Love the waiters comment.

                                                                                                I also like hot dog stands in Chicago who either refuse to serve a hot dog with ketchup, or will ask : "what are you 4 year old" to an adult ordering a dog with ketchup.

                                                                                                1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                  Excuse my ignorance, but how is one to eat a hot dog?

                                                                                                  I know that ketchup is a no-no on prime rib...but I REALLY didn't know it was the same for hot dogs.

                                                                                                  1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                    Ketchup on prime rib is an offense to good taste and civilized manners. I wouldn't let anyone make that mistake without a sharp word of criticism.

                                                                                                    But that Chicago thing about ketchup and hot dogs is just silly. It's a freaking hot dog, right? You got nothing better to do than have silly rules about what should or should not serve as hot dog condiments? Good lord, what a waste of time. A hot dog should feel lucky to have ketchup on it....

                                                                                                    1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                      just the way it is in chicago. An adult hot dog has mustard, never ketchup. Also the hotdog is always a kosher dog.

                                                                                                2. Thanks for all the feedback (tea & sympathy). Sent DH to the butcher this morning as today is the last day of the great beef sale on porterhouse, rib, strip steaks and prime rib. As I have written on other posts, our extended family is very "diverse" as 1 member is vegetarian (she is at college), 1 member only eats fish/seafood (he was accommodated for prime rib dinner with shrimp), and rest eat beef.

                                                                                                  For family holidays, we always have more than one entree so that everyone can find something they eat. Trust me, it's a lot of work and can lead to leftovers/not enough as I have to magically guess who is going to eat what.

                                                                                                  My niece (and nephew) are as close as my children, as they are exactly the same age as my children. Would not sit in judgment of them, or humiliate them, but try hard to educate them, as I do my own children.

                                                                                                  Interesting to see other CHs reaction to this dilemma, as it seems to occur in some form to everyone.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                                                    We're going to lock this thread now, since Diane has gotten a lot of feedback and it seems as if everyone has had their say.