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How do you feel about people who season food that you have carefully prepared?

Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Cheese, Hot Sauce...we have all carefully cooked something only to see someone bury it under their favorite seasoning. Sometimes before even tasting! How do you feel about this? Is it a little insulting? Or are you just happy if that person is happy, even if they have altered the flavoring of your dish? Have you ever said anything?

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  1. I remember about 25 years ago going to a local French-inspired restaurant and having my dining partner ask why there was no salt & pepper on the table-not uncommon now in many fine restaurants (they usually over-salt anyway). She asked the chef-owner why not, and the chef haughtily responded that the food was perfectly seasoned and didn't want it tampered with. Maybe one extreme. I cooked a meal for family this past weekend and my mother said it needed salt. Everyone else thought it was fine. My sister jumped all over my mother when she tried to add salt (for culinary and health reasons) and restrained her from doing so. If someone wants to adjust their seasoning that's okay as long as they taste first. Still can't understand- and I see this in restaurants all the time, people who add seasonings-whether is s & p, soy, hot sauce, etc. without even first tasting. That would be a bit insulting, but that's their problem.

    8 Replies
    1. re: markabauman

      Your SISTER jumped all over your MOTHER and then "restrained" her? I'm assuming, since you're grown that you're mother is also. Why can't you just leave her alone? It's her food and "restraining" her is at least insulting to your mother and possibly guaranteed to start a food fight :)

      1. re: c oliver

        Could there be a health issue involved? If the mother has high blood pressure, and continues to eat unhealthily, I can understand the intervention. Family concerns are often expressed in such a manner as described...

        1. re: rednails

          "Jumping all over" anyone and "restraining" someone is a bit much. We all get to choose to kill ourselves as quic kly or slowly as we please. And to cause a scene at a family dinner is certainly not going to win points with the mother. If the sister would like to go with her mother to her next doctor's apointment and the mother would allow that, then that might be a way to handle it. If this occurred at my table, I'd be sending the sister packing.

          1. re: c oliver

            Surely then you shouldn't have dinner with my family.

            1. re: Blueicus

              So the whole family does things like that? How lovely :) Maybe *you* should come to my house and leave them at home.

      2. re: markabauman

        I kind of laugh at these types of threads. My answer? I do not care what other people do to their food. There are enough worries in the world, so why do I need to impose my will on others?

        1. re: Dagney

          I feel the same way. My guest can do what they want to my food without hurting my feelings. Food is to enjoyed not controlled

        2. re: markabauman

          "If someone wants to adjust their seasoning that's okay since they're the ones putting the food in their mouth" FIFY

        3. I really dont notice, I do not focus on a guests eating habits.

          so no I'm not insulted, It seems kind of like being a control freak trying to decide what is best for someone else & how they decide to eat an item. imho.

          1 Reply
          1. I think people should taste it first.
            After that.... well, they are eating to please their own palate. What may be perfect to you, may not be to them. People have different taste buds/senses. I'd just be happy they are eating it and not be offended.

            4 Replies
              1. re: MattInNJ

                Exactly. I have to remember that I cook to my personal taste. Once a guest has at least tasted something I've prepared, I'm not at all offended if they go about adjusting it to their taste. We've got a friend who oversalts everything, and another who can't eat anything unless it's covered with hot sauce or sliced jalapenos. If I want them to be comfortable at my table, I make sure that I have what they want close at hand. And most, if not all, of my friends/family have been on the receiving end of my, "Would you at least TASTE it before you reach for the salt/pepper/hot sauce? I did go to culinary school, remember?" and they know better than to risk getting a wrist slapped. ;)

                1. re: Firegoat

                  I agree. As long as no one complains loudly or dumps a full jar of ketchup on my dishes, I'll be happy. I always put fresh butter, salt and pepper on the table.

                2. There are times that I am very frustrated by this, and other times I understand. I know when I used to live at home with my parents and they would cook, there are certain dishes that I just did not enjoy eating without some sort of hot sauce or condiment and I just sauced away - perfect example is Thanksgiving Turkey, my family doesn't season the bird at all, and everyone always says how good it is, but it is soo blah every year that I know I need something before I even taste it.

                  Also, what is "perfectly seasoned" for one person is not for another.

                  But there are a lot of people who 'season' out of habbit, and I agree, unless you taste it first how can you know if it needs seasoning, especially in a new setting.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LOTW

                    I agree with all of you. I think you should taste it first - and then season to your liking. At the end of the day, as long as the dish is enjoyed by me, you and whoever else is eating it, that's all that counts.

                  2. It doesn't bother me, although sometimes I wonder if the person adding salt before tasting will then find the dish too salty. I certainly don't take it personally.