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Reverse "Worst Foodie Gifts"

Breadcrumbs started an incredibly fun thread about what well-intentioned non-foodies have given you, thinking you'd just love instant caramel hot chocolate, etc. (My favorite is the cake slicer that played 5 tunes including "Jingle Bells" ! HeeHee!!)

But...have you ever given some non-foodie person a "foodie" gift, only to have it not appreciated for what it was in some way?
We recently visited our neighbors bearing a $75 tequila as a present. The wife thanked us profusely and took it to the kitchen to get glasses. When she came out, she had used it make bloody marys! and with a very cheap mix, on top of it!
My husband sat quietly, with a red face, mouth a thin line, and steam wafting out of his ears (only I could see it), and on the way home, he kept repeating "Never again! Never again! Never again!" all the way.
Yup...they get the Cuervo 1800 next time!

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  1. 'Yup....they get the Cuervo 1800 next time!>

    Why didn't you give it to them in the first place, knowing they were 'non-foodies'? It's as if you set it up to be disappointed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: latindancer

      That's exactly what I was thinking!

      Worst food gift I ever got, beside the occasional bottle of swill, is truffle salt. That shit is straight up nasty.

      1. re: latindancer

        even Cuervo in a bloody? how about Everclear?

      2. "The wife thanked us profusely..."

        Sounds like she greatly enjoyed your generous hostess gift. Wasn't that the point? I always thought gifts were about a nicety for the recipient, not the giver showing off, educating or the like.

        Ugh.

        1. Were the Bloody Marys any good?

          1. To be honest, I wouldn't know what to do with a fancy bottle of tequila either, as I don't drink tequila...same for most liquors except vodka. The whole point of giving a gift is because you want to, not because you think it will impress somebody...and she DID thank you profusely.

            In the future usually a decent bottle of wine is better, as most people do know what to do with wine :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: juliejulez

              yes, they mix it with cool aid, a can of pineapple and call it sangria.
              true story.

            2. Yes, we have had similar experiences.

              One sticks out in my memory. We were invited to a holiday dinner. When I asked what I could bring, the hostess said champagne would be very welcome.

              We took two bottles of nice champagne and the hostess was delighted, thanked us then turned, walked out of the room with the bottles and returned with Asti spumante.

              When we got in the car for the ride home Mr. CB said to me "didn't she specifically ask for champagne?"

              It was odd but we figured that her version of "champagne" was Asti and when we showed up with something she didn't recognize, it threw her off.

              The next day (Christmas) my husband said "I wish we had that champagne...."

              While I fully agree that a gift is a gift and to be enjoyed on the reciepents own terms, it struck us as odd.

              This is an annual event and I now take a couple of bottles of mid-range reds that I know will be openned and enjoyed (by me)

              12 Replies
              1. re: cleobeach

                "While I fully agree that a gift is a gift and to be enjoyed on the reciepents own terms, it struck us as odd. "

                I don't agree with that. If the context of the "gift" is that you're bringing something to drink to go with the dinner, I think it's pretty much accepted that it will be served with the dinner (unless people just bring too much). I would be offended if I brought a nice bottle of anything to a dinner party only to have the host keep it for himself, while serving something inferior to the guests.

                From the context of your story it seems like this is the case - it's not as if you just got it for them as a holiday gift.

                1. re: chowbabychowbaby

                  <"I would be offended if I brought a nice bottle of anything to a dinner party only to have the host keep it for himself, while serving something inferior to the guests">

                  I always bring very nice bottles of wine to the home of my host. I have honestly never kept track of whether my wine is being served or not. My wine was meant as a gift. Once my wine was accepted as a gift of thanks for inviting me to their home....it was left at that. Who has the time or interest in wondering about such things?

                  1. re: latindancer

                    I don't know, I'm not actively thinking about it, but generally I'll bring something that I want to drink so it's natural to notice if it's served or not (even if it's not something I'm particularly interested in, I would still notice, just because I brought it so the image of the bottle is fresh in my mind).

                    It depends on the context I guess. If it's a holiday party, or if I'm just visiting a friend during the holidays (or at any time) and want to bring something, then sure, it's a gift and I forget about it.

                    But when it's an intimate dinner party, the normal thing (at least among my friends) is to bring a bottle to be served *with* dinner. Furthermore, in cleobeach's post, the host specifically asked for champagne - I think that's a very strong implication that that was something they could use to go with the dinner.

                    In that case, yes, I'd be somewhat offended, and I wouldn't be spending any time or energy making an effort to actively keep track of it or not.

                    1. re: chowbabychowbaby

                      If you bring something as a hostess gift, it's up to the host whether they want to open it at the dinner, or keep it and serve what they had planned in the first place (so if your guests bring a bottle of two buck chuck, you're not obliged to serve it, either). This does not depend on the perceived quality of the item you've brought vs what the hosts are planning on serving, either.

                      However, if you're bringing something based on the request of the host - either an outright request, or a response to "Can I bring something", then not serving it is pretty bizarre, and not very polite.

                      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                        Right, I guess that's my point. If you're bringing wine to a dinner party, especially if it's at the host's request, then I don't see it as a "gift", per se. It's generally a "I'm making all the food, you guys bring the wine" arrangement.

                        More often than not this is explicitly mentioned in the invitation, but even if not, it's nearly always an unspoken rule. Actually I can't even remember the last time I went to the dinner party and all of the alcohol was supplied by the host.

                        1. re: chowbabychowbaby

                          LOL, I am the one who always hosts the holiday dinners in the family (by default!) and I rarely serve the wine that folks bring as a gift to the dinner. I always choose the wine in advance to accompany the food I am serving. I only open the gift wine if guests drink more than I anticipated and we run out of the wine I bought. That said, the wine my family brings is usually whatever plonk is on sale that week, if they brought a nice bottle I would feel differently!

                        2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                          exactly! What if the answer to "can i bring something" had been "salad" and then your salad was whisked away and replaced? I'd be...hurt? annoyed? but definitely curious as heck!

                          While it's a fine distinction between "contribution to party" and "hostess gift", there IS a distinction in my mind. In this case, i would bet the hostess realized the champagne was the good stuff, and decided to CONVERT it from contribution to hostess gift on the spot! :-)

                      2. re: latindancer

                        The difference to me here is that cleobeach was asked to bring something specific. I mean, I can't imagine being specifically asked to bring dessert and then that dessert not being served. It's different of course if I brought it unasked or volunteered it insistently. But if I ask "what can I bring?" and am told "dessert" or "champange" - I am expecting it to be served.
                        cleobeach, I think you reacted very graciously however - assuming it was a misunderstanding of sorts, not a greedy grab by the hostess.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          latindancer, you are right, according to a manners column I read a while back. A host is NEVER to feel obligated/expected to serve any food or drink gift at their event. An exception might be if they, at your offer, request you bring something specific FOR that event.

                      3. re: cleobeach

                        It is not really appropriate to serve a bottle brought by a guest on that evening. The premise being, that you already had your wines chosen. This was not in bad taste.

                        1. re: robt5265

                          Maybe that's true in a formal, cultured etiquette that both parties observe and understand. Regular folks don't observe that, the host may have no clue. They may just overlook their guests for a long time unless someone speaks up saying 'anyone need more wine?' or other casual initiative. 'Oh look it's empty! (for the past 20 minutes...)'

                          So in principal, not in practice I think. Practice is much more wiggly and hard to pin down. Sometimes you can be downright casual with certain friends.

                        2. re: cleobeach

                          "One sticks out in my memory. We were invited to a holiday dinner. When I asked what I could bring, the hostess said champagne would be very welcome."
                          It is so usual for people to call just about any bubbly wine Champagne, the hostess probably made her extravagant request not expecting you would spend eighty or even over a hundred dollars on a few bottles.

                          It would have been clever if you were to ask her 'oh what style would be good (Brut or off-dry) or is there a brand that you like?'

                          Because it's a double tragedy if she later opens the $$$ extra brut and finds it far too 'sour' for her $14 Muscat bubble-water tastes.