Cultural Cuisines: How to Cook Food That Appeals to All Your Dinner Guests
Many of us live in multicultural communities and we befriend people from all walks of life and nationalities. While it’s not so much a melting pot community, we do find ourselves merging cultures, cuisines and even tradition, which is why planning a dinner party can be extremely difficult!
If you want to appeal to the taste buds of all of your dinner guests, then you’ll either need to brush up on your culinary knowledge of every single culture in the world, or at least learn some of the basics so that you don’t embarrass yourself by offering someone a type of meat they can’t eat.
If you want to prepare the ultimate dinner party for a multicultural list of guests, here are some tips to help ease the frustrations and annoyances that you might run into.
Ask them their preferences
If you’re inviting friends who are Muslim, then you don’t want to be offering them pork. Likewise, Hindu religions forbid the consumption of beef, some people want healthy options and of course there are vegans and vegetarians. If you’re lucky, some of your guests will be open to eating foods they don’t normally eat as long as it doesn’t interrupt with their faith or beliefs.
However, it’s always a good idea to consider their preferences so that you can create an enjoyable dinner atmosphere for everyone. Take the time to accommodate their needs if you don’t normally stock ingredients or foods that they eat. For example, visit some halal meat suppliers if you’re going to be cooking for people of Muslim faith, and consider learning about vegan substitutes for your usual ingredients if you plan to cook for vegans.
You could always cook a separate meal for each guest that has different preferences—but where’s the fun in that? If your guests are eating different food to each other then the experience is somewhat ruined because they won’t have the same experience as each other. As an alternative, you can offer small plates of food, much like how Asian cultures eat. They set various plates of food and each guest is served a bowl of rice. They can then pick and choose whichever dishes they want and eat it with the rice. You could also set up your dinner party in a tapas style.
Be careful of allergies
Another thing to consider is allergies. You have to make sure that the people you’re cooking for have made you aware of whatever allergies they have. You don’t want your guests to end up in hospital after eating at your dinner party because it could put everyone off in the future and you might lose a friend or two. Make sure to ask them about allergies and look for substitutes if you absolutely have to use something specific.
Don’t Forget Dessert
A dinner party isn’t complete without a dessert. Don’t skimp on this and buy something generic or expensive from a store—make something yourself! You can find delicious and easy dessert ideas all over the internet that take absolutely no time or effort to make, and can even be prepared a day in advance so you won’t stress over it on the big day.