No two people have the same taste in food.
There are those who are adventurous, and who aren’t afraid to try any foods which would seem “exotic” to others at least once in their life.
Others however, don’t tend to extend their culinary interests beyond chicken, potatoes and green salad.
At a recent dinner party, Redditor mcd_brkfst didn’t think they were serving anything out of the ordinary as their main course.
Until they were scolded by one of their guests for not making it clear what they had just been served.
Wondering if they had, in fact, done anything wrong, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not preemptively telling all my dinner guests that the food contained deer meat?”
The OP explained how they had been gifted some meat which they thought would be a good choice to serve at a dinner party.
“A couple weeks ago, my dad’s friend gave my dad some deer meat that he hunted last fall.”
“I guess he was wanting to get rid of it since it was getting a little old.”
“My dad offered me some.”
“It was vacuum sealed, stored in his friend’s deep freeze since November, and looked to be in good shape.”
“I took some.”
‘I had some friends over this weekend, and I thought it’d be cool to make something with the deer.”
‘I made a Mexican dish called salpicon from the deer shoulder, where you cook and shred the meat and marinate it in citrus juice, and serve it cold with chopped radishes, cilantro, onion, etc.”
The dish seemed to be a hit with the OP’s guests, until some of them realized what it was, exactly, that they were eating.
“Everyone liked it, but I’ll admit there was no way to know it was deer because it was shredded and marinated.”
“I mentioned in conversation that I was making deer, so most people knew but I didn’t make it a point to tell everyone.”
‘Someone mentioned that you would think it was beef.”
“My friend’s wife asked what it was and I told her it was deer.”
“She freaked out.”
“She made some disgust noises, stood over the sink like she might vomit, but didn’t.”
“Then she came back so mad, saying, ‘Why are you serving us deer?!'”
”I don’t eat deer! ‘”
“‘You have to tell people before serving exotic ingredients’.”
“I apologized, and we had a little back and forth about it.”
“Basically, her point is that if you’re serving out of the ordinary foods then you have to tell people ahead of time.”
“If someone doesn’t eat pork, for example, they know pork is a common food and are aware to make sure the host knows and will check if there is pork in something.”
“But no one expects deer to be served, so wouldn’t even think about checking.”
“I didn’t think deer was that strange.”
“I did mention to others that it was deer, just as conversation.”
“Everyone just acted like that sounds good.”
“She started saying things like, ‘Just in case, here’s a list of animals I don’t eat: deer, rats, dogs, cats, possums, etc’.”
“I was getting annoyed at this point, and I jokingly said, ‘Don’t worry, next time I’ll make a special plate of chicken nuggets and fries just for you’.”
“We eventually changed the subject.”
“She was fuming the rest of dinner and they left pretty soon after.”
“I asked people after they left if I was wrong, and most said I should have announced at the table that there was deer in it, since it’s not a common ingredient.”
“Everyone else did eat and enjoy the deer.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community was fairly divided on whether or not they thought the OP did anything wrong with not telling their guests what they were serving them.
Some felt that the OP was under no obligation to tell them ahead of time, with many not finding deer to be an exotic meat at all.
“But Depends where you live, honestly.”
“Where I live, deer is not exotic at all.”
“Maybe it is for people in like, Los Ángeles or something, I dunno.”- tubesweaterguru
“How the heck is deer considered exotic?”- caffeinated_365
“She’s not used to eating venison but it’s extremely common in many parts of the US where folks hunt game meats and stock their freezers with their kills.”
“You mentioned it and didn’t think to make a big deal because it’s not that big a deal.”
“It’s actually more sustainable and arguably more nutritious than farm raised red meats.”
“She’s being dramatic.”- molotovmerkin
Others, however, felt that since not everyone was accustomed to eating deer, the OP should have said so, with some mentioning possible legal and health and safety issues in the matter, even if some felt the OP’s guest still overreacted.
“I grew up in Northern Wisconsin.”
“I would tell guests I was serving wild game.”
“Some people are just funny about it, and you have to respect your guests.”- Murdy2020
“Her argument is silly.”
“You absolutely don’t need to tell someone you’re serving meat that is ‘out of the ordinary’ for your area.”
“That being said, you absolutely should warn your guests when it’s wild game.”
“Wild game hunted by your family does not have the same guarantees that commercially sourced meat does.”
“Not only do you have a much much much smaller chance at a parasite being in the meat when it’s commercially sourced, you also have a whole lot of legal recourse if you or your guests get sick from it.”
“With commercially sourced or local farm sourced it legally has to go through quality and safety checks, in most places, that your family hunting doesn’t have to abide to.”
“Not everyone is comfortable with that even when they aren’t bigoted like your guest clearly is.”
“I’ll say ESH.”
“It could have easily been NTA if you actually were reflective on it and genuinely concerned you did something wrong.”
“In that case it would have just been a learning experience.”
“She definitely over reacted regardless, and I am heavily side eying her reasoning, but some people have very genuine reasons to be concerned about the sourcing of their meat and you should just get in the habit of warning people you’re serving the food to that it was wildly sourced.”
“Doesn’t even have to be a big thing, just when you actively serve it throw in a ‘and I hope you all enjoy this, my family hunted the venison themselves’.”- SnakesInYerPants
“I’m from the Midwest and a lot of people in my area do venison however they announce when hosting.”
“There was an issue with an infection in the local deer population so some of the meat wasn’t safe to eat.”
“Some just waved off the warning, others refused to touch any.”
“I think more YTA, yes her reaction was a bit extreme but I think you should always disclose what you are serving before someone eats it.”
“Especially with something that has not gone through any kind of health inspection.”-Agoraphobe961
“Hard to tell.”
“In a lot of places deer meat is not unusual, but I can see how in others it would be.”
“I agree with her statement about telling people when using a more exotic meat, but I’m not sure if deer meat qualifies as that in your area.”
“I’m also not familiar with the Mexican dish.”
“Is it normally only made with beef or is it one that there’s normally an option of various meats?”
“If it’s normally strictly beef then you probably are the AH and should have told everyone beforehand that you making the change to the dish.”- Pristine_Expert7906
“It’s hard for me to vote, cause I think this is an issue of whats personally culturally normal.”
“Like, personally if I have people over for dinner and Im cooking, I absolutely will tell them what I’m preparing.”
“I would not wait until they’re done eating and wait til someone asks me what they just ate to tell them.”
“I don’t care if it’s something stupid simple and obvious, it just makes sense to me ‘hey wanna come over for dinner? Im making chicken and rice’.”
“Nowadays, out of courtesy cause of allergy, dietary, religious, lifestyle, what have you restrictions, I would most absolutely definitely tell guests not only what Im making, but also ask if they have any restrictions so that I can be mindful of it.”
“Though it’s kind of a pain to make everyone happy, so I barely cook for guests now.”
“I get that a lot of people are saying deer is common where they are from, but not super safe to assume everyone knows how common something is in a particular area.”
“I mean, things like chicken, beef, fish, sure.”
“I’ve lived in a dozen states along the west and east coasts, and the only time in my life I’ve ever encountered deer as food was when I lived in a town in NY where dang near everyone hunt deer and someone brought venison stew to work.”
“I’ve never seen venison in a supermarket or restaurant menu.”
“It’s just not a super common thing to be able to assume everyone is familiar and would be totally fine with it.”
“Like, in my culture, goat is super common, and while I grew up eating it and its no big deal at all, I’m very aware I’ve never seen it in a restaurant or supermarket, and have drawn the conclusion on my own its not something I can assume everyone has eaten.”
“Whenever I’ve had a friend/partner at a family event, I give them the heads up that a particular dish is goat, so that they can make the choice if they want the experience of eating it.”
“Some are adventurous eaters and interested to give it a try, others prefer to stick with the jerk chicken.”
“No big either way, but I do prefer to give people that choice.”
“That guests reaction was completely over the top and dramatic, at the same time, not super courteous to not tell someone what they are eating both for preference and food restriction reasons.”
“On that note tho, this is why unless I know someone well, I don’t tend to eat home cooked foods.”
“I hate potlucks and at picnics and gatherings.”
“I don’t try anything that didn’t come out of a supermarket package.”
“Cause people can be shady about what they put into the food they cook or how they cook something, usually for a reason, and stuff like that freaks me out.”- ponchoacademy
True, not everyone would scoff at the very notion of being served deer meat.
But even if someone was serving something as simple as hot dogs and hamburgers, it’s always a good idea to check in with the people you’ve invited first.
As not only do people have wildly different personal tastes in food, but in this day and age, people’s diets can wildly change at the drop of a hat.