Is it ever ok to ask your host for salt and pepper?

Berlin :slight_smile:

But a wine store in our nabe had all three. I don’t even know where I’d begin to google for it…

Why not? I don’t understand what the hesitation would be and I’ve not taken any offense if I’ve been asked.

On a not food based note:
I grew up eating any rice and pasta dish with a spoon and fork.
Here: eveyone only uses knives and forks. Never a spoon.
So, in restaurants I ask, or I steal the serving spoon if it is a normal size.
At peoples home, sometimes I ask, sometimes I let it be. Depends on the host…
(I always hope they lay the table with a desert spoon, so I can use that one. Or if there is soup. Then I keep my spoon for the main course :slight_smile: )


Why does one need a knife for rice. More importantly, how does one use a knife for rice?

If it’s noodle-y like spaghetti/linguine, I prefer to eat them with chopsticks. I eat a majority of my foods with chopsticks (salad, bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs). I never got the twirling with a fork and a spoon. What exactly does the spoon do? If you like to twirl, just twirl it before you lift it up off your plate, so you’re not flinging sauce every where. And if it’s too big to fit on your fork and you need the spoon to lift, you probably have too much on your fork.

Presumably just as you would with peas, or potatoes. Europeans tend to eat with both utensils, not just one (and the other one hand in their laps like in the US). The knife is used to shove food onto the fork. Surely, you’ve witnessed this before in your life, which doesn’t strike me as particularly sheltered :wink:


My sheltered life has protected me thus far to only using knife/fork for Snickers bar.

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There’s a popular German birthday game for kids that involves having to put on a hat, scarf, and gloves, then taking them off & cutting a chocolate bar with knife and fork until someone gets a 6 rolling a dye.Then you have to take it all off until it’s your turn again. Good times.

I solve the problem by having individual salt cellars and small pepper grinders set out for each guest. It does freak me out to see people (and one of them was my own father) immediately blanket everything with pepper (and/or salt, tbh) without even tasting the food. I suffer in silence.


That’s making me think of when the wait-person asks if you want ground pepper or cheese before you’ve had a chance to taste the food. I say yes because I’m thinking “why are they asking?” Fear of missing out.

If it’s a salad I generally want fresh ground pepper on it - same with a few pasta dishes. I do like to take care of my own cheese, however.


They can’t share?

Of course they can, but it cuts down on traffic jams at the table!

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You must have more storage space than I do (which is not unusual). I would not be able to justify keeping all those extra containers.

Not really. These pepper mills are very small. So are the salt cellars. They’re the pinch it with our fingers size.

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Same! :joy:

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Travel salt and pepper mills or shakers. There are lots to choose from on Amazon - hard plastic, stainless steel, anywhere from 1" tall to 3.5" tall. They’re used for camping a lot.

My mills are actually Italian, and pewter. There are always a zillion of them on eBay. I know the Tavel/çamping mills you’re talking about. I’ve given them to people as holiday favors.

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My friend made mashed potatoes with scallions and dill, and they were not bland. That said, mashed potatoes are often served with gravy.

Yes, there was delicious homemade gravy. Some people raised with spicy foods just can’t seem to enjoy food without serranos.

This year my daughter used instant Idaho mashed potatoes and they tasted almost the same as regular to me!