Do you think it’s rude/insulting to add salt or pepper to your food without tasting it?

Someone plonks a plate of food down and you reach for salt and pepper without even tasting.

Do you think that’s rude? Are you saying “I already lack confidence in your food” or are you saying “my tastebuds only detect lethal levels of salt”

Yesterday, I spent 4 and a half hours cooking for 8 people. I tried so hard, I put on the table roast beef, roast potatoes, beans, cauliflower cheese, carrots in a Sherry and butter sauce, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. I made everything from scratch and I was so upset that without even putting any food on their plate one of the guests said “salt and pepper?”

I will admit, apart from the potatoes I do not season my food. I grew up in a house without it (not even salt in the veg water) and that’s just what I’m used to. By all means TRY the food and then ask but to simply assume? I found that really rude. The particular guest had already pissed me off because despite being asking 2 weeks, then 1 week, then 2 days in advance he gave me 4 hours notice he was coming.

Am I right to feel it’s rude?
  • Yes it’s rude
    Vote A
  • No it’s not
    Vote B
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Updates:
Okay... so to those saying it’s okay. Let’s say you buy a bag of salted crisps. Do you add salt without tasting them?

It’s the same concept. You’ve not tasted so you don’t know if it needs more. You are assuming. The difference here is someone’s already labelled it.

I find it interesting you don’t do it in restaurants but do at peoples homes... to me that says you lack confidence in them.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • It's stupid. So much sugar and salt people eat, and have horrible palates when they need to always use pepper and salt. Well cooked and seasoned food doesn't need it and one has a shit palate if they need it all the time. It's no wonder americans have such a high rate of heart disease. Salt is bad for you. It's one thing eating when it's in almost everything, but it's another to choose to put salt on top of everthing when it already has salt in it and seasons. It does add up on the kidneys and heart. I think most people take in probably easily 3 or 4 times the daily amount of sodium one should have dailty. which I believe is 2,300mg of sodium.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm the kind of person that reaches for salt before tasting her food as well. I'm really into unhealthy levels of salt as of lately but the way I cook (and the way my mother cooks-i got it from her) I don't season the food too much. I prefer any guests to season their food themselves, so it'll have the exact amount of seasoning they like. After all good food is about more than just the right amount of salt and pepper.
    (but that dude not telling you he was coming soon enough is still rude as fuck)

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    • What about restaurants where they season it already? How do you know you don’t have a real chef cooking? Many cookbooks tell you to season as you go. I know I don’t but unless I said (which I didn’t go any guests) that I don’t season you wouldn’t know... I find it amazing people just add it without tasting!!!

    • Yeah in restaurants I ain't doing that. And I do season my food, I don't leave it completely bland, it's just more on the mild side. I don't know, to some people I sort of adapt. I have a friend who harshly overseasons everything she cooks so whenever I'm at her place I know not to touch the salt. At other people's places I don't add huge amounts, I just know from personal experience that most people don't add enough salt for me to really enjoy the food (again, I eat too much. It's unhealthy, I need to lower my salt consumption), so I add just a tiny bit and then I taste it.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 52

  • I think it is downright rude. If I go to the effort of cooking a meal from scratch, I expect it to be tasted in an unadulterated state, as cooked. One works to create a a visual, texture and flavour combination that is meant to appeal to the senses - adding salt and pepper before tasting it simply says "it's probably going to taste like crap"

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  • My father... If you salted your food enough for him to like you would have more salt than food. There is LITERALLY no dish he won't add salt to.

    Don't be offended by others dining habits. They are not a reflection on you. It would be like getting offended at me not eating guacamole. You can make the best guac in the world, but I hate avocado. It's not you, it's the guest.

    Just smile and hapilly give them salt. Laugh inside that they are ruining it for themselves.

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  • In some parts of the world, this is so.

    In the West, people seem to do so more often, so it seems to be considered okay. From what I read, in East Asia (especially in famous restaurants), this would be considered rude.

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  • Traditionally that would be a little rude but not so much as disrespectful though some people just have a habit of putting salt and pepper on their food anyways without tasting it but just set it up to where you eat that person's food again and compliment them on it few times and stop making comparisons between here and there next time this time who's keeping time and why for reassurance that people do or don't get offended by your taste buds

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  • no it isn't rude. It is common knowledge that for the most part meals served are unseasoned. Growing up we always had salt and pepper ready because we knew which things needed salt and which didn't etc. for example roast beef was served? we would grab the salt and add a sprinkle across the top to enhance the flavor that is there and a touch of pepper for some pop. In fact everyone we ate with would take it as a compliment and a sign that we knew just what to do to amplify the flavors.

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  • If your guests know you don't season (i presume you didn't cook for 8 strangers) then i wouldn't call it rude.

    Some people genuinely have so much that *nothing* standard is ever salty enough. With crisps it's a little different because you know what crisps taste like, because a machine makes them by the billions.

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  • Growing up with a chef for a mom, yes it's extremely rude/poor manners.

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  • I'm not sure I'd call it rude, but it would make more sense to taste it first to see if it needs salt or pepper and how much. Also, if your guests are familiar with your cooking and know you cook without seasoning, they may already know that they will need to add salt and pepper to make it to their liking. I don't think you need to be offended.

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  • Yeah, it's a little rude but some people are like that, they just automatically assume that they would need more seasoning on their food. But he should have tasted it at least before he asked. Unless he knew that you don't usually season your food...

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  • Its rude to do it after tasting. When you do it beforehand you are just showing you are used to putting salt on your own food. Besides, some people are used to having dinner unseasoned and putting on their own salt beforehand. It just the way your friend likes his food I guess. The fact that he did not even taste the food only shows he is just used to putting salt on food beforehand.

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    • I actually disagree. Unless you're a gourmet chef and you want your food to be presented in the exact way that you want because it's a precise balance of flavors, most chefs usually underseason their food a tiny bit just so that the guests can season according to their own flavor. I work in a kitchen that hosts cooking classes, and this is something my boss always says to everyone who takes our classes. It's easy to add seasoning, not as easy to take it away. Hence, it's better to let everyone season as they wish, which is why tasting it first and seasoning it later makes sense.

  • to me, kinda. you should at least give courtesy to the cook that they seasoned it correctly. one bite can't hurt

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  • I don't think it's rude because everyone has different tastes.

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    • And yes, add salt and pepper if you want. I’m not contradicting that. It’s the adding without trying.

      Professional environments I’ve been demanded a refund because it’s over seasoned (despite watching them add salt/pepper without tasting) and personal, it’s the lack of tasting I’m complaining about.

    • Some people like lots of salt and pepper. I don't believe it has anything to do with the taste of the food, just that they know they always add it any other time.

  • There is a chance that they've had that food before and that they preferred it salted and/or peppered.

    And yes, I actually add extra salt to already salted crisps.

    And yes, I am also one of those people that can only detect lethal levels of salt as you like to call it.

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  • Most people only put salt and pepper on certain things, and they always put it on those certain things and it's a very normal thing to put it on those things and they know if they want it on those things.

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  • My grandfather used to do it. And I am 90% sure that he did it only to annoy my grandmother.
    Consciously, or not - I find it impractical; a good dish can suffer from over-seasoning.

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  • It's not rude. They're idiots, because it's an unhealthy habit, but it's not rude. It's got nothing to do with you, they have a bad habit.

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  • I've cooked a meal for friends before. Didn't have salt/pepper on the table unless they asked for it. And if they were to ask without tasting I would tell them to try it first before grabbing the salt.

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  • If someone gives me potatoes and I know they're not salted, you better not complain about me adding salt, lol. 😅😅

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  • Umm if they know that you don't season with salt I don't think it's rude. I'm guessing this is a family thing.

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  • Reaching for pepper os okay, there is no limit to spice, reaching for salt is , well, now i know apprently people can get offended.

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  • If you still need to add salt/pepper to someone's meal even after trying it then it doesn't make a difference. Just get on and eat it. At least you're not wasting food. Haha.

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  • "I will admit, apart from the potatoes I do not season my food."

    You don't, season your food?
    Where exactly is the taste supposed to come from, then?

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  • I like a lot of salt and pepper so I can guarantee that there isn't enough on there.
    I think it's more rude to tell people what they should or shouldn't be doing.

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  • I think it depends on your country aka the social norm. Where I come from it's not normally rude.

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  • Some people just like their usual. If that means damaging their heart to maintain their routine, so be it.

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  • Nope it’s not rude but it’s still best to taste it otherwise you could ruin the flavor.

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  • I always do my own salt and pepper even when at a restaurant only children dont add there own salt and pepper.

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  • Who gives a shit lol. Just be prepared to be made fun of

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  • No clue, but I always add salt and pepper. I don't even care what they think, it's my food.

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  • Lol does this really bother people that much? I've seen everyone do it.

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    22

What Girls Said 22

  • I bet you would have found it more rude had they eaten it and then added something to it bc they felt it wasn't good enough. Food with no seasonings at all sounds pretty gross to be fair. There also could have been other reasons like requiring more sodium in their diet.

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    • I’ve fed this guest before. Nice try to make it a one off me being on a high horse but not the case. My point was adding without tasting which everyone seems to find totally cool. In future I will season the shit out of other plates of food and laugh as standard.

      If they needed more sodium I’ll add it. I happen to know this guest is unwell (vomiting blood, fatigued, falling asleep at the wheel, memory loss, high blood pressure (which is made worse with salt) ).

    • You said below on a comment, "this particular guest is my dads friends and even in restaurants he pours it on like it’s going out of fashion." So if you know that this is normal behaviour from him, why are you taking it in such a personal way? I can understand being angry about about him giving you short notice, but not over salt and pepper.

      Now if he said to you something like, "This could use more garlic or (whatever special seasoning here) I could understand. But it sounds to me like he added his usual salt and pepper then ate it right up. I think maybe you are getting so angry over this because you were just over stressed working on this dinner. Instead you should be proud you created meals for everyone and they enjoyed it.

  • I don’t think it says “I lack confidence in this food” I think it means you just like a lot of seasoning.
    I always salt and pepper my eggs no matter who makes them before I taste them. That’s not an insult that’s just a presence

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    • Show All
    • So, with your update - basically instead of saying “hey everyone has taken a position contrary to my opinion, maybe I should give this some thought” - instead you try to convince us that your opinion is right all along? lol classic...

    • No I’m trying to understand the viewpoint of adding without trying.

      As I said I worked in a place where I had to season food and people seasoned it before tasting and complained it was over seasoned.

      I’m trying to understand the mindset of knowing you know how something tastes without putting it in your mouth. Hence using the branded THIS IS SALTED concept.

  • It's not rude. Most of us just like the added taste of salt and pepper. Is it insulting to add marshmallows to your cocoa?

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    • Yes it is, if you try your cocoa and find marshmallows have been added but you didn’t bother tasting to find out.

      “It’s too marshmallowy for me now I added extra without trying it, refund please”

  • I’ve never even thought that people could perceive this as rude. Does this really bother people? I just put a ton of salt on everything, no disrespect meant to the persons cooking skills.

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  • It's like when you go to a restuarant and ask for dipping sauces or hot sauce. It's just an added touch. Doesn't mean they didn't like the food. I don't know why it would be rude to add salt without tasting it? I think it would be more awkward if they tasted it and then you see them add a lot of salt because that means they thought it needed more salt. If they add it before it's because they like salty food.

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  • I can't eat it unless it spikes my blood pressure.

    Some of us have a high salt natural pallet and assume food will be neutral in taste by default, so adding salt first is a given.

    Especially potatoes. You put potatoes on my plate, damn right Im rollin those in salt.

    Dont feel insulted as the cook, its impossible to please every tastebud, and the extra salt at first will make your food that much more enjoyable to them

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  • I think it's kinda rude, yeah. I usually don't season without tasting first unless it's a dish I've had before, or unless the one who cooked the meal says that everyone's supposed to salt their own meal according to their own preference. Maybe the guest who did that is just used to oversalting their food. Or, since your family never seasons their food during the cooking process, maybe they were already aware of it?

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  • Salted crisps is an unfair comparison. That comes from a machine it isn't the same thing. People aren't being rude, some cultures don't traditionally season anything and prefer to let people season as they please. My family is French, Irish and Swedish. We add a tiny bit of salt at the beginning but everything else is left up to the person eating's preference. They aren't saying you can't cook, it's just what their used too.

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  • Our helper cooks food that has no taste salt is even hard to detect so now whenever I eat I prepare my salt Pepper, lemon sometimes soya souce and onions and mix it when eating it's already become a habit
    So I don't think it's rude don't judge without asking plus everyone has their own preference and a good cook always ask what's lacking to improve themselves in case the eaters are unsatisfied

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  • I think it's super rude, you have no idea if it needs salt so why wouldn't you taste it beforehand? It annoys my so much when people don't try before seasoning.

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  • Its not rude but dang thats messed up. I prob wouldve said sumn like Oh, Did I Not Season it Enough for You?

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  • It’d be rude to your tastebuds bc it may’ve been well seasoned, salty even. Then if you just added more salt without tasting that might make the food nasty.

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  • It's not the same concept, you already know a bag of crisps is very salty.
    And a lot of people season their food additionally, even though it's already seasoned enough, their tolerance is higher.

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  • When I cook, I use very little salt. People who know me expect they will need to season their food with salt and pepper.

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  • No, but it can be if you keep putting more and more ugh

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  • I love salt. Easily, I'd add it without tasting my food. It's habit

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  • No it's not rude. Some people just like to add salt and pepper to their food, it's the same for those that like putting hot sauce on their food. And you really think this person doesn't use the salt and pepper in restaurants? I rarely add salt and pepper to dishes, but I usually add hot sauce as that's my choice of flavoring. People know what they like. There's a reason every restaurant keeps salt and pepper on all their dining tables. Don't be so sensitive. Plus I think you would've found something to be upset about with this person, you were already annoyed with them for the late RSVP.

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  • My mom adds salt to most of the food even after she's cooked it herself and set it on the table she brings salt and adds it to her own plate of food because she loves salty food. I know its not very healthy and I've told her but she just loves it she even puts salt on plain yogurt.
    Also some people just like their food more seasoned. In family we always season I've got a closet in the kitchen just for seasonings. Dont be offended by it, dont see it as 'that person didn't like my food'. Im sure what you cooked tastes fine. That person just prefers food more salted or seasoned.

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  • Yes I was taught that when you're guests you should always taste the food before seasoning it.

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  • Not rude its just that with that particular food you might always have salt just depends

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  • Everyone has a different taste but it is rude to insult someone's efforts to fill ur stomach

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  • I get where you're coming from but I personally wouldn't find it rude if someone did that to food I cooked. For a lot of people, adding extra seasoning to food before eating is just a habit. I usually don't add salt to my food but I ALWAYS add a lot of black pepper just because I love the taste of it in pretty much everything, I like spice.

    Even when my mom cooks (and I know she's a great cook) I still add pepper to my food. It's partly a habit and partly just because I know I like it more than most of my friends/family. Even when I cook at home, I season my food while cooking and then when I put it on the plate, I still add pepper before eating.

    I don't know the person who did this but I doubt they were trying to insult you. It's more likely that they do it out of habit or just because they REALLY like a lot of salt and/or pepper in their food.

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