Serving food that not everyone knows about

I’m a sneaky friend. I will never, ever serve you food that I know you are allergic to. If you are pescatarian, I will never give you food that has chicken broth or pork bits in it. If you are deathly allergic to crustaceans, there’s no way I’d sneak it into the food I serve you because I don’t really want anyone dying or dialing 911 while at my apartment.

But if you claim to dislike something when I know there’s a strong possibility you would like it, especially when it’s made a certain way, I’m probably going to try to serve it to you. Why? Do you know how many people everyday utter statements like “I don’t usually like <lamb or insert some other food they think is gross>, but I had it at <fill in the restaurant name>, and it was soooo good!” Isn’t that a sign that you probably could like it if it was prepared a certain way?

So I made banh cuon, a Vietnamese steamed rice crepe traditionally filled with minced pork, shrimp, wood ear mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms tonight — a very laborious dish that takes a lot of time and preparation, and I decided, what the hell, I’m going to keep in the shrimp even though my friend coming tonight says she refuses to eat it. When I described all the dishes at the table, I left out the fact that this dish had minced shrimp (she’s probably going to read this blog post now and call me out on my trickery). I felt a little guilty, but I did it anyway.

So she served herself, and she ate it. And she went back for seconds and thirds. And then she raved to me afterwards and even after she left via text how amazing the food was.

She just happily devoured shrimp. I wonder if she had any clue or inkling. I’m wondering if I should tell her this, or if I should just keep it a secret.


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