If your guests are prone to food allergies or other restrictions, a taco-menu party might be the solution. This is adaptable food – you just need to plan.
We’ve entered the age of dietary restrictions. How many parents of young children have found that something as simple as a birthday party can turn into a tragedy if there are peanuts in a bowl? You might as well put on the invitations there is a margarita bar for all the second graders.
The facts are that adults have as many or more restrictions on what they can eat than children. Their goal may be to maintain a diet or, more seriously, avoid getting sick. People talk freely of having a gluten allergy, to some skepticism (unfounded, often), but in fact to those with celiac disease, a bread or dessert with gluten can in extreme cases send them to the hospital.
Parties with taco catering might have an advantage in this arena. This is because a taco is really more a category of food than a specific dish. Allergic to shrimp? Get the chicken, beef or tilapia taco instead. After all, taco caterers today offer a wide range of taco specialties including fish taco catering and vegetarian taco catering.
There is the matter of the taco shell, as well as the marinades or other fillings. And if the dietary restriction has to do with sodium content, kosher, or anything else, the diner should check with the host before the event to identify if anything needs to be avoided.
For the host who may be concerned with pleasing their guests – and who respects restrictions – here are three questions to ask when planning a taco-catered event:
• Allergies? The most common allergens are in lactose/cheese (more than half the world is lactose intolerant), peanuts and tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat and gluten-containing products, and soy might be problematic. If you are using a mobile taco catering company, a “special diets” station might be set up at your event to avoid contact with allergen foods.
• Vegetarian? This is a simple matter for all but the most inexperienced taco caterers. Soy, vegetable, and chickpea (hummus or falafel) tacos are ideal for picking up the savory taste of taco toppings.
• Ask the guests? If your event has a formal RSVP, such as with a wedding, a line for “dietary restrictions” could be included on the response card. But to be clear, offering such an option implies a commitment to meet it. If the request is unusual or extreme, it might be worth having a one-on-one conversation to identify exactly what their restrictions are and how they might be met. They may expect a limitation in what they can eat if the request is extraordinary, or, a vague statement (“extreme nut allergies”) might be clarified with a conversation that goes beyond the single line on the response card.
Most people with restrictions are accustomed to encountering challenges at parties and events. But if you are sensitive to their needs, and find a qualified taco menu caterer able to accommodate them, you can stand above the average event host by doing what you can.
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