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Alcohol in food, do you tell beforehand?

Old 03-10-2011, 04:54 PM
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Question Alcohol in food, do you tell beforehand?

I made some Bread pudding with about two tablespoons of Bourbon. It also has Real vanilla as do many recipes.

Do I have to warn a person on sobriety about it beforehand?
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:05 PM
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There are mixed emotions about that here. I think most of us would say yes, you should warn them. While some people don't have a problem with the small amount of alcohol in some foods, others do. You would be doing them a favor by allowing them to make the decision of whether or not to eat the food.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:12 PM
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I agree, but I wouldn't characterize it as a "warning." More like full disclosure.

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Old 03-10-2011, 05:18 PM
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As Suki and LaTeeDa said...

Yes, but it's in order to allow them to make their own decision. Not being upfront is not honoring their recovery, and for some alcoholics could endanger it.

Sincerely, I say thanks for asking!

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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
I agree, but I wouldn't characterize it as a "warning." More like full disclosure.

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Old 03-10-2011, 06:00 PM
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Yup,

I do not worry about alcohol in food (though I wouldn't care to eat something soaked in alcohol, like a rum cake). For example, I would eat a sauce made with wine.

The thing is, ALL of the alcohol does NOT cook off. For some people that is a problem. I have never had a reaction, but some people would not take a chance on it. It is only fair to be considerate and to let them know. You don't need to make a big to-do about it (and you certainly wouldn't want to embarrass anyone).

If you KNOW someone is in recovery, you should ask in advance if it's a problem, or just choose to prepare something that doesn't contain alcohol. You don't want someone going without dinner or dessert because the only option is the food with "something extra."
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:04 PM
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Once, in early recovery, I had dinner with some friends who had recently returned from a trip to Iceland. They prepared some dishes from that country, including a soup that tasted to me like lighter fluid. "Does this have alcohol in it?" I politely choked. Why yes, it has Aquavit, came the reply. Aquavit is 40% alcohol, and these people knew I was newly sober, but they apparently didn't make the connection. I can tell you I certainly would have appreciated a heads-up.

So yes, good on you, SoFloGuy, for caring enough to research this!
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:14 PM
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The recipe calls to soak a small box of raisins in it overnight in 1/2 cup of bourbon. I just used 1 or 2 two tablespoons. there is a half quart of milk, half loaf of bread, 1 cup of sugar and nutmeg and cinnamon and sugar and vanilla, it bakes for an hour.

There is a very slight hint of bourbon, but maybe it's because I know it's in there.

Does the body recognize it or is it such a small amount, such as real vanilla extract that it shouldn't make a difference?

Also I don't make the bourbon sauce that goes with it because it's half bourbon and half sugar and too strong even for me, and that bread pudding tastes better cold.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:39 PM
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There are really two issues here: whether the body would "recognize it" and how the alcoholic would feel if someone he cared about served it to him without telling him.

Some people swear they have a reaction to even the slightest bit of alcohol--to the point they won't use mouthwash or toothpaste with alcohol in it. I would take the word of those who say they do. Probably some people are more sensitive to it than others.

And many, many alcoholics would be bothered by the idea of being served something and deliberately not being told what was in it. Not by a host who had no clue they were alcoholic, but by someone who knew that they were.

I think it's best not to chance it.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I think it's best not to chance it.
I think you are right, but at the same time I think that they wouldn't know if they had it. Telling them might even be worse. Most desserts call for vanilla extract and that alcohol flavoring does get lost in most recipes.

Shoot, I just remembered that my Tiramisu recipe has Cognac in the sauce and espresso.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SoFloGuy View Post
I think you are right, but at the same time I think that they wouldn't know if they had it. Telling them might even be worse. Most desserts call for vanilla extract and that alcohol flavoring does get lost in most recipes.
Telling them would not be worse. It really is their decision to make. If you didn't tell them and they were to have a reaction to it, how would that make you feel? It is best to be honest and tell them.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:49 PM
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I know some RA's who need to go to AA every day, others who feel comfortable (and do well) only going once a week, and others who only go once a month. It all depends upon how much hold alcohol had over their lives, how sensitive they are to it, and what works best for them.

I'd say that alcohol in the food is the same sort of issue, and only the alcoholic can determine whether or not it will affect them. It also probably depends upon the recipe itself.


That said, this is a very good question, and I'll confess it's one I wouldn't have thought to ask, since I was under the mistaken impression that when you cook with alcohol it all burns away. Thank you.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by StarCat View Post

That said, this is a very good question, and I'll confess it's one I wouldn't have thought to ask, since I was under the mistaken impression that when you cook with alcohol it all burns away. Thank you.
Thanks, I'm new to all this. I have a guy I'm dating/friend who has a problem with too much drinking, and went on a 3 day weekend bender that made him very depressed and withdrawn so I'm giving him space.

Yeah, I just edited my other post. In the Tiramisu recipe the alcohol is not even cooked.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
Telling them would not be worse. It really is their decision to make. If you didn't tell them and they were to have a reaction to it, how would that make you feel? It is best to be honest and tell them.
You are right. I can easily make that recipe taste about the same without the little bit of bourbon in it.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnymau View Post

So yes, good on you, SoFloGuy, for caring enough to research this!
Thanks, I know my friend is having a hard time. I already sent him an email and told him that I won't drink around him. I don't have a problem with alcohol, I only socially drink, but I don't need to in order to have a good time.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:13 PM
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Here's a cool link for alcohol substitutes in cooking.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Here's a cool link for
Thanks
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