We all want to create a memorable night when hosting a dinner party, from sparkling conversation to delicious dishes.
But while no one wants to be served a bland, boring meal, there are some foodstuffs which will make your night a talking point for the wrong reasons.
Here’s our pick of the ingredients to avoid.
1. Dragon’s Breath chilli
This chilli, the hottest ever recorded, was created accidentally by Welsh fruit grower Mike Smith.
It measures a whopping 2.48 million on the Scoville heat scale (a Jalapeno measures between around 3,000 to 8,000), so is best avoided if you want your guests to leave with the roof of their mouths intact.
Ribs are undeniably delicious, but while they are a tasty and fun addition to a barbeque, they will cause carnage at a dinner party.
They’re tricky to eat, the sauce will end up all over your guests (and that white tablecloth you so lovingly starched), and you’ll spend the rest of the evening waiting for the right moment to tell someone they have pork grease smeared on their cheek.
As with ribs, spaghetti can get pretty messy. It’s also difficult to eat – unless you opt for the Lady and the Tramp approach and share it with the person sat opposite.
Spinach is tasty and packed full of nutrients, but it’s also drawn to teeth like a magnet. So unless you want to provide some toothpicks and a pocket mirror for every guest, it’s probably best avoided.
5. Foie gras
While it’s a stalwart in some of the world’s poshest restaurants, foie gras – made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened – could cause controversy with any animal-loving diners.
6. Bony fish
No one wants to have to dissect their dinner at a party, so give particularly bony fish, such as shad, a miss.
7. Anything with Marmite
Marmite is having a bit of a foodie ‘moment’, with restaurants adding it to chips, croissants, and even cocktails. But this dark spread is still a divisive dish.
8. Blowtorched desserts
The blowtorch, so beloved of ambitious Come Dine With Me contestants, can help add a deliciously crispy layer to a creme brulée.
But in untrained hands, this device could make your night go with a bang for all the wrong reasons.
9. Ready-made mash
When time is tight, it’s tempting to just bung a pack of ready-made mash in the microwave. But there’s no faking it when it comes to good spuds, and your guests will be able to tell the difference.
10. Anything too garlicy
This delicious ingredient is a no-no if you’re planning to set up single friends at your dinner party. After a garlic-drenched dish, they could be feeling too self-conscious about their breath to whisper sweet nothings to each other.
11. Raw oysters
These molluscs are beloved by many, but as with Marmite, some people just can’t stand their taste or slithery texture. What’s more, a bad batch could leave your guests with an unpleasant parting gift – a dodgy tummy.
What foods are your dinner party no-nos? Let us know in the Comments section below.