I suppose this situation might be common, but I am not one to ask for recipes. I had to think about just a little in order to answer, as I was trying to get into the head of the one doing the denying!
Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett,
We recently had dinner at a friend’s house and she served the most delicious dessert! I asked her for the recipe and she seemed taken aback and flatly refused to give it to me. I can’t help but feel slighted…just who was at fault here?
Dear Dessert Lover,
I believe that asking for a recipe for a meal or dish that you truly enjoy is not rude. Quite truthfully, it is a sincere form of flattery. The host should never be insulted to be asked. However, I believe that the host is justified in refusing to divulge the recipe in the following circumstances:
They received the recipe from someone who made them promise never to give it out.
The recipe is a family heirloom (of sorts) and is handed down with the expectation that it will remain a family secret.
The Lady also looks at the situation in this way:
What if your host PURCHASED the dessert and served it to you under the subterfuge that it was their own creation. In this instance, there would be no recipe to pass on. (What a tangled web they weave!)
Best Dessert Wishes,
The Lady Hooper-Brackett