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Blog Insight & Commentary

What Your Office Potluck Dish Says About You

The most important self-assessment you’ll do all week

Beth Castle
Managing Editor, InHerSight

Great British Bake Off host

If I could be an office potluck dish, I think I’d like to be apple pie (see below) because I wouldn’t necessarily be the center of attention, but everyone would be happy I was there—and maybe even a little disappointed if I didn’t show up.

Of course, I could also settle with being buffalo chicken dip, pasta salad, or a casserole. It really doesn’t matter because when free food is involved, everyone wins. Check out the roundup below to decide which food you might be. Please, please, don’t be napkins.

Meatballs

You’re consistent—on time, organized, prompt when responding to emails. That’s why you managed to cart your Crock-Pot to the office this morning and have been checking the warmth of your dish every 30 minutes. Yours will be one of the most popular options at the potluck because 1) meatballs and 2) it’s yours. Awwww.

Pasta salad

You’re the office chameleon, able to mix and mingle with anyone in a crowd, which is why you somehow manage to sneak pasta salad into every company potluck, no matter the occasion. Birthday? Pasta salad. Retirement? Pasta salad. Fourth of July? Pasta salad. Thanksgiving...seasonal pasta salad?

Brownies

Made from scratch or from a box, brownies are a sign of affection and vitality (yes, vitality). You like to make people happy by providing something comforting and familiar. But you’re also a bit of a renegade (yes, renegade) so you added a swirl of caramel on top or did that layery thing with the Oreos and cookie dough.

Buffalo chicken dip

You’re a crowd pleaser, and you understand that sometimes the simplest gesture is the key to your coworkers’ hearts. Too sentimental for a dish made with an entire package of cream cheese? We’ll write about it in our diary later.

Vegetable tray

You’re thoughtful. You know some people won’t want the aforementioned buffalo chicken dip for whatever reason, so you’ve provided a diet-friendly alternative. There’s also the added bonus of watching coworkers try to bite celery while talking, which is a stringy disaster. 

The casserole

You’re warm—and not just because you have your own carrying case for your casserole dishes. A happy mix of cream of chicken, cheese, and indecipherable meats and vegetables (are they all peas or is that a bean?), casseroles evoke blind trust. People tell their deepest darkest office gossip to casseroles like you. 

Macaroni and cheese

The award for the friendliest, goofiest person in the office goes to you, the noodle who decided, One cheese? Not enough. Five or die. Good choice, too. People can’t get enough of that vibe you’re giving off. Is that smoked Gouda and, and Gruyère? Oh, mon coeur.

Apple pie

You love feeling a sense of community wherever you go, so you’re the person who lingers around the free food counter and wears an “I voted” sticker in the office to strike up conversation. You’re nonconfrontational, but somehow also disarmingly honest. Does that mean you’re the star of the potluck? No. But everyone wants you to be there. Especially with ice cream.

Deviled eggs

People who love you really love you, and people who don’t—well, they honestly need to reevaluate their taste buds. Maybe people find you polarizing because you skew more traditional (you're classic!), or maybe it’s the mayonnaise. All that matters is this: You deserve a place at this table. 

Seven-layer taco dip

You’re the person everyone in the office has a crush on because the more they get to know you, the more they’re like, Yes, a recipe for perfection, please tell me more about your childhood lemonade stand that had popsicles on Saturdays. Just make sure people take a full seven-layer scoop. The beans and cheese are nice and all, but it’s the meaty layers that show who you really are.

Experimental recipe

Who knew so much vinegar could be a good thing? At least, we think it’s a good thing. You want to stand out, and you often do. You might not always hit the mark, but we love your ingenuity and charisma. We might never recover from that cauliflower “potato” salad recipe, though. 

Chips

First, this is not a dish. However, we appreciate your under-the-radar effort: The chip aisle is, in actuality, the most overwhelming one in the grocery store. You somehow waded through rows of useless pretzels to find the tortilla chips, then, amazingly, decided which variety was the crunchiest. You’re a true friend. (Editor’s note: The cereal aisle is also overwhelming and impressive, but, like, don’t bring cereal.)

Napkins

Are these the ones from the breakroom? You’re environmentally aware at least.

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