When loved ones pass away, usually comforting funeral foods are provided after the service.
Despite the sad times, mourners often find a shared meal in these circumstances, a comfort.
Catering for a funeral can be complicated as the family, in going through this difficult period, might not give any input and leave it to you.
You must also take into account the cultural aspect of the grieving family. In some cultures, more than others, food after a funeral service is vital.
At some funerals, the catering will rival a lot of restaurant meals. Many times people find that eating food after the service gets them socialising with a lot of people and discussing the sad event.
Comforting funeral foods for the Deceased dates Back to ancient Times
Feasting after a funeral is a practice that dates back to ancient times of the Egyptian and Greco-Romans – perhaps even going back further than that. In West Africa for instance, the family provides different meats at a funeral. They slaughter poultry and cattle for the occasion. This is to commemorate the dead after burial.
In the Jewish culture, a funeral meal is the Seudat Havra’ah which means ‘meal of consolation.’ The community prepares the meal for the mourners. Making meals and taking this to a mourning family is an ancient custom just like a funeral feast.
Some people even take their comfort and solace from cooking. A lot of grieving families can’t imagine their lives without their loved ones and find consolation in the preparation of meals.
Comforting funeral foods – Differing meals for Different people and Cultures
In a country like Ethiopia, communal funeral societies, or Edirs, are very common in the neighbourhoods. When someone dies in the community, other members of the Edir will help to pay for the funeral; they will take care of the young children and of course, cook for the family.
In fact, there are a lot of traditional practices regarding mourning meals –
- The Amish like to prepare their funeral pie with raisins
- South Africans relish their macaroni and cheese or fried chicken – comfort-foods
- In Utah, the meal is known as Funeral Potatoes. This consists of a casserole consisting of cheesy hash browns. It is also known as Mormon Potatoes. You will find Jell-O-salads in Wisconsin or potatoes salads including meat and cheese trays of sandwiches.
- Very popular in Texas is the Texas sheet cake. That has a thick layer of chocolate frosting. Pecan nuts are added which gives great comfort to many as they tuck in at the funeral meal after the service has passed.
Five of the most comforting hot meals that are well-loved and comforting at a lot of funerals across the world are:
- Hearty chicken stews with vegetables
- Chicken chili
- Vegetarian casseroles
- Macaroni cheese with beef
- Spinach pastas
A sympathy meal in the form of comforting funeral foods is a wonderful way of showing love and support to a grieving bereaved family. Sharing meals, particularly if they are homemade, shows the care that is often long remembered after the flowers and the words from the eulogy have faded.
Comforting funeral foods – Enjoying Food simply Brings Comfort
Many people across the world experience comforting funeral foods during the sad loss of a loved one. Good food shared among the mourners is just an enjoyable way of saying that death may be sad and disappointing when it comes unexpectedly or too soon, but the food is a comforter, it is enduring, and it is for good times and bad.