what would be considered a typical english buffet
February 8, 2013 9:40am CST
I am having problems thinking of a typical english buffet for my foreign friends, I seem to end up stealing things from other countries - waldorf salad vol au vents etc quiche pizza etc, what could be considered a typical english buffet - I decided trifle was probably ok for the desert and then Im wavering on chicken korma and rice as cucumber sandwiches are a bit ott
• Cambridge, England
8 Feb 13
There is nothing really 'English' about a buffet. Even the word itself was borrowed from the French name for a large side table from which such meals were served. In the 18th and 19th centuries it might have been called a 'cold collation' and was probably something assembled at short notice or when kitchen staff were otherwise importuned. A 'traditional' English finger buffet today could comprise any or all of: small sandwiches (preferably of thinly cut white bread with the crusts removed) which would include fillings of cucumber, meat or fish paste, egg and cress and, perhaps, cheese; celery stems filled with cream cheese; small sausage rolls; miniature raised (pork) pies; deviled eggs; pickled quail eggs or quails eggs done as scotch eggs (in coats of sausage meat, breaded and deep fried); canapés of smoked salmon, cheese &c The table might be garnished with: vases of celery; fresh fruits such as seedless grapes (which are easy to eat with the fingers and have no awkward peel, cores or pips to dispose of) and, of course, a floral decoration would complete the effect. A more substantial buffet would include cold sliced ham, beef and tongue, a selection of salads (including a potato salad doused in mayonnaise) and more sweet items, such as cakes and a fruit salad. Of course, some of these foods would require crockery and cutlery and might also require seating for the guests. I purposely avoided mentioning vol au vents, quiche, pizza, potato crisps and other such savoury snacks, though you would probably find those included in any family or community buffet in the land!
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