These days, food served at Jewish weddings tends to mirror non-Jewish trends, though sometimes with a twist. Right now, the emphasis is on the miniature. If you’re looking for fun menu ideas for your upcoming wedding, read on to see how other Jews are planning to feed their guests:
According to the website The Modern Jewish Wedding (themodernjewishwedding.com), “playful and portable is the way to go!” The site suggests mini cupcakes that go the savory route: Fill them with manchego cheese, zucchini and salmon with creme fraiche.
Another suggestion: savory lollipops. The site’s Pinterest page features a recipe for the dangerously delicious-sounding seared sweet potato cakes topped with braised short ribs and horseradish liquid nitrogen pearls.
Other ideas from TMJW and around the Internet include strawberry feta skewers, different types of popcorn, caprese pops (on a stick — half of a grape tomato with a bit of fresh mozzarella and sprinkled with basil), an interactive hummus buffet and food stations on carts that can be wheeled around the reception. The playful and portable route seems to be a common thread among all suggestions.
Several caterers suggest going vegetarian or even vegan, or at least dairy/fish, especially if you intend to have guests whose levels of kashrut observance might be beyond those of the caterer you choose. Fish can be a fun food to try different things with.
Planners Lounge (plannerslounge.com) has the idea for a mahi-mahi or tilapia fish taco station. Tapas can be an entree that allows people who may be indecisive about which entree they want to try a bit of everything.
TMJW says a chili bar, complete with hot dogs, fries, chips and various other fixins’ (if you want to go the Chicago-style path, you’ll need mustard, sauerkraut, diced onions, relish, tomatoes, pickled, hot peppers and celery salt — and no ketchup), although chili dogs can be dangerous for people wearing nice clothing.
Sliders can double as an appetizer and an entree, and feature virtually endless possibilities; you can do salmon, hamburger, brisket, chicken, tuna, even veggie — pretty much anything that can be put into patty or steak form. With sliders, a fun option is to have a sauce and topping bar so that people can customize their own.
If you decide on a hummus bar during appetizers, you can stick with the Mediterranean theme and serve falafel and/or shawarma—although, as with chili dogs, toppings like tahini can be a staining threat. Finally, and this applies to both the meal and dessert, many Jewish weddings are bringing in prepaid food trucks to serve their favorite foods to the guests.
A lot of websites and caterers are suggesting make-your-own cocktail bars. These are called infusion bars, in which different high-end liqueurs and mixers are featured. Diva With a Fork (divawithafork.com) offered an interesting twist on the idea — a champagne infusion bar.
Champagne can mix with many other flavors, including the recommended creme de cassis, Midori (or other melon liqueur), blueberry schnapps and apricot nectar. Other sites like Mazel Moments (mazelmoments.com) have shared recipes for frozen cocktail push-pops that can be festively flavored and decorated based on your color scheme. And, of course, you can always just have a good old fashioned bartender.
Here comes the fun part. TMJW has a post dedicated to cake trends — some brides are choosing to have upside-down wedding cakes (the picture shown in the post has a cake attached to the bottom of a chandelier).
Fondant can be very unhealthy; naked cakes are on the rise. If you want something a little less traditional and decide to go with a naked cake, you can have a layer cake with a drizzle that can be very pretty. Other trends include cakes designed to look like the bride’s dress and geometric cakes.
For other desserts, you can’t really go wrong. If you want to bring your reception full circle, you can have cupcakes in the same design as the savory appetizers — though you might want to tell people what they’ll be tasting before they bite in.
One web post recommended edible jewelry to adorn whatever dessert you try. The key is that desserts, as with all wedding food, is trending toward the mini. Whether cupcakes, brownies, cookies or something else, small is all. And, as mentioned in the entree section, a dessert food truck is always a good choice.