Best Food to Serve at a Wake
The untimely passing of a deceased, whether how it occurred was accidental or slow, will be just as excruciating. Those left behind will certainly need a generous amount of time to process such a shocking event that had just passed on their end and to grieve for their loss. But as painstaking as it sounds, moving forward is necessary. It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of the remarks left by an individual who departed this earthly place that reminds everyone else of his or her presence. Thus, the only thing that must be done is to commemorate the memories before the unfortunate moment ensued and formally give a farewell ceremony that he or she deserves.
In particular, the conduct of a solemn wake is one of the ways to recollect the memories left by the bereaved for the living. By initiating a gathering for a few days where people can do a sight-seeing of the remains of their loved one who passed away, they can take a seat and spark conversations with other visitors about how the deceased was as a child, colleague, workmate, or student. And to facilitate the overall ambiance of the convening individuals, food must be served to keep the chit-chat going.
With that said, here are seven ideas that you may incorporate into the list of foods that can be served at a wake to commemorate a loved one who just passed away:
1. Steamed Cakes (Puto)
First on the list are steamed cakes. Sold from both the streets and inside commercial establishments, puto is considered among the food of the masses. Also, this is one of the food ideas that is warmly accepted by Filipinos of all ages since it is less prone to storage–as long as it is stored in a closed container and put under a room temperature, it can be eaten safely from the moment that it is cooked in the morning until evening. Varying pops of colors and incorporating other ingredients such as cheese also make this food a must-have on occasions of any sort, may it be formal or casual gatherings.
2. Chiffon Cakes (Mamon)
Another item that should make into the final cut of your list is chiffon cake. Mamon, alongside puto, is a classic food idea that is perfect for a gathering of any sort. When thinking of what meals or snacks should be prepared, the ease of eating the same should be put into consideration. If a dish is a bit saucy or demands to be eaten on a sturdy table, it may not be generally fitting for certain occasions such as a casual gathering where there are no proper fixtures to eat with ergonomic comfort. And in the case of chiffon cakes, it is a handy food that can be eaten while sitting on a chair and having conversations with other people. May it be children or kids at heart, these will be consumed in no time especially if a variety of flavors is prepared in advance.
3. Menthol Candies
For most Filipino wakes, menthol candies can be found on every table where visitors are gathered. These are small treats that should never be disregarded when thinking of food ideas to prepare for the wake of a deceased. Since not every visitor has the luxury of time to stay for hours and talk to all the other people who will arrive at the venue to take a look at the remains of the bereaved, they need to be given the chance of choosing from an array of pocket-sized foods the ones that they opt to grab and eat instantly. Also, menthol candies can keep persons awake–which suits the needs of those who will have overnight stays.
Apart from potable water, coffee is also one of the most recommended drinks to be included in the list of food ideas that can be prepared in the conduct of a ceremonial wake. Specifically attending to the needs and preferences of adult visitors, this can help them stay awake if they either plan to stay at the gathering for a long time or simply when the day that had just passed was too tiresome for them. Coffee, which is often offered on solemn occasions in the form of 3-in-1 instant sachets, should never be excluded since it can be a perfect partner for most meals, and it is a satisfying drink on its own.
5. Biscuits and Crackers
Biscuits and crackers are also one of the highly suggested food ideas when thinking of what to prepare and serve at a wake. In Filipino traditions, children joining solemn gatherings such as a deceased’s funeral has been part of the normalcy of such an event. With that said, it must be ensured that there are also meals that attend to the common preferences of young people since failure to do so can cause them to create distractions that can disrupt the supposed courtly ambiance within the venue. And knowing that any sort of biscuits or crackers–whether they come out being plain or filled with particular flavors–will be approved by kids since they are fun to eat.
6. Hot Dishes
Just like coffee and menthol candies, hot dishes can also help keep people awake. But aside from this, the cultural touch within Filipino meals over the years implied that this set of food ideas hits home for most people–there is a sense of relief when eating these meals since they are typically served in most of the visitors’ respective households. In the conduct of a wake, this can amplify a sense of familiarity and intimate proximity within everyone else in the venue–it’s like the food brings them together in a collective sense. Moreover, this food idea comes in different forms (i.e. congee, chocolate porridge, and molo soup) that demand a much smaller budget than other meals.
7. Pork / Chicken Adobo
For the benefit of those who pour hard work and extra effort to assist the immediate family of the bereaved in the conduct of the wake, rice meals are also recommended to give them sufficient energy to partake in the activities that must be done until the ceremony is over. Particularly, pork or chicken adobo must be considered to be at the top of the list of viands to be partnered with rice because of its delectable taste, affordability in terms of the necessary ingredients for preparation, and less vulnerability to spoilage.
In fact, other outstanding food ideas failed to reach the roster of these recommended meals to be served at a wake. Nonetheless, the most important thing to remember when thinking of the list of meals to prepare on occasions like this is the satisfaction of appetite by people in any walks of life. In this way, the selection process will be successful and fruitful once the actual ceremony commences.
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