Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ask the Internet: Favorite Wedding Foods?

The following question comes from a soon-to-be-wed food blogger and Mets fan. (Note: It is not Johan Santana).

Q: Mah nuptials are coming up in a few months, and we have to start thinking about the menu. What’s the most memorable wedding food you’ve ever eaten?

A: Mine is a tie. Two years ago, a pair of good friends used giant bowls of candy as their centerpieces: one tables was Smarties, another was Jolly Ranchers, etc. It was adorable, delicious, and held us over until the entrees arrived.

Three or four years ago, Seattle-based friends of ours served the best garlic mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. I still have dreams about them, in which I ride a magic potato carpet into my giant potato castle, where the Potato King greets me with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. (Just kidding. They’re potatoes.)

So, how about you guys? What’s your favorite-ever reception food? Or, for a slight tangent: what edible makes you happiest when you see it on a wedding menu?

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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31 comments:

Matt said...

My wife and I had barbecued salmon and a potato salad with green beans and bacon that our friends still talk about.

Lauren said...

I was very happy that our wedding menu was love by everyone, even my husband's family--who he was CERTAIN wouldn't like the food (and some of whom stopped at Subway on the way there...). We were going on a Mediterranean honeymoon so we had a Mediterranean feast---I think the most popular things were the rice pilaf, the hummus and pita and the chicken kabobs. The cake was also a hit, as it was an unusual flavor--vanilla with passionfruit icing.

At my friend's wedding, as part of her hors d'oeurves, she had sushi served, which was fun and awesome.

Megan said...

A vegetarian option that's more than just all the side dishes!

AbFab said...

I'm getting married in about two months and have been tackling the food issue for quite a while, not wanting something tasteless, boring, unmemorable and expensive!

My initial idea, when I'd planned to make all the food myself, was a "Breakfast for Dinner" buffet with a make-your-own waffle bar. Have a ton of waffle batter, a bunch of mix-ins (chocolate chips, fruit, nuts, bacon...), and borrow waffle irons from everybody I know. I could serve mimosas!

But when faced with the daunting task of Making It Happen, I balked. Instead, we're ordering some delicious eats from a local ethic food powerhouse (middle-eastern/mediterranean): falafel, hummus, pita, salads, gyro, roast chicken... Lots of options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and it's fairly healthy stuff too!

Jenna said...

I still feel guilt over this one - our wedding was at the hall my husband's dad is the head chef (we were given an offer we couldn't refuse.... very Godfather like to have it there! lol) and I remember telling my husband when we went to the tasting, I wouldn't pick the chicken dish. I had heard his father curse for YEARS about these things. How much he hated them. How big of a pain in the ass they were to make. Etc.

Took one bite and had to hide because they had to go on the menu. Marinated chicken breasts (freshly done) roll around homemade cornbread stuffing and roasted.

We caught family and friends bribing staff for extras to take home.... and I ended up with a HUGE pan of them that I froze and we ate for months afterwords.

Jersey Mom said...

Stuffed mushroom, sushi, and open bar. =)

Susan Hagen said...

When a friend was married the groom's sister demanded the privilege of preparing the food. It was a buffet of substantial hors d'oeuvres with recipes drawn from the Silver Palate cookbooks. It was incredible!

Another wedding was a barbecue in the couple's back yard. They had a local barbecue meister do the whole smoked pig and the rest was typical picnic fare. Also memorable.

eatclosetohome said...

Reading your response, I was confused. I thought you meant your favorite wedding food was a necktie!

My favorite is to forego the wedding cake entirely, and to have a nice selection of desserts that actually taste good. Arrange them on cake stands of different heights and it's quite beautiful.

We had tiramisu, flourless chocolate torte, lemon torte, cookies, brownies, and a Scottish-style wedding cake (think fruitcake) that a relative brought with her across the Atlantic!

Allie said...

I once went to a wedding where the dinner was a forgettable buffet. However, around 11pm the couple had TONS of pizzas delivered to the reception hall. All of us had been dancing like crazy all night and were starved (not to mention a little tipsy) and pizza was just the ticket. I've also heard of couples bringing out a late night snack of milk and cookies. Yum.

Nancy said...

For our wedding my boss offered to roast a pig for us (my dad provided the pig since he raised a few at the time). My aunt from TX, who is a fabulous cook, offered to do the rest. We had the dinner outside at my folks place. To this day people still talk about the pork. It was delish as was everything my aunt made (typical picnic sides) and a special chocolate cake.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Southerner, and it's rare to have sit-down dinner receptions here. Most often, people offer hors d`oeuvres buffets. . . not just crudites and crackers but also bite-size versions of main dishes and everything inbetween.

It can be anything you want: simple or sophisticated, homey or upscale, any theme, etc. It's easy to eat while you mix and mingle with other guests, so it's not like people are sitting stationary and trapped at a table with people they don't know that well. It becomes more of a fellowship.

Well-done classics can't be beat: pimiento cheese, cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches, bite-size crabcakes with hushpuppies, chocolate-dipped fruit, assortment of quality cheeses, and shrimp are my personal favorites. When I see these things on the buffet, I'm very happy.

Valerie said...

Is it wrong that the bread basket was a clear reason for choosing our wedding reception location? A bread basket on every table, filled with freshly-baked rolls, cornbread, and pecan sticky buns that were TO DIE FOR. 7 months later, the picture of the bread basket (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tehchix0r/3969153638/in/set-72157622363194283/) still triggers a Pavlovian response.

Alisha said...

I used to work at a bakery and we did the following for a wedding we catered one time (I still drool just thinking about it, and am planting a fig tree in my yard so I can make it again!).

Cover walnuts in cinnamon + sugar. Set aside.

Slice fresh figs in half (they must be fresh. We got them from Costco).
Press bleu cheese into the hollow bit of each fig half.

Top with walnut.

Carmelize the sugar on the walnut (and slightly melt the cheese) with a brulee torch.

Cry for joy.

hillary said...

The most memorable wedding food I ever ate was the (now somewhat cliche, but at the time new and cutting edge) mashed potato martini bar. You know, a big scoop of decadent mashed potatoes served in a martini glass, with your choice of awesome toppings (bacon, different cheeses, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, scallions, gravy, etc). Cocktail hour food at its finest.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I cooked everything, since it was a full on sit down meal for 250 people I don't recommend doing this. However, it was fantastic food that WE loved. Slow roasted turkeys, beef, some hams, 3 kinds of potato salad, a nice Mediterranean style salad, some cheese and cracker platters and lots and lots of sandwich toppings for late that night when we all had been dancing for hours.

Anonymous said...

My most memorable wedding meal was at an outdoor wedding where the salmon and steaks were being cooked on a huge outdoor grill right there in front of everyone. Mmmm. They came straight from the grill to the table.

aryn said...

We had fruit baskets for our centerpieces - oranges, nectarines, plums, and apples from Costco. Our out-of-town guests took the baskets back to their rooms to enjoy with the hotel's muffins and bagels at breakfast. Many of them gathered by the pool to share the goodies.

gfpumpkins said...

Single best center piece ever was good strawberries with good melted chocolate for dipping. Pretty much everyone enjoyed them and it meant there weren't 8 gazillion odd useless center pieces to deal with at the end, just empty trays and chocolate bowls.

Rebecca said...

The wedding reception was held at a Jamacan restaurant named Montego Bay. They served fist-sized fish cakes dusted with cornmeal that were golden brown and delicious. The sauce was only for fire-eaters and served separately.

I Heart Kale said...

We had Indian food, buffet-style, at our wedding and it was a delicious, easy hit. People still come up to me at family weddings and talk about how great our food was, especially in comparison to whatever chicken a la king or pasta primavera we happen to be eating at the moment.

MerrieB said...

I got married in Scotland so we had Haggis, neeps & tatties as part of our wedding dinner. It was an option, so guests weren't forced to eat it (like my mother, who refused). But we & the Scots quite enjoyed it!

Rachel said...

The friend who introduced me to Thai food had chicken satay at her reception, alongside of the so-called regular American food. I thought it was the best part of the meal.

Another friend had a much lighter buffet with fresh veggies, 6 kinds of homemade pesto, etc. The highlight was the bread table with 11 different kinds of bread! All of her friends & family who bake bread (and obviously there are a lot of them) baked a loaf or two of their specialty. There was something for everyone, and it was all fantastic.

ScienceandtheCity said...

A couple friends of mine got married and had a regional theme at their wedding. The twist is that she is from North Carolina and he is from Maine. So, they had a boat (literally - an old row boat) full of local Maine beer on ice and the wedding was in Maine at a cute little wooden church. The food was traditional North Carolina BBQ, which is brilliant because it's bunch of dishes (most importantly pulled pork, but also mac 'n cheese, salads, slaw, potatoes) that people can pick and choose from and that stand up well to being heated for a long time on a buffet line. I've been to too many weddings with overcooked buffet food and/or tough prime rib. You basically can't overcook slow-cooked pork! Some vegetarian friends of mine did a similarly successful buffet with lots of Mediterranean dishes like pizza and pastas, and it was great, too.

Nathalie said...

The best wedding food I ever ate was at my cousin's wedding. I still dream about it! No wonder - he's a chef and owns 3 restaurants in Montreal, and his staff helped for the food/reception. My favourite part was the beginning - an oyster bar while we chatted before the supper started. Everything was incredibly delicious but probably very expensive (hence a small reception) - from foie gras and lobster starters, herb or cheese bread, various roasts as the main dish (including suckling pigs), many veggie or potato sides, and an open bar. After all that the desert was light and simple, which was perfect - angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream, and watermelon slices.

bashtree said...

We did the candy dish thing as centerpiece too! I had trifle dishes, and each dish had a different candy, and then I put wreaths around the base of each. We got married at Christmas...what can I say? Our favors were these good-sized tins with a nice pattern in wedding colors, and while we were having photos made, the guests all buzzed around scooping candy into their tins. It was so cute. And it made up for the lack of cocktail hour, according to most people. What I liked most about it was that it had everybody moving around and meeting people that they probably wouldn't have talked to, otherwise. Some of the pictures from that part of the reception have the most unexpected little groups of people in them.

Elizabeth said...

I went to a college roommate's wedding on New Years day and the food was by far the best I've been to at any wedding (and cheap I might add) :

-BBQ Pulled Pork
-BBQ Chicken
-Mashed Potatoes
-Pasta Salad
-Green Salad
-Mac and Cheese
-Ribs

They had little bowls of wet naps and we all got bibs. Honestly - it was SO much fun. Casual, fun, tasty, and affordable. And something for everyone!

DMBY said...

My favorite was my dear college roommate's wedding to her partner - I'd known them since they first started dating! Everything about that wedding was very fun.

They had a local restaurant (www.bacheesos.net) cater and the greek/mediterranean combo was so different from other weddings and SOOO tasty. Several salads to choose from, moussaka, kabobs - delicious. AND THEN. You know what we had for dessert? BEARD PAPA!!!!! I was such a happy camper.

Kris said...

Thank you so much, everybody! I want to eat everything here. Especially the fig/walnut/sugar thing. My god.

Also! I'm super surprised/happy at the proliferation of Mediterranean foods. We were thinking of doing dolma, hummus, and that kind of thing during the cocktail hour, and this cements it.

Also also! Open bar. Natch.

Nicole said...

We had a pasta bar with three kinds of noodles, 3 or 4 sauces and a million add ins. Veggies were happy, my dad was happy and everyone was full!

anne said...

I am not a vegetarian but I'll tell you what, I had the MOST AMAZING vegetable rice curry dish and my brothers wedding a few weeks ago, that I almost became one.
It was LIFE CHANGING.

It was just white rice {cooked well} with a vegetable {mushrooms, carrots, zucchini...other stuff I am sure}curry sauce { and I don't even like mushrooms} and this dish was A-mAZ-ING. Great for vegetarians and non!

Sara said...

I'm getting married soon. We don't have all the food planned yet, but so far it's chicken and sausage gumbo with potato salad. It's a Louisiana wedding. We'll probably have vegetarian poboys as an option too.