World Food Day is a day to appreciate food from different places and cultures. Why not get some friends involved in your own food tasting party?
Food is fuel for our bodies – we know when we don’t eat the right things because our body fails to do what we need it too! – but it is also an important cultural aspect too. And that’s why a food tasting party is a great way to spend time with your friends – and enjoy tasty food too!
TIP 1 – Budget
A food tasting party is great but it can bust the budget. You need to make sure you stick within your budget or it can become a very expensive buffet. The following tips will help to manage your budget too.
TIP 2 – Choose a theme
Food tasting is a great way to try different things and there are various ways you can introduce different foods;
- Opt for a particular food group – food tasting is about trying lots of different foods in small portions, a bit like wine tasting. Choosing a food type of group will help your budget too. For example, you may want a night of tasting different cheeses from around the world!
- Choose a country – by opting for a country, you narrow down the different cuisines and dishes you can try. Look beyond the dishes we think are traditional – for example, korma is not a curry you will find in India but a UK creation – and look for some of the lesser known dishes to try.
TIP 3 – Be organised
The temptation is to arrange a pile of dishes on a table and let people tuck in and enjoy themselves – not that there is anything wrong with this – but if you want to give your guests an authentic, being organised is key.
Most food tasters will tell you the best way to start is with milder, less spicy dishes and build the flavours from weak to strong to allow the palate to enjoy them.
You will also need a palate cleanser every now and then to refresh the palate, as well as plenty of water or drinks that are not heavily flavoured.
TIP 4 – Timing is everything
Again, when it comes to food tasting, there is a difference between this style of party and a buffet. Introduce groups of food for people to enjoy at their leisure, and then introduce them to another group and so on.
Take your time with a food tasting party, enjoy the flavours but don’t forget, not everyone will enjoy everything you bring out.
TIP 5 – Set the scene
Just like every other party, it is important to set the scene so that you create the ambience and atmosphere so everyone has a great time. Whether you are offering a commercial food tasting event or an informal gathering with friends, party supplies are essential for the background running of your party.
Party decorations can be something as simple as flags from different countries or event choosing a colour theme that sits well with your food tasting event.
TIP 6 – Get clued up
Food is an important subject for many people and so do it justice by getting clued up on the foods you are serving, their importance and why the dish has developed as it has. The great thing about food tasting is that it allows you to bring different cultures into your home and when you understand the history behind some dishes and even behind some cooking methods, it enriches the experience.
TIP 7 – Serving and tableware
A food tasting party is heavy on your dishes so be prepared that you may have to invest in some more dishes and plates. If your budget won’t stretch to more tableware, pretty porcelain bowls are a great investment as are paper bowls and plates. There are now recyclable options which is great news for those of us with one eye on waste.
TIP 8 – Add blind tasting!
This can be loads of fun in which you tell your guests the ingredients of a dish or what it is but allow them to guess. From stuffed vine leaves, associated with Greek islands and the Mediterranean, to perhaps a snail or two, a French delicacy, there are many different dishes you could try blind.
TIP 9 – Relax and enjoy
Many cultures use food as a ‘vehicle’ for drawing their community and families together. Eating together is an important ritual, and one that should be relaxed and enjoyable – the perfect way to spend time with your family and friends.