Common Catering Terms

Often confused over common catering terms that your caterer uses and the different menu item descriptions? We’ve put together a few popular words and phrases from the catering arena to help you feel less overwhelmed and more equipped to communicate clearly with your catering company and  ensure you get exactly what you want.

Canapés - Small, decorative food that’s often eaten in one bite, canapés are also commonly referred to as finger food or hor d’oeuvres and  are traditionally served at cocktail parties and ‘stand up’ style catering events.In some cases canapés are served while guests arrive and mingle prior to dinner being served and is usually either salty or spicy, in order to encourage guests to drink more.

Tempura -  A traditional Japanese food preperation style, bite size morsels of seafood and vegetables like shrimp, octopus, radish and broccoli are dipped in a thin, crispy batter made of ice cold water and soft wheat flour and then deep fried and served with soy sauce and wasabi or even a sweet plum sauce.

For something unusual, have your catering company set up as a separate action station for tempura or just pass a tray around as an appetiser while guests are mingling.

Frittata - An Italian style baked egg dish, frittatas are commonly featured on breakfast catering menus. Similar to an omelette or a pastry-less quiche, frittatas are popularly made using spinach, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes etc. and is a perfect vegetarian and/or gluten free catering option. For a super creative appetiser, ask your catering company to serve small bite size frittata portions served with a dollop of cream cheese and spicy red pepper chutney.

Batard - A batard is a type of French bread loaf, a cross between a baguette and a French stick and completely delicious - Wicked’s batards come in white, rosemary & garlic and pumpkin flavours.

Petit Fours -  A  lovely sweet canapé that derives it’s name from the French term ‘small oven’, petit fours are decadent  bite size sweet treats that are usually served after a meal alongside coffee.  Perfect for a catered corporate tea event or just as a snack passed around as refreshments during a meeting, a tray of petit fours is always enjoyed and usually features a selection of mini catering options such a chocolate profiteroles, marble cake and fresh fruit and custard tarts.

Terrine -  Along the same lines as paté but slightly chunkier, terrines originated in France and is usually made of meat, fish or a vegetable mixture. Terrines make fabulous appetisers and canapes when created using flavourful ingredients like bacon or pork and accompanied by a spicy onion jam.

Posted by Jessica on February 06, 2013 at 01:34PM