As the world breathlessly awaited the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duchess Of Sussex, some of the details—like the menu—generated a bit of head-scratching. The BBC reported that “the 600 guests joining Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their wedding reception will be enjoying a selection of savoury and sweet canapés, champagne (of course) and ‘bowl food.’” Excuse me, followup question: What the hell is “bowl food”?
As the BBC describes, “Bowl food is larger than a canapé and around a quarter of the size of a main course. It is served in miniature or hand-sized bowls and comes ready to eat with a small fork.” Bowl food was apparently selected for the royal wedding so that the reception could be a standing rather than seated affair. “The idea behind a bowl food menu is so guests can stay standing up and mingle while they eat. It has been described by caterers as an option which allows guests to ‘keep on talking.’” Or, for some people, to “keep on spilling”; The Telegraph dubbed the trend “good news for dry cleaners.” The bowl food selected was “fricassee of free range chicken with morel mushrooms and young leeks; pea and mint risotto with pea shoots, truffle oil and parmesan crisps; 10-hour slow roasted Windsor pork belly with apple compote and crackling,” and I bet the new duchess didn’t dare risk eating any of it in that white dress.
I like the poke bowl or burrito bowl as much as the next person, a way to eat a kind of warm salad with fewer carbs. But I refuse to accept this as a party option, even at the fanciest of affairs. For one thing, with one hand needed for the bowl and the other for the spoon, how would I be able to hold my omnipresent party drink? For another and perhaps even more vital (and embarrassing): I would absolutely be the first person to dump pea and mint risotto right down the front of my dress.