Everyday Meals

Traditional funeral food from around the world

Food is often seen as a comfort and this is more prevalent than ever when we are grieving the death of a loved one. In the UK, beige buffets with sandwiches and sausage rolls are commonplace, but in some cultures across the world, the food served at funerals is seriously delicious.

Jamaica – Goat Curry

In Jamaica, it is traditional for a goat curry to be served at any kind of gathering or occasion.

It is usually served with rice and beans and has plenty of spice. It’s the perfect wholesome dish and can be made in large quantities, making it perfect for a large funeral and wake.

USA – Fried Chicken With Mac & Cheese

In the USA (particularly the deep south), they are big fans of comfort food, and this traditional fried chicken with mac and cheese funeral dish is proper soul food.

A lot of traditional southern funeral foods include southern fried chicken, potato and pasta – basically all the carbs you’ll ever need.

Ireland- Wake Cake

Irish wake cakes signify the celebration of life, they are basically ‘one last party’ to honour the deceased and some people even soak theirs in Guinness.

The homemade cake is similar to a pound cake and has a rich consistency like that of a cheesecake.

Greece – Koliva

This religious funeral food is usually used in Eastern Orthodox churches across Greece, Cyprus and Balkan countries.

It is a wheat-based mixture and includes ingredients like honey, sugar, raisins and sometimes even chocolate for a sweet treat.

It is usually offered during church services and decorated with a candle to honour the person who has died.

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Ukraine – Kolachi

Kolachi are sweet ring-shaped bread loafs, often in a decorative woven pattern, and are usually common in countries like Russia, Romania and Ukraine.

It’s not just funeral food though, they sometimes use Kolachi during wedding ceremonies and on Christmas Eve.

Mexico- Pan de Muertos

Translating to ‘bread of the dead’, these sweet rolls are traditionally baked in Mexico for the Day of the Dead festival in November, when Mexicans commemorate their loved ones who have passed.

The soft, sweet bread rolls can vary according to regional recipes, and are sometimes shaped like animals and people with colourful decorations.

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