As we approach the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, any party hostess’s thoughts are turning to the logistics of food – and do you have a sit down meal, a buffet or a barbecue? Then there’s the issue of what food to prepare?
In fact, research by the Flour Advisory Bureau (FAB) reveals that one in six Brits are planning to organise, or help to organise, at least one more party than usual this summer. And according to their new survey, more than half of Brits prefer to do a buffet than a sit down meal when celebrating.
Toolkit author Catherine Borowski of top London event company Produce says, “The FAB research shows that the top three worries for Brits planning a party this year are the weather, the cost of hosting a party and how much preparation is involved.”
The research reveals that the nation’s top three menu choices for party buffets are sandwiches (68%), sausage rolls and cocktail sausages. Whilst 15% of people will be having a traditional British party buffet menu at their party, 1 in 10 will be experimenting with new sandwich fillings. Egg and cress sandwiches will be taking centre stage to help us toast 60 years of the Queen, the traditional tea party stalwart, the cucumber sandwich, has been voted our least favourite sandwich filling.
Master baker and Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood says, “My favourite sandwich is made from sliced white bread with crispy unsmoked back bacon and butter and for a buffet, I always head for the egg and cress sandwiches first so I’m delighted that the nation agrees with me!”
Catherine continues, “As an events and party planner, I’m a huge fan of the classic party buffet which is a great way to keep costs down too. Sandwiches remain a stalwart of the Great British party buffet 250 years after being ‘invented’!”
The status of the trusty white slice at party buffets across the country was also delved into by the research. Around a third of Brits voted for this family staple as the best bread for party buffet sandwiches. Wholemeal and seeded bread came second and third respectively with more exotic varieties trailing a long way behind. But which type of bread is healthiest and should white bread always be avoided?
Nutritionist Fiona Hunter says, “Many people don’t realise that white sliced bread is fortified with vitamins and minerals to give your family great taste and a healthy choice: four slices of white bread provide a quarter of the recommended daily calcium intake for adults. And as bread is naturally low in sugar and lower in salt as well as being enriched with calcium, it is a good source of protein and fibre. For those of us constantly worrying about our weight, bread is a low fat food containing between 1.6 – 2.5% fat, if you’re watching your figure, remember to pick a healthy sandwich filling to keep on track.”
A fifth of people worry about under catering whilst 16% of people worry about being able to cater for everyone attending their parties. The Love Your Loaf toolkit has got this covered with guides on how many sandwiches, cakes and drinks you’ll need to rustle up however big a crowd you’re feeding. With, it would seem, more men than women hosting four more parties than usual, these guidelines are bound to come in useful.
Catherine concludes, “Whatever the occasion, be it for the Queen’s Jubilee, the London 2012 games or a family birthday, chances are there’ll be friends and family itching for an invite. So, prepare to step forward, don your pinny and throw your own British party buffet.”