Single serve dining

12 March, 2021

The latest trend in COVID-safe and sensational food

In our new COVID-normal, there’s still some hesitance around shared dishes. Even a communal birthday cake and blowing out the candles is off-limits. COVID restrictions mean that singing is “risky” and deliberately spreading your germs all over food that other people want to eat is absolutely not ok. But people will always want to celebrate with each other, and eat at the same time. 

So, what’s the solution? There’s a new wave of clever and creative single-serve dining options so you can share a meal with friends while keeping health top of mind.  

What is ‘jarcuterie’?

Remember the full table grazing platter? Well party planners of today have had to embrace a less communal offering and have solved the problem with a new culinary trend – jarcuterie. 

This is the artful arranging of savoury or sweet food into cute jars and small containers. Guests are able to pick up and enjoy their own personal grazing platter, safe in the knowledge that no one else has touched their food. Ordinary things like champagne glasses become vessels holding  layers of nuts, fruit and cheese. A bamboo boat can be adorned with rolled deli meats, tiny breadsticks and pickles, and a noodle box becomes a visual masterpiece. 

Super cute single serve meals

Mini boards can also be used to lay out morsels for your guests. Arrange one grazing board for each guest. Cured meats, soft cheese, pickled octopus, crackers, dip, mini sandwiches, dried fruit, sushi or rice paper rolls. Choose your theme and go for it. 

At Zap Variety and Woolworths there are dozens of container options for you to choose from, so let your imagination run free. Use ribbons, craft boxes, kitchenware, and party supplies to create stunning personalised serves. 

And if the trend for single serve entertaining gives you environmental anxiety, there is a sustainable solution. Reuse items you have around the home, plus keep an eye out for disposable, recyclable cutlery that will work with your themes. Fill glasses, ramekins or cupcake wrappers with salads, sauces and dips and add cut vegetables.

If you don’t have confidence in your kitchen skills, you don’t have to cook. Buy some of your favourite takeaway foods and portion them out. Who could resist a bowl of Chang’An noodles, a bento box from Makoto Bento or a palm sized bowl of fried rice with a chicken satay and a spoon?

Stunning solo sweets

Hotel breakfast bars used to serve individual yoghurt pots sprinkled with fruit and nuts which tempted diners. The sweet jarcuterie is a charming incarnation of this old idea. Of course, chocolates, boiled sweets, marshmallows and biscuits in cute little pots make even the strictest dieter lose their willpower so balance your jars and boxes with grapes, strawberries and easy-to-eat fruits.

If you don’t have time to decorate in miniature, your old friend the cupcake can always be relied on to save the day. Grab a cupcake, croissant, cream bun or a cookie from Bakerie Atelier and serve on your prettiest plates. 

 Individually wrapped snacks – Buy small

Head to your local supermarket for your party prep. Woolworths has all the ingredients you could ever need to create your tiny masterpieces. Pick up fresh vegetables, fruit, lollies, baked goods, deli foods and crackers for your next celebration.