Monday, June 5, 2023
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How to present food on serving trays and platters

Serving trays and platters not only look great, they let you move and display larger quantities of food easily and comfortably. Useful items do not have to look plain, there is a great selection of handled, non-handled, non-slip, glass, metal and wooden platters and trays available. Ideal for the transportation of hot or cold food from the stove to the table or to party guests with nibbles and hors d’oeuvres.

It is worth considering the type of finish you would like and if they have a protective film as scratches and dinks can occur easily on serving platters and trays. If you are opting for metal think about the strength and durability and if wooden is your preference, it is worth having a lacquered finish to protect from stains.

How food is presented can make a big difference to how popular and appetising your family and guests may see your edible offering.

Believe it or not, there are some basic principles on how to get the most impactful and visually pleasing effect from your food tray and platters, these include:

•    Use a variety of colours in the food that are natural and appetising
•    Use a mixture of coarse and smooth, soft and solid, spicy and mild foods
•    Consistency is key with sizing, proportion and sequencing of the items
•    Consider a centrepiece to then work other foods around this
•    Garnish is key to adding a finish and balance to most platters

What is the difference between a serving tray and a platter?

Serving platters and trays offer an attractive backdrop to present food and snacks and allow you to get creative with a vertical, scaling, clock face, nordic, angles, landscaping and free form options! Your cocktail sausages or whole salmon will be the talk of the dining table when presented on a durable and pleasing platter or tray.

Trays tend to be smaller and are typically rectangular or round while platters are shallower and larger and are used for presentation purposes.


Trays of Different Shapes

There are trays available in different shapes and sizes but the basic shapes that are common in trays include rectangular and square shapes. Horizontal rectangles are the perfect shapes for trays as they are easy to carry and can hold plates of different sizes. These are the trays to buy and some of the other choices include round trays as well as oval trays which are also popular to carry desserts and drinks. 

Compartment Trays

Compartment trays are trays that have separate compartments in the tray to keep different types of food products on the tray. These trays are often used for keeping condiments and side dishes on a serving table. These compartment trays are used to serve chocolates and candies and also used as serving dishes. These plates or trays useful for children, with high rims, make eating a meal easier for children.

Appetizer & Fruit Platter

Trays are not just carried around by the staff or hosts but are also used as platters and serving dishes, especially for appetizers and fruits. It is a great idea to present a tray beautifully with an assortment of snacks and appetizer items especially for different types of theme parties. Fruits, fried snacks, canapés, and cheese can all be served on such a tray platter.  

Beverage Serving Trays

There are different types of trays available online with top kitchenware websites like Ellementry.  Beverage trays are usually just like regular trays but need to be sturdy to hold the drinks without dropping the glasses. Tea and coffee mugs, soft drink bottles, alcohol bottles and different types of cocktail and mocktail glasses are all usually carried and served on these beverage trays.

Everyday Casual Serving Trays

There are many causal trays available for regular everyday use at home and also these trays are extensively used in cafeterias and fast-food restaurants. These trays are usually made by using stainless steel and plastic. These trays are usually lightweight and easy to use as they are used regularly for everyday use. Fast food restaurants usually present a tray of food to the customers and the trays are then carried to the restaurant table and this is especially effective for fast food joints selling burgers and fries and other types of fast food products.

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