Comfort & Kindness: Texas Favorite Funeral Foods & Why We Eat Our Feelings
Around the world, and throughout human history, food and death rituals have intersected. I'm sure you've heard of ancient cultures burying their dead with plenty to eat on the other side- bread, honey, herbs, and even meat.
In the American South, it is a long-entrenched tradition to eat certain foods when people die. It leads me to wonder- are we eating on behalf of the dead we no longer bury with groceries? Certainly, we are partaking of life- tasting, smelling, and experiencing the texture of foods our loved ones can no longer taste. That may be overthinking it. Are we just "eating our feelings"? Quite possibly.
Southern funerals, particularly for older folks, tend to be long, drawn out, and social affairs. In Texas, this southern tradition meets Mexican culture- creating unique funeral food traditions. It is an act of empathy and kindness to feed a grieving family, but certain considerations can and should be made.
Since I experienced this fairly recently, I'd just say this: check to see if they have fridge space and bring paper plates and plastic forks so their grief isn't punctuated by endless dishes. The food you bring is up to you, but I bet you at least consider some of the following traditional Texas funeral dishes, desserts, and drinks.