The system and its origins
A buffet is a system, which comes with the main purpose of serving meals in which the food is arranged in an area, and the people have to take the food themselves. Buffet is a French word though, that derives its origins from the earlier Swedish dining systems. It came into popular culture in the early 18th century from where it was further developed into the modern buffet around the early 19th century. In its previous form, buffet was originally a meal in which guests gathered before the dinner for short snacks and drinks but was not a part of the main dinner that followed the pre-dinner.
Types of buffet
Many places that provide dining facilities have this system. It can be seen at various hotels, restaurants and other social events. These places offer food in all-you-can-eat-style for a set price.Buffets may be hot and cold buffets, or finger buffets. Hot ones have hot food served in them while the condoles do not have such compulsion of serving hot dishes only. The food items that are available in the cold buffet taste good even when they are cold. Whereas in finger buffet the dishes contained are usually small, and easily consumable like small cupcakes, muffins, drinks etc.
Symbol of showing wealth for some people
Many people see the buffet system as a means of displaying their wealth, power and status today but the thinking was the same in previous times too. The earlier centuries used this for displaying the furniture too on which the food was mounted as well as the vessels that were used for serving the food. The furniture was sometimes draped too with rich and costly textiles also the decoration around the arrangement was of high quality and gave a luxurious look and feel.
In the popular culture
Usually in the present scenario, buffet system can be seen in all the wedding ceremonies and gatherings which involve a large number of guests and diners. The occasion is remembered by the food that is arranged in it. With the changing trend, many restaurants and hotels have changed the old dining styles and upgraded it to the buffet system. They organise a set price buffet on special occasions and festivals for the public. During festivals like Christmas, these type of dining systems are preferred and are in demand and for the same reason restaurants are adopting this style quickly.