The food that is served after a funeral is typically determined by location and tradition, according to Esquire magazine. The food is often based on the family's ethnicity, or it may be whatever food is most convenient to feed people easily. Dishes that provide comfort are also served.
People in attendance expect to eat certain foods after a funeral, depending on what part of the country they live in. In New York, bagels, nova and smoked fish are typical foods that are eaten at a wake. People who live in the metropolitan areas of the Northeast, who are not of Jewish heritage, typically serve Italian dishes after funerals. This includes dishes such as ziti, lasagna and sausage-and-peppers, which are usually procured from a red-sauce joint.
African-Americans who live in Los Angeles, Calif, typically serve "soul food." This includes dishes such as fried chicken, collard greens, candied yams, macaroni and cheese, and black-eyed peas after funeral services. Ham, turkey or roast beef is also included on the menu of those who are in a higher income bracket.
People who live in the South are typically given food for the wake by their neighbors and friends. This generally consists of the types of foods that are served by southern churches. The dishes often include ingredients such as marshmallows, canned pineapples, maraschino cherries, cornflakes and French's onion rings.