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Jul 30, 2009 03:00 PM

Shiva - food suggestions (urgent request!)

I am about to visit a friend who's father passed away this week. I'm not so familiar with the Jewish tradition but would be grateful if someone could suggest what foods would be appropriate to bring. As I will be going straight from work I'm looking for recommendations for something I could pick up on the way to her apartment in midtown. I know others will bring food as well so I would think it would be better to bring something that could last, I guess. But all I can think of on that front is more like cookies or cake, and I'm not sure that would be appropriate.


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  1. before you even consider bringing food, you need to know whether or not they keep kosher. regardless, skip the cookies & cake - people always bring so much of that stuff when you're sitting shiva.

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      No, my friend does not. I don't believe her family does either, but in any case I am visiting her in her home so I would think the food does not need to be kosher.

      1. re: uwsgrazer

        I don't agree with goodhealthgourmet. Cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, or a box of chocolates are all very appropriate and the easiest thing to pick up on your way from work.

        1. re: RGR

          the convenience factor is what makes it problematic - everyone defaults to those things, and you end up with a kitchen full of desserts. i'm speaking (unfortunately) from much experience. if going that route, i prefer a tray of dried fruit & nuts.

          some fresh bagels/bialys and a couple of spreads or deli salads to go with them is really ideal. the last thing a mourning family wants to deal with is figuring out what to eat for meals and then having to prepare something, so that stuff comes in handy for throwing together a quick nosh. and it's easy to pop into one of the numerous places in NYC to pick up good quality stuff.

    2. Cookies and cake are very common practice...they are nice b/c then the people sitting shiva can put them right out for guests. Nuts, dried fruit, candy--all appropriate as well.

      1. Thanks for the feedback everyone

        1. In my family shiva=zabars. I agree with goodhealthgourmet that everyone brings cookies, cakes etc... When my father passed away I had some friends bring a crate of clementines and they were a huge hit after all the baked goods. I would imagine seasonal fruit this time of year would be even more appreciated.

          1. unless the sweets are something special then i would stick with food. a roast chicken with a few sides is nice. bagels, cold cuts etc as well. being that you are going after work people will want to eat dinner and snacks. another option is to not bring anything tonight but to send something in a few days or drop it off. i always take that route. a good fruit tray or crudite is also a nice thing to bring if you don't want to go empty handed.