In North America, prom is short for promenade --- a formal (black tie) dance. Prom is a major event for most high school students, requiring shopping for the perfect dress and tuxedo, ladies to have their hair and make-up done, men to choose corsages and making reservations for limousines. The formality of the event also has a direct impact on the food served.
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Whether your sit-down meal is family style, buffet or table service, it should consist of food that is not messy. For starters, you will likely find various salads such as chef, pasta or ambrosia, as well as bread. The main course will follow and may include seasonal vegetables, rice, potatoes, chicken or beef, and possibly a hot pasta with a white sauce. Dessert can be a pie, ice cream or sherbet.
Prom fare usually includes cold appetizers, such as trays of vegetables, fruit, cheese and crackers, small sandwiches, dips with chips or tortillas, bruschetta or shrimp. Hot appetizers can consist of mini egg rolls, mini quiche, stuffed mushrooms or peppers, assorted mini pizzas, fried ravioli, chicken or beef kebabs, crab cakes, Swedish or Italian meatballs and chicken quesadillas. You may also find snacks such as pretzels, chips, corn chips or peanuts. Hopefully, you will also find a large bowl of mints to keep your breath fresh.
There are all sorts of desserts to be found at prom, including cakes, pies, cookies, scones, squares and brownies. Many proms have a chocolate fountain that is usually accompanied by strawberries, cherries, pineapple, pretzels, marshmallows, cheesecake, peanut butter spoons and rice crispy treats.
Refreshments will be popular, as everyone will want something to drink between dances. Typically, you will be able to choose from punch, water, soda bar, coffee, tea and juice, along with the ever-important ice.