Why buffet table?
Actually buffet is only in Russia and in other countries of Europe and Asia, this way of eating, when the board put up a variety of dishes and everyone decides what and how much to taste, called buffet ( «buffet»).
Buffet. Paul-Eugène Mesple, the second half of the XIX century
It all started in the distant past. When the ancestors of the Swedes, having overcome a fair distance nasty in those days the roads, getting to their distant relatives, it was not until the arrival of the other guests waiting. So the owners put on the table the prepared meals in advance: salted herring, smoked, fried or salted fish of different varieties, seafood, cooked vegetables, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, cold roast meat, cheese, compote of dried fruit, sweets, etc. D. – that now unites the concept of "snack". This is complemented by hot and cold in the form of cutlets and meatballs, and cut in half a baked potato stuffed with anchovies. Food served in large bowls, and everyone could take as much as wanted. This allowed the first quench hunger, but at the same time allowing time for communication. The meal was called Swedish smörgåsbord, on bord (table) and smörgås (sandwich).
As the Swedish aristocracy acquainted with the culinary traditions of other countries, and foreign chefs came to Sweden and began to enrich the range of dishes. In XIV-XVI century, this kind of treats was a prelude to the main meal. In a separate room – pantry (from the name of a piece of furniture) – covered table with snacks and aperitifs.