The Surprising Store-Bought Appetizer Julia Child Always Served on Thanksgiving

updated Nov 11, 2021
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Diptych of Julia Child on left and grocery store aisle on right.
Credit: Left: Hulton Archive | Staff | Getty Right: Sorbis | Shutterstock

Anyone who knows a thing or two about culinary legend Julia Child is well-aware that she was not one to cut corners in the kitchen. A lot of her classic recipes are long and involved projects (remember Julie and Julia?) and a good reminder that cooking is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Hello, Coq au Vin, we’re looking at you.

That’s not to say that Julia Child never took a shortcut in her life, though. The cooking teacher was also known for her incredibly relatable nature (spilling ingredients, making messes, setting pans on fire, etc.). The thing that made her super down-to-earth? Her pure and unabashed love for Goldfish crackers. Yes, you read that right: One of the Julia Child’s favorite snacks was a humble pouch of Goldfish. Store-bought is fine! (Whoops, sorry Ina, wrong culinary icon.)

Before you doubt that statement’s validity and call it a rumor created by the Pepperidge Farm PR machine to promote “the Snack That Smiles Back” (like we did), think again. Experts at Harvard hosted a day-long Julia Child symposium back in 2012 and served guests Goldfish, just like Julia used to when friends would come over for dinner parties. They were also served at the Smithsonian. (See? Proof!)

Credit: Amazon

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Not only did Julia Child serve guests Goldfish as an appetizer at regular dinner parties, but she also used to serve them as a preamble to her Thanksgiving feast! In 2018, Mary Beth Albright, of Washington Post’s Voraciously, hosted a video explaining that for the holiday, Julia often paired the salty snack with one of her favorite cocktails: an upside-down (or reverse) martini.

If there ever was a Thanksgiving where you tried to emulate Julia Child, 2021 is the year. Serve guests a bowl of Julia’s favorite bar snack and whip up a few reverse martinis made with three parts vermouth to one part gin. Who needs turkey?

Do you share in Julia’s love for Goldfish? Tell us in the comments below!