The power of suggestion is so very strong. Whenever I watch a movie with food in it, whether it's truly appetizing or just evocative, chances are I will be craving it in a major way. So before you watch any of the following films, consider stocking up on these heavily featured foods. Hint: This list goes far beyond the usual pizza.
If you're watching: Big Night
Stock up on: Pasta
It's an epic story of old-school versus new-school, authenticity versus assimilation, soulfulness versus soullessness — and pasta. At the very least, be sure to have some spaghetti and marinara sauce around when watching this Stanley Tucci- and Campbell Scott-directed classic. If you're feeling ambitious, whip up some risotto, or attempt the show-stopping timpano that practically steals the film. (For the latter, you'll need to plan ahead.)
If you're watching: Breakfast Club
Stock up on: Cereal
There is something about Ally Sheedy's Captain Crunch on white bread with mayo and a generous shower of Pixy Stix dust that gets me every time. It must be the tactile suggestion of crunchy cereal between two mushy slices of bread that is texturally quite alluring. If you don't have Captain Crunch on hand, any cereal will do. Bread, mayo, and Pixy Stix are optional.
If you're watching: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Stock up on: Chocolate (the good stuff)
Truth be told, any candy is fair game when you're watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the Gene Wilder version, natch). But the image that stays with me is one from the book, and it's also the one that fuels my cravings. Do you remember how Charlie would get a single bar of chocolate for his birthday and nurse it at a glacial pace? I suggest investing in some high-quality chocolate that you can truly savor while watching this flick, to channel the original Charlie Bucket.
Some Chocolate Nominations
If you're watching: National Lampoon's European Vacation
Stock up on: Gelato
Sadly, the scene from European Vacation that sparked one of my most enduring food obsessions doesn't appear to be on the interwebs. So for your viewing pleasure, I've included this one instead, which is possibly the greatest cinematic dream-eating sequence of all time.
The scene I wanted is closer to the end of the movie. It's when Rusty and a comely Roman have an epic date on which gelato is consumed. They choose the flavors they want, which are spackled into goblets in real time. It's the most gooey-textured gelato I have ever seen. I've been chasing that gelato for years and I still haven't found it. But you will need a scoop of something when you watch this film.
Pick one (or more!) of these: I Tried 17 Talenti Gelato Flavors and Ranked Them
If you're watching: Amadeus
Stock up on: Candied nuts
I'm not the only person obsessed with the gorgeous sweets that Salieri tempted Costanza Mozart with in Amadeus. "Capezzoli di Venere, Nipples of Venus," Salieri tells her. "They're Roman chestnuts, in brandied sugar. Try one, go on, try one! They're quite surprising." Constanza cannot resist. And neither can I!
Sadly, I've never had one because I'm not sure that they actually exist, although I have spent years keeping my eye out for them in vain. Any ol' store-bought bonbon might soothe the need, but if you plan ahead, consider making candied nuts.
Get the recipe: Sweet and Salty Cinnamon Almonds
If you're watching: Rain Man
Stock up on: Cheese balls — and toothpicks
Two words: cheese balls. Or, as Planter's spelled it, Cheez Balls. Although I was very sad to learn that this epic snack has long been discontinued, you still can't watch Rain Man without some kind of cheesy, crunchy thing — whether it's a different brand of cheese balls, a cheese doodle, or a Cheeto. For filmic authenticity, try skewering whatever you've got on toothpicks.
If you're watching: Tampopo
Stock up on: Ramen
Because no movie list would be complete without Tampopo. Even if you don't want to go through the trouble of making your own ramen from scratch, there are plenty of hacks to upgrade the classic instant stuff.
Get a Recipe
If you're watching: Gold Rush
Stock up on: Edible shoes (they're a thing!)
So I don't really advocate eating shoes, but as a bonus I had to include this dinner of boiled boot. It's one of the most memorable dining scenes of all time, even if what is being eaten is inedible. If you want to try this at home — Charlie Chaplin really does do a remarkable job of making it look delectable! — you can choose from this array of edible footwear on Etsy.
More Food in Movies
- The Most Memorable Movie Food Scenes of 2016
- 10 Food Movies and Shows to Stream on Netflix Right Now
- 8 of Our All-Time Favorite Movie Kitchens
What are you watching tonight? And what will you eat while it plays?