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Movies That Changed A Food Forever

chartreauxx Aug 26, 2012 02:20 AM

Have you ever watched a movie (or TV show) that changed your perception of a food forever?

For me, I used to love Sakuma fruit drops (a Japanese hard candy). After I'd watched Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies), I couldn't touch them again. I actually left an unopened can of them in my apartment when I moved away from Japan.

Haven't had one since watching that movie. Have you ever had a food item (or ingredient, I guess?) changed in your eyes, for better or for worse, like this? Share stories please! :-)

  1. h
    hannah Sep 19, 2012 05:12 PM

    The movie Waitress. Every time i see it i want pie. I make good pie but I want the pies she creates.

    1. t
      Tonality666 Sep 19, 2012 07:47 AM

      From Five Easy Pieces--

      [Bobby wants plain toast, which isn't on the menu]
      Bobby: I'd like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.
      Waitress: A #2, chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?
      Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules.
      Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh?
      Bobby: I want you to hold it between your knees.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tonality666
        MarietteB Sep 19, 2012 10:50 AM

        I think of that often when I go to a restaurant that won't accomadate a simple request. I have been tempted to quote this to them!

        1. re: Tonality666
          hill food Sep 19, 2012 04:53 PM

          Nicholson's delivery at its finest.

        2. Bob Dobalina Sep 18, 2012 12:05 PM

          In addition to the Big Night references already made on this thread, since the opening scene where the male diner asks for seconds and thirds of parmesan on his pasta, I never accept extra cheese at the table.

          And any time I make a sauce, I always hope for an Alison Janey "oh my God...oh my God!" reaction from my wife. :)

          Also, for a number of years, there was a restaurant in Boston - Grotto in Beacon Hill - that periodically held "Big Night" dinners, with the whole menu from the movie, including the timpano AND the suckling pig!

          1. monkeyrotica Sep 18, 2012 04:16 AM

            Speaking of Sakuma drops, I had the opposite reaction when seeing Grave of the Fireflies. I used to love them as a kid, but then couldn't find them anywhere. Then when I saw the movie, I was like, "I loved those candies!" I even bought the commemorative tin. I think part of my fascination with the stuff is that my grandfather, who I never met, also loved Sakuma drops. I even tried to get my kids to like them, but they've never been big on hard candy. But I'll show them: when I get cremated, I'm going to have my bones put in a Sakuma drop tin!

            1. m
              MarianneB88 Sep 13, 2012 03:36 PM

              In the movie "MoonStruck" when the mother puts a piece of bread with a hole in the center in a skillet and fries it. When it is brown on one side she flips it and cracks an egg in the center. She then she puts roasted red pepper on top on the egg and serves it.

              My favorite scene and that still makes me laugh when I am serving pasta is when the family is sitting at dinner and Cher's character isn't there. The grandfather already gave the dogs one plate of food and is going to give them another when the mother tells him if he gives those dogs another plate of her food she will kick until he is dead.

              3 Replies
              1. re: MarianneB88
                MarkC Sep 13, 2012 03:46 PM

                I remember being impressed by the guy making an omelet with chopsticks in Tampopo. The whole movie was great, but this stands out in my mind for its mastery.

                1. re: MarkC
                  monkeyrotica Sep 17, 2012 04:35 AM

                  For the closeup of that omuraisu being made, that was the director, Jûzô Itami. The actor playing the hobo who was supposed to be making the omelette couldn't get the technique just right, so the director did it himself.

                2. re: MarianneB88
                  tim irvine Sep 29, 2012 06:52 PM

                  We make that and call it eggs a la Moonstruck.

                3. monkeyrotica Sep 13, 2012 04:07 AM

                  Blazing Saddles. Beans.

                  Also schnitzengruben.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: monkeyrotica
                    hill food Sep 13, 2012 01:50 PM

                    oh yeah! or in another of Mel's "yes, you just made a 'nummy' sound"

                    1. re: hill food
                      absolince Sep 13, 2012 03:56 PM

                      The movie, Spanglish...THE sandwich!

                      1. re: hill food
                        paulj Oct 3, 2012 01:05 PM


                        1. re: paulj
                          hill food Oct 3, 2012 04:45 PM


                    2. c
                      Chefpaulo Sep 10, 2012 12:13 PM

                      Frederick Wiseman's 1976 documentary "Meat" was enough to make me a vegetarian.. It follows the farm-to-table process of calves being fattened up, slaughtered, butchered and packaged through an automated slaughterhouse in Colorado. No narration. No music. Just the sights and sounds.

                      I saw it in 1977 and have been "off the hoof " ever since. Highly recommended for those who can stomach it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chefpaulo
                        MarietteB Sep 10, 2012 12:19 PM

                        I would not be able to. But after reading Robin Cook's novel "Toxin" - I had a similar reaction.

                      2. Justpaula Sep 8, 2012 11:20 AM

                        Well, it hasn't changed the food for me personally, but I am surprised no one has mentioned American Pie yet.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Justpaula
                          monkeyrotica Sep 10, 2012 06:55 AM

                          It's the Citizen Kane of pie sex movies.

                          1. re: monkeyrotica
                            Veggo Sep 13, 2012 02:28 PM

                            But in Citizen Kane, a rosebud by any other name was still a rosebud.

                        2. l
                          laststandchili Sep 4, 2012 01:14 PM

                          I cut down on onion in my tomato sauce after Goodfellas.

                          It's better too.

                          1. dave_c Sep 4, 2012 12:31 PM

                            Another memorable scene that did not change food forever, but had me craving the item was the ending dinner scene to "A Christmas Story" where the family went out for Thanksgiving to have Chinese Turkey - Peking Duck.

                            1. monkeyrotica Sep 3, 2012 04:46 PM

                              Ramen. Tampopo.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: monkeyrotica
                                tim irvine Sep 8, 2012 02:02 PM

                                Ramen again...Ramen Girl.

                              2. TrishUntrapped Sep 3, 2012 04:40 PM

                                Well, the most unforgettable food scene for me I guess was the dish Bette Davis served Joan Crawford in Whatver Happened to Baby Jane... Nah...I'll still stick with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

                                1. klyeoh Sep 3, 2012 12:17 AM

                                  Not "forever" for me.

                                  But Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover" created quite an impression. After watching the finale, where the heroine served her dead lover - roasted whole to a golden-brown lacquered finish - to her husband, and forcing him to eat it, I had to cancel a dinner at a Cantonese roast-meat restaurant afterwards. No kidding.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: klyeoh
                                    hill food Sep 3, 2012 12:21 AM

                                    haunting movie, yes. off-putting, ehh not here.

                                    except I will not eat printed word. not by choice anyway.

                                    1. re: hill food
                                      klyeoh Sep 3, 2012 07:37 AM

                                      Ah yes, that scene :-)

                                  2. Samuelinthekitchen Sep 2, 2012 06:12 PM

                                    Slightly off-topic, such a fantastic film.

                                    1. maria lorraine Sep 2, 2012 01:24 PM

                                      I have forever wanted to make the big huge timbale (the macaroni "pie") from Big Night ever since seeing that movie.
                                      Still on the to-do list.

                                      However, just the other night, I saw Alton Brown make a lasagne "drum" in the crock pot. It was similar to the timbale, and it reminded me that I still need to attempt that. Alton Brown's version is easier, but not as impressive.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: maria lorraine
                                        TrishUntrapped Sep 3, 2012 07:40 AM

                                        You might want to preorder Stanley Tucci's new cookbook. It includes the recipe for the famous Timpano! I am so making it. Can't wait.


                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                          maria lorraine Sep 3, 2012 02:14 PM

                                          I couldn't remember the word "timpano" (I should have, it's like timpani, in music), but had also seen timbale. Thanks for the correction, though timbale is also used to describe this drum-shaped party dish.

                                          Here is another Chowhound thread, with links and recipes for the timpano:

                                          Love Stanley Tucci. Will have to flip through his cookbook.

                                          1. re: maria lorraine
                                            linguafood Sep 8, 2012 11:33 AM

                                            Don't bother. It's nothing more than a glorified pasta bake. Not worth the effort. At all.

                                          2. re: TrishUntrapped
                                            maria lorraine Oct 2, 2012 02:58 PM

                                            In today's New York Times, a profile of Stanley Tucci, his and his family's cooking, and news of the new cookbook:


                                            1. re: maria lorraine
                                              LindaWhit Oct 2, 2012 03:45 PM

                                              Great article. :-)

                                        2. Shrinkrap Sep 2, 2012 01:21 PM

                                          Cherries after Witches of Eastwick.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                                            hill food Sep 2, 2012 11:47 PM

                                            Shrinkrap - yeah I still think about the aftermath and have to remind myself I'm often not sanctimonious about things.

                                            so I still eat them.

                                            1. re: hill food
                                              Shrinkrap Sep 3, 2012 04:21 PM

                                              I don't remember much else about the movie. I'm not remembering the sanctimonious part*. But when I've had about a pound in one sitting, I remember to slow down.

                                              * Going to look it up!

                                              1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                hill food Sep 3, 2012 07:12 PM

                                                the character "Prudence" that had the cherry pit problem was the Mrs. Lovejoy/Maude Flanders of the town. very self-righteous.

                                            2. re: Shrinkrap
                                              jessicheese Sep 4, 2012 07:38 AM

                                              I still eat cherries, but think of this scene every single time.

                                            3. 2
                                              2roadsdiverge Sep 2, 2012 01:16 PM

                                              The movie Big Night changed the way I think of omelets/frittatas. The final scene where Stanley Tucci makes a simple frittata for his brother is shot in one take and the simplicity and brilliance made me love it.

                                              You don't need to speak Italian to enjoy this:

                                              Also in the same movie, the scene where the chef refuses to allow a customer to order risotto with a side of spaghetti because you don't serve a starch with a starch.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                LindaWhit Sep 10, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                I need to rent this again. Or buy it. Forgot how much I love this movie.

                                                With a *very* young Marc Anthony in that final scene.

                                                1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                  piccola Sep 17, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                  I just rewatched it this weekend, before even reading this thread. That omelet scene is subtle and lovely. I won't lie, I was impressed when he flipped it perfectly...

                                                2. tim irvine Sep 2, 2012 09:10 AM

                                                  I found the whole idea of dog burgers at the end of How to Marry a Millionaire both liberating and challenging.

                                                  1. jinet12 Sep 1, 2012 10:37 PM

                                                    Supersize Me
                                                    Haven't had a Big Mac for years.

                                                    1. goodhealthgourmet Sep 1, 2012 08:50 PM

                                                      Lost Boys. lo mein morphs into maggots. 'nuff said.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                        LongIslandChef Sep 1, 2012 11:48 PM

                                                        I thought the lo mein turned into worms and the rice turned into maggots? Not 100% sure though, its been YEARS since i saw it...

                                                        1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                          hill food Sep 2, 2012 12:00 AM

                                                          didn't turn me off any food, just prejudiced me towards Santa Cruz. (still love that beach though!)

                                                          1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                            goodhealthgourmet Sep 2, 2012 09:06 AM

                                                            whatever - it was all stomach-churning. the mere sight of a Chinese takeout container nauseated me for years after that.

                                                        2. tamagoji Sep 1, 2012 04:24 AM

                                                          Bend it Like Beckham ... Aloo Gobi!

                                                          Before watching that movie I never paid much attention to that dish, but I'm a huge fan now. I esp love the extra feature on the DVD where they make the dish.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: tamagoji
                                                            MarietteB Sep 4, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                            I was so intrigued by this that I ordered the DVD for Bend It Like Beckham. Can't wait to see it and then make Aloo Gobi! Thanks

                                                            1. re: MarietteB
                                                              tamagoji Sep 8, 2012 03:56 AM

                                                              Nice! It's a great segment. The director herself does the cooking, with her mom and auntie observing and commenting in the background (they're a hoot).

                                                              She gives a great trick about chopping the cilantro stalks and sauteeing them with the onions and cumin seeds. The onion-y curry base is so tasty and fragrant, I could just stop there and eat! Of course the rest of the recipe is delicious ;)

                                                              1. re: tamagoji
                                                                MarietteB Sep 8, 2012 01:59 PM

                                                                After watching, I agree! I will make it. At first I wondered why mom and auntie were there. But I loved them and their tips and demands.

                                                                I had never seen this movie and really enjoyed it. Takes food to get me interested, I guess.

                                                            2. re: tamagoji
                                                              tardigrade Sep 10, 2012 11:56 AM

                                                              Also check out What's Cooking? by the same director: it's about 4 families of different ethnic backgrounds celebrating Thanksgiving in the same Los Angeles neighborhood. IIRC the DVD extras have some recipes.

                                                              After Bend it Like Beckham I always sautee my cilantro stems with the onions.

                                                            3. maria lorraine Sep 1, 2012 01:44 AM

                                                              "It Happened One Night" forever changed (for the country at the time) dunking doughnuts.

                                                              Also, Clark Gable didn't wear an undershirt under his dress shirt in that movie, and after the movie came out, undershirt sales plummeted.

                                                              1. c
                                                                chilihead Sep 1, 2012 01:31 AM

                                                                Like water for chocolate, especially the watermelon sequence.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: chilihead
                                                                  maria lorraine Sep 1, 2012 01:44 AM

                                                                  Oh yes, I saw that and was determined to learn how to perform that trick to break the watermelon into long symmetrical chunks with one big smash. I researched how to do it to death, practiced and now I've got it down! Great party trick!!

                                                                2. dave_c Aug 27, 2012 02:52 PM

                                                                  "Leave the gun take the cannoli"

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: dave_c
                                                                    James Cristinian Aug 27, 2012 04:27 PM

                                                                    Just before Michael whacks the Turk and Captain McCluskey.

                                                                    "How's the Italian food in this restaurant?" "Good. Try the veal. It's the best in the city." "I'll have it."

                                                                    1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                      JonParker Sep 2, 2012 01:35 PM

                                                                      "First you fry some garlic... "

                                                                  2. HillJ Aug 27, 2012 01:57 PM


                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                      HillJ Sep 3, 2012 07:34 AM

                                                                      The film Toast.

                                                                    2. s
                                                                      small h Aug 26, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                                      E.T.: The Extraterrestrial and Reese's Pieces. One of the most successful product placements - financially and artistically - ever.


                                                                      1. drongo Aug 26, 2012 02:59 PM


                                                                        Well, at least the movie connected the rat with the vegetable dish...

                                                                        1. i
                                                                          INDIANRIVERFL Aug 26, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                          Animal House. "I'm a zit."

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                                                            chartreauxx Aug 26, 2012 03:41 PM

                                                                            similarly, French toast in a diner (after seeing Road Trip), and eclairs (after watching Van Wilder)...

                                                                            1. re: chartreauxx
                                                                              uhockey Sep 1, 2012 09:30 PM

                                                                              ...as soon as I saw this thread I thought of Van Wilder.


                                                                              1. re: uhockey
                                                                                kubasd Sep 3, 2012 02:07 AM

                                                                                me too. I haven't been able to eat an eclair since!!

                                                                          2. TrishUntrapped Aug 26, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                                            Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 'Nuff said.

                                                                            1. p
                                                                              Philly Ray Aug 26, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                                              Fava beans and Chianti...Silence of the Lambs.

                                                                              1. linguafood Aug 26, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                Not for me, personally... but many folks somehow can't stomach eels anymore after having seen Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum).

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                  Veggo Aug 26, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                  I can stomach an eel, but I can't find them, especially angulas.

                                                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                                                    hill food Sep 1, 2012 11:27 PM

                                                                                    HA! for me the movie Tin Drum didn't put me off eel (although I understand the problem) but rather Sorrel flavored fizzes.

                                                                                  2. ipsedixit Aug 26, 2012 11:12 AM

                                                                                    Exorcist ... pea soup.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                      James Cristinian Aug 26, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                      No!!!!!!! I read the book, I saw the movie multiple times, (worked at a drive-inn, snack bar, great job.) I now can't watch this movie, way too scary.

                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                      ratgirlagogo Aug 26, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                                                      My first thought was actually Popeye and spinach, although that's a lot more than just one movie. I guess I'd say the Cornish game hens in Eraserhead put me off game hens for quite a while. And whenever anyone offers me a potato I think of The Old Dark House. I'd also say Soylent Green, because out of the many hundreds of movies about cannibalism, it actually established a new catchphrase to describe it.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                                                        pdxgastro Sep 2, 2012 04:09 PM

                                                                                        Popeye=canned spinach, which I have never eaten, would never eat. Can we say, UGH? But fresh or frozen? Thumbs up.

                                                                                      2. d
                                                                                        djquinnc Aug 26, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                                                        Every time I see profiteroles on a menu, I immediately think of " The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover"

                                                                                        1. Veggo Aug 26, 2012 10:22 AM

                                                                                          Before Last Tango in Paris, I always thought butter was just food.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Veggo
                                                                                            James Cristinian Aug 26, 2012 11:21 AM

                                                                                            That butter got poor Marlon Brando killed.

                                                                                          2. p
                                                                                            PAINTEDPEGGIES Aug 26, 2012 10:02 AM

                                                                                            What was wrong with the fruit drops?

                                                                                            For me it was the movie 'FatHead'. I haven't had grain or sugar, if I could help it, since watching it a year ago...and I don't really miss them, either!!

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: PAINTEDPEGGIES
                                                                                              chartreauxx Aug 26, 2012 11:05 AM

                                                                                              GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES SPOILER!!!!

                                                                                              In the movie, the main character and his baby sister are orphaned in wartime Japan. The only treat/toy/childhood thing left to them in a world of rationing, poverty, starvation, disease, bombing, death and loss is the little girl's one tin of fruit drop candy, which her brother doles out to her as slowly as possible to make it last. Eventually, there are none left. The little girl is so desperate to have something nice in her life that she puts pebbles in the empty can, and begins "treating" herself to rocks for comfort. Eventually, she dies of malnutrition, and her brother stores what he can of her bones in the tin (the only vessel available to him) in an effort to keep a piece of her for a proper funeral down the road.

                                                                                              When he also passes away (before being able to bury her), the people who find his body toss away his sister's tin/bones. He and she meet as ghosts on an undead train, and she is her healthy, pre-war self, carrying (and sharing) a tin of her beloved fruit drops.

                                                                                              Haven't eaten one since. The sound of the candies rattling around in the tin is used in the movie as a device to echo the rattling of first the pebbles, and then the bones... Couldn't get past it.

                                                                                              1. re: chartreauxx
                                                                                                PAINTEDPEGGIES Aug 26, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                                                                Oh. My. God. That is unspeakably sad. I wouldn't eat them anymore, either.

                                                                                                1. re: PAINTEDPEGGIES
                                                                                                  chartreauxx Aug 26, 2012 03:44 PM

                                                                                                  The movie is actually amazingly powerful, I'd highly recommend watching it. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's animated; it's a very serious adult film about the nature of war. Like many Japanese movies, food features very centrally (as a topic in its own overt right, and also as metaphor).

                                                                                                  But if you want to try Sakuma fruit drops (which are a really delicious hard candy!), I'd do it before you watch...

                                                                                                2. re: chartreauxx
                                                                                                  Shrinkrap Sep 2, 2012 01:22 PM


                                                                                                  1. re: chartreauxx
                                                                                                    monkeyrotica Sep 3, 2012 04:45 PM

                                                                                                    Great movie. Great candy. They were my Japanese grandfathers favorite. My Fireflies fruit drop tin is in a place of honor on my mantelpiece.


                                                                                                3. Tripeler Aug 26, 2012 02:26 AM

                                                                                                  The movie Sideways changed forever the way I think of Merlot.
                                                                                                  Of course, I never really liked Merlot that much to begin with.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                                    cresyd Aug 26, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                                                    I think Sideways is definitely responsible for the duo of Pinot superiority and Merlot bottom feeding. Rightly or wrongly deserved.

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