Food and Fandom

From “Green Eggs and Ham” to “Birds of Prey,” the food we see and hear about in popular culture almost looks too tasty to be, well, tasty. The magic of movies, television, and video game development tends to create and cook food we see on the screen that may get our stomachs growling.

The skepticism of Hollywood food doesn’t stop people from giving it a try in real life, however. The brave among fans and consumers take the time to actively cook a specific dish they saw in media—the bravest among those few buy the pop culture cookbooks, filled with recipes dedicated to a certain fandom or even a music genre.

Chef Andrew Rea has blessed nerds and normies alike with a cooking show, Binging with Babish, making all kinds of recipes throughout the span of fiction. His YouTube channel has over eight million subscribers and, on his website, recipes include fire flakes from “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and Skyrim’s sweet rolls. 

When I was in kindergarten, we had a breakfast of green eggs and ham (scrambled eggs dyed green with honeyed ham) to celebrate Dr. Suess’ birthday. A common happening in the Star Trek fandom is trying Earl Grey tea because it’s commonly ordered by Sir Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” While some people like Earl Grey, quite a few Star Trek fans are likely to tell you that the tea the captain likes hot is disgusting, especially if they tried the tea when they were young.

I’ve wondered if making meals from popular culture would help me cook more at home and order out less. So, I asked the internet what kind of foods from movies, television and video games they've tried before.

Some of their responses can be found below and have been edited for clarity.

People mentioned mostly “Food Wars,” a manga series turned anime about an elite culinary school in Tokyo, as a show where people say they often saw culinary bites they would want to try themselves. Other anime series such as “Naruto” and “Dragon Ball Super” were also mentioned.

“Takoyaki. It’s delicious... Vegeta made a bunch to impress Lord Beerus.” --Ashley C.

“...An anime I watch called ‘Yuri on Ice’ made [me] try Katsudon, which is a friend pork cutlet, with eggs topped on rice. It’s pretty good. I would eat it once a day ‘cause I was obsessed with the anime.” --Toni L.

“Food Wars” even has a cookbook of its own, filled with recipes both shown in the manga and original recipes by chef and entertainer Yuki Morisaki.

It seems to be common for people to see food in anime, where animation can make food seem so tantalizing, it comes right off the screen. But different shows and movies inspired other people to have food come from their screen onto their table.

“I'll never forget how when I was younger and [I] got my mom to make quiche just because of that scene in ‘White Chicks.’ I never knew what it was before then and they mentioned there was cheese in it, which I love... But it turned out to be gross and my mom was pissed.” --@ronnie_mj

“There is a pizza order in an episode of ‘The X-Files' that has grilled chicken, green peppers, onion and mushrooms. I am a fan of that pizza.” --Jonathan K.

And it's easy to remember and hard to forget the ways Disney and Nickelodeon could steal our hearts and our stomachs.

“Spaghetti tacos because of [expletive] ‘iCarly.’” --Shadae M.

“I ordered bao because of the ‘Bao’ Disney short. It was so delicious.” --@jajhira
“It’s really simple but I started eating cheese and strawberries together because of 'Ratatouille' and I’ve been collecting recipes from The Sims 4 to try out at home. So far, I’ve made the Italian meatballs, lobster rolls, and the bacon cupcakes.” --Ivy K.

While a lot of the responses ended up positive and some Trekkies weren't afraid to share their experiences with Earl Grey tea, others didn't know what they were walking into with their orders.

“I went to a pho restaurant for my birthday ‘cause I seen it in The Sims. It tasted horrible, I didn't know how to eat it and it smelled so strong. My husband kept sniffling and I know it had to gross out the people sitting close to us. I should have just went to Longhorn.” --@xxmrsderryxx

Food is so universal, that even cultural dishes can transcend cultures through the magic of pop culture and consumerism.