Iconic Christmas Movie Foods
Few things capture the holiday spirit better than classic Christmas movies — and the foods in them. From time-tested main dishes to unexpected edibles, here are some of the most-memorable dishes we've seen on the silver screen.
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A Christmas Carol: Roast Goose
Though living in poverty, the Cratchit family scrimped and saved to ensure that on Christmas Day, they could have a small taste of the good life. As Ebeneezer Scrooge peered through the window with the Spirit of Christmas Past, they tucked into a roast goose overflowing with stuffing. Though a bit too small to feed a family of seven, they were nonetheless overjoyed with their holiday feast, with patriarch Bob exclaiming that "he didn’t believe there was ever such a goose cooked." More proof that the best ingredient in any dish is always the company you share it with.
Elf: Spaghetti & Syrup
Way, way up at the North Pole only four food groups exist: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup. Those first three are pretty easy to eat on their own, but syrup exists in a world of culinary possibility! You can pour it on pancakes, blend it into a smoothie, or — if you're cooking dinner — pour it on top of spaghetti. Shave a little salty, nutty cheese (like Piave) on it. It’s not so bad!
Home Alone: Cheese Pizza
The essence of the holiday spirit is an abundance of good tidings and love, and there are few things that are more loveable than a hot, cheesy pizza. It’s the perfect holiday meal for one when you’re home alone, or when you’re a 9-year-old boy who can’t cook and has been left to fend for himself by neglectful adults.
Go ahead and curl up on the couch in your most-comfortable pajamas with an extra-large cheese pizza and eat it straight out of the box while watching your favorite holiday specials on TV. Merry Christmas, you filthy animal.
A Christmas Story: Chinese Roast Duck
Arguably the greatest food moment in holiday movie history: After the neighborhood dogs eat their roast turkey dinner in an act of brazen robbery, the Parkers find themselves at the only place you can normally find a hot meal on Christmas Day: the local Chinese restaurant. There really is no good reason why a glistening shellacked roast duck can't be the star of a holiday feast. That is, if it's not smiling at you from the table.
Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol: Razzleberry Dressing
The word "razzleberry" was invented for this 1962 classic, but it is now a legitimate culinary term for a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, or any combination thereof. These berries can be found in the freezer section come holiday time; use them to doctor up some store-bought cranberry sauce, and bring a bright, summery "homemade" accent to the table.
Die Hard: Twinkies
First things first: Die Hard not only is a Christmas movie, but it also might be the best. Families coming together, explosions, Bruce Willis in his prime — what's not to love? John McClane’s fiercest ally, LAPD sergeant Al Powell, knows that Twinkies are exactly the fuel your body needs to take on a gang of German terrorists mano e mano. "Sugar-enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 60, and Yellow Dye No. 5. Just everything a growing boy needs."
The Grinch: Roast Beast
The Grinch stole so much from Whoville to ruin their Christmas: the trees, the gifts, and worst of all, the Roast Beast! If you need any proof that food is the most important part of Christmas watch the final scene of this beloved Dr. Seuss tale, where after redeeming himself by returning all the presents and decorations, the Grinch receives the forgiveness of Whoville through a simple act: The Grinch has the honor of carving the roast beast, and Whoville rejoices at their great Christmas feast.
It's A Wonderful Life: Chocolate Ice Cream with Coconut
Oh George Bailey, how this opening scene makes our hearts ache for you. Working as a soda jerk before he was even a teen, George was intent on saving his pennies to live a life of adventure, telling his future-wife Mary how she should top her ice cream with a sprinkle of coconut, and how one day he’d be a world-famous explorer who would travel to the lands where they grew. He never did make it out of Bedford Falls, but by George he had a wonderful life anyway.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Eggnog
Fact: Eggnog tastes better when it’s drunk from a classy goblet with antlers. Another fact: Every event can be made exponentially fancier if you show up wearing a dickey.
Love Actually: First Lobstah
OK, they didn’t actually eat this in the movie, but they did establish that there was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus Christ. Italian households are well known for serving the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and a very popular choice for one of the main courses is a lobster fra diavolo — whole lobsters simmered in a spicy tomato sauce, served on a bed of linguine. Maybe the Italians and British know something the rest of us don’t?
The Polar Express: Hot Chocolate
You may not want to try dancing on a moving train while serving hot chocolate (it burns!), but fortunately it’s one of those treats that can put you in a festive mood even without bells or whistles or tap shoes. Making your own instant mix is so easy, you’ll wonder why you ever settled for store-bought.
Simply mix one part of good quality Dutch-process cocoa powder with two parts powdered sugar and two parts powdered milk. Whenever you’re in the mood for a nice warm mug, simply combine equal parts boiling water and hot cocoa mix. For an extra-special treat, swap out the spoon and stir with a candy cane.
A Claymation Christmas Celebration: Waffles
It's a wonder that this film is so hard to find on broadcast television considering that it's responsible for almost every person born after 1980 singing "Here we come a waffling" when caroling. Who cares what "wassailing" is anyway? You can't eat that with butter and syrup!