Food Nerd for July 20-26, 2006

Andreae Prozesky wants you to put down that burrito and watch the damn movie.

Things are not as they once were at the Mall cinema consession stand. It's as though some experiment is going on, and its goal is to take all the romance out of movie-going.   

To take romance, and replace it with burritos.   

Or with tacos filled with ground beef and served in a little cardboard cradle.    

Or fries.    

With chili on top.

In paper cups.

When did the concept of "dinner and a movie" become "dinner while sitting in a movie theatre"? Yes, I know, busy modern society and all that, but come on! Eat before going to the movies! There's nothing wrong with any of these foods given the right context, but the thought of trying to consume any of them here, in the dark, on upholstered seating, while you're looking at something else… I mean, they're messy.    

Why take the risk? The perfect movie foods have already been discovered: bag of popcorn, box of candy. A fine, delicious balance of salt and sweet. The popcorn, which is salty, brings on the craving for something sweet. The sugary candy makes you crave salt, and that brings you right back around to the popcorn. The cycle of snacking. The great duality, yin and yang and all that.

Perfect movie popcorn: Partly for eating, and partly for the potential thrill of fingers semi-accidentally brushing one another on their forays in and out of the popcorn bag. The tentative preamble to hand-holding, facilitated by a shared snack.

Perfect movie candy: Must exist in discrete bits. Must come in a box. There has to be a good "shake-ah-shake-ah" sound involved. I'm talking Reese's Pieces, maybe Junior Mints, or Milk Duds. Nibs are acceptable, although their crinkly plastic bag doesn't do it for me. I wish Nibs came in boxes. Boxes are easier than bags to pass from one person to the next without having to take your eyes off the screen. They also offer the opportunity for you to pour candy into the palm of someone's hand. Boxes of candy are flirty like that.

What is the opposite of hands touching as they reach for popcorn, or of pouring bits of candy into a cupped hand? The horror of having to delicately point out mustard on a loved one's chin. Shudder. Positively unromantic.

I suppose it's irrelevant. I am at the theatre with three friends. Two of them have boyfriends and one has taken a vow of celibacy. Snack sharing tonight is functional, not ritual. But still, getting the pretzel dog would be the culinary equivalent of going out in sweatpants. I'm too young and vain to let myself go.

So I buy a box of Milk Duds. I shake-ah-shake-ah the box as I walk to my seat. Pour candy into my own palm. Pass the box on to my friends without having to break eye contact with the screen. No fuss, no muss. No date. No matter. 

I'll get the popcorn next time.

Andreae Prozesky 


Music Tuesday May 8

Chris Hennessey, 5pm-8pm O’Reilly’s Con O’Brien, 8pm, no cover, Kelly’s Pub Glyd (alt/exp rock), CBTG’s Larry Foley & Rob Cook, 12am, O’Reilly’s Salsa Night, 8pm, Bella Vista

25 April 2007

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