Friday, March 25, 2011

TV Shows That Made the Food and Drink

Can't you picture analytical Frazier and fastidious Niles still meeting for their morning non-fat cappuccino with light foam and espresso at CafĂ© Nervosa?  I still have visions of Niles meticulously wiping his seat down with a hankie before sitting his persnickety fanny down.  I'm sure Starbucks coffee sales climbed when that popular series hit the air waves.   

Cafe' Nervosa: The Connoisseur's Cookbook 

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And of course our infamous Friends at Central Perk loved their cappuccinos and Lattes too... and scoffing down Chinese food while spinning funny stories about the Ugly Naked guy across the way.


So many memorable food moments made us laugh our heads off... from Jerry Seinfeld's cornucopia of cereal boxes and Kramer's frequent shopping visits to Jerry's kitchen with his "what's yours is mine" attitude... to Jerry mugging an old lady of the last marble rye from Schnitzer's bakery.  

The snatched marble rye is one of my favorite episodes.

The Marble Rye - January 1996
(Part A - Rye Episode)
(Part B - Rye Episode

It goes like this.  George takes his parents over to Susan’s parents' house for an anniversary dinner. On the way, Frank Constanza insists on picking up a Marble Rye from Schnitzer’s Bakery to bring to dinner.  After dinner, Frank realizes that Susan’s parents never brought out the rye and steals it back. But Susan’s "eagle- eye" parents notice the missing rye. 
George gets Kramer to distract them with a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park for their anniversary, so he can sneak another rye back into their home. George recruits Jerry to purchase another rye from Schnitzer's, but they sell the last one to an old lady who refuses Jerry's $50 offer.   He snatches the rye from her and takes off.

Earlier that day, Kramer fed the horses cans of Beef-A-Reeno because he had an excess after shopping at a wholesale food store. During the carriage ride, the horses release horrible gas. Susan’s parents end the carriage ride too soon and foils George's plan.  

Those memorable food moments usually started or ended with a wacky Kramer.  Fans enjoyed the famous mango discovery that supposedly gave them a shot of the Love Jones -- and cracked up over Mr. Lippman's Muffin Top business with its own shot of lunacy.  

The Muffin Tops - May 8, 1997
(Episode - Part A)
(Episode - Part B)

Elaine inspires her former boss, Mr. Lippman, to open up a muffin top business called "Top of the Muffin to You!" when he notices Elaine only eating the top of a muffin at a party.   He seeks Elaine's advice when it doesn't go as planned.  Big mistake.  She tells him that he's doing it wrong by just baking the tops.  He has to bake the entire muffin and pop off the tops.  Only problem... he's stuck with a pile of stumps.

Elaine and Mr. Lippman try giving them to the homeless, but even they don't want them.  They end up with bags of stumps, until Norman, "the human garbage disposal," comes to the rescue with four bottles of milk.  

Remember when Kramer invested in a popular non-fat yogurt shop Jerry, George and Elaine frequented until Kramer noticed that Elaine and Jerry were gaining weight?  Jerry and Elaine secretly had the yogurt tested at a lab and found out it was not low fat and was indeed packing on the pounds.  Yeah, like they were so portly.

And then there's my other favorite... the "big salad" debacle.  My husband still teases me when I order a large salad.  "Oh, you want a big salad, Elaine?"

Our television shows' preoccupation with food had been going on for decades.  Fans of the Golden Girls probably gained a few pounds watching their golden escapades around the kitchen table.  They often ended their Saturday night dating disappointments commiserating over a cheese cake and chocolate syrup with three forks.   I'm craving a slice just thinking about it.

But it doesn't stop with the sitcoms.  Oh no, Nanette... I still crave coffee and a 7-Eleven Big Gulp when I tune into NCIS on Tuesday nights.  At any given moment, Gibbs and Abbs are slurping down their favorite beverage fix during the prime-time hour.

And you can't tune into Burn Notice without seeing Michael and Fiona scooping vanilla yogurt into their mouths at least once.  On Law & Order, you'll see plenty of chop sticks at the end of a long crime-solving day.  

Cheers gave the bar happy hour business a boost in the eighties.

 Popye had his spinach and Lucy Ricardo's hilarious episode on the chocolate factory assembly line still lure you to the nearest box of confectioners.

Yes, food always added the right spice to a television show's palate.

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