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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

July 29, 2009 at 9:48 AM

The mysteries of movie food (the on-camera kind)

I’ve always wondered how filmmakers shoot scenes involving ice cream without the stuff melting away under the hot lights. Now I know: Sometimes, that yummy-looking vanilla is actually scooped-out Crisco.
Oh. Maybe I didn’t want to know that.
Nonetheless, this New York Times story about food in the movies, inspired by “Julie & Julia,” is a lot of fun to read. “Julia & Julia” begins with a close-up of Julia Child’s first meal in France, Dover sole cooked in butter sauce, and it looks so delicious that just days after seeing the movie I was compelled to buy some sole, find the recipe and cook it myself. Despite falling apart when I turned it, it was delicious. Food stylist Susan Spungen cooked that sole herself (hers, too, stuck to the pan, which I was heartened to read), along with baking 25 birthday cakes, hunting down a very specific kind of Brie cheese, creating congealed-on-purpose lamb stew, and supervising a very humane lobster broil. (No lobsters were harmed in the making of this film. That steam you see, when Amy Adams plunges a crustacean into a seemingly boiling pot, is actually a cooling mist. Which sounds pretty nice right now. Would that I were a lobster.)

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