The Perfect Match: Food and Entertainment

Food plays a significant part in everybody’s life. It can offer comfort in the form of tomato soup when we’re sick, or act as a tasty reward for when all that hard work starts to pay off. No matter what happens, it’s always with us during our triumphs, failures and the everyday. So, it’s no surprise that we often associate different types of food with particular forms of entertainment. Whether attending a football match or watching the latest summer blockbuster, there’s a favourite food to pair perfectly with every activity. The taste and smell of these classic dishes are often what makes the entertainment so much more vivid, tangible and memorable to us, so their impact on our experience is not to be overlooked. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best-loved matches between food and entertainment.

Food and Entertainment

Popcorn and Cinema

When you think of a trip to the movies, you inevitably think of taking a seat accompanied by a large tub of hot, delicious popcorn to munch through. Whether you prefer sweet, salty or both you’re bound to associate this yummy snack with the silver screen. But where did the relationship between cinema and popcorn come from?

The 1930s and the invention of the talking movie, or ‘talkie’, saw an influx of new cinema-goers. The increase in audience size and affordable price of a movie ticket meant that cinema was now a booming business. Street food vendors flocked to target this new market and brought with them the cheap, cheerful bag of popcorn. Ready in minutes and easy to eat whilst watching the big screen, the snack was immediately a massive hit with customers and it became the thing to eat whilst watching a film. The cinemas themselves decided to get in on the act and moved popcorn vendors into the building itself, selling the snack to their audiences in order to boost profits.

Within a few years, the relationship between cinema and popcorn was established. The rest, as they say, is history. Popcorn is still a wildly popular snack of choice in cinemas all over the world today, and the distinctive scent of corn popping immediately transports many people right back to the last film they watched.

Ice-cream and Theatre

The late 19th century and the Victorian era saw a craze for icecream develop across England. At a time when mass entertainment such as music halls, theatres, fairs and other shows were becoming more available to the general public, enterprising businesses were looking for snacks to sell to their growing audiences. Enter the half-time icecream, traditionally sold by vendors from trays brought out during the interval.

Enthusiasm for this frozen treat only increased as the 20th century rolled around, and it has persevered over the years into the modern theatre-going experience. Many people attending theatre productions today eagerly look forward to their tub of vanilla or mint choc chip after the first half, served with a little wooden scoop. The perfect antidote to an often crowded and overheated auditorium, the humble icecream also adds a sense of fun to what can often be a serious and emotional form of entertainment.

Tasty fries

Fries and Casinos

Perhaps the ultimate entertainment destination in the modern world is the casino. From Las Vegas to Macau, these places really know how to show you a good time and that doesn’t stop at the food. Many casinos offer lavish, well-stocked buffets to keep you energised and satisfied as you hit the tables or try your hand at the slots, and luxurious restaurants with professional chefs are becoming much more the norm in many places.

The great thing about popular casino food is that it can easily be replicated for a home game. If you’re hosting a poker night for friends or even logging on at at home, you’ll definitely need some refreshments to keep you going. The number one requirement for casino food is that it’s easy to eat whilst your concentration is elsewhere, and for this reason fries are firmly on the go-to menu. Whether you prefer them fat, skinny, loaded, curly or sweet potato they make the perfect accompaniment for your evening of home entertainment.

Classic hot dog

Hotdogs and Sports

The picture of an all-American home game would not be complete without the audience chowing down on the ultimate sports snack: the hot dog. This classic dish has been associated with every US stadium sport from football to baseball since the 19th century, when it was first served as an affordable, unifying bite to eat whilst everyday people watched the game. Now, hot dogs are big business with 88% of sports fans eating them at sporting events annually and 65% voting it their favourite stadium snack. It truly has become iconic and is a perfect example of the close bonds between food and entertainment.

Both food and entertainment are a vital part of the human experience, and perhaps that is why they remain inextricably linked. Eating for pleasure is a luxury not always available, so combining cheap, easy but most importantly enjoyable food with an activity that exists purely for entertainment is the ultimate in comfort eating. From candy floss at the funfair to sweets at the arcade, food is an integral part of enjoying all that life has to offer.

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