Matching Movies with the Perfect Popcorn

Food Lists
Matching Movies with the Perfect Popcorn

Popcorn and movies, a no-brainer, right? Studies have shown that eating popcorn makes the experience of watching a movie 63.7 percent better than watching a movie without popcorn.

There have been no such studies. But do we really need any? Everyone knows popcorn improves movie-watching. However, your standard butter can get a little tired, and even kettle corn has its limits. Sometimes, a little thematic creativity is merited.

So whether you’re gearing up for a blockbusting night (not making it a Blockbuster night; RIP, Blockbuster) or settling in for some award-winning cinema, there’s a snack that’ll pop your corn.

We’re a color-loving society (and please discard any 1970s racial references you may have inferred). We go green for the environment, pink for breast cancer, red for heart disease. Thus for the billion-dollar grossing Minion friends, it seems only appropriate that we ‘go yellow,’ courtesy of some sweet and salty curry popcorn.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Keeping it colorful, there are recipes galore to match your popcorn to Bruce Banner’s angry side. However, most of those involve green food coloring, and that feels a little like cheating. Instead, have a run at this white chocolate and matcha treat. The mix of sweet and herbaceous will keep you from wanting to smash while the Marvel gang does its thing.

The Danish Girl
What sort of popcorn says “pioneer of the transgender movement”? That might be a little hard to accomplish. So to accompany the moving and quietly inspiring film, which won newcomer Alicia Vikander a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, we’ll focus on the culinary history of Lili Elbe’s birthplace. It might be a polarizing flavor in the States, but Danes love their licorice. Add a little fleur de sel to these black licorice caramel popcorn balls to bring a bit more Denmark to the table.

The Revenant
Okay, yes, the whole bacon thing might be a little passé at this point, but when you have Leonardo diCaprio being attacked by a bear, eating raw bison liver, and sleeping in a dead horse (insert both ‘beating a dead horse’ and “Godfather” jokes here), you need some meat. Add a little sweetness with this maple bacon bourbon recipe or keep it savory with pepperoni and pepitas, courtesy of Rachael Ray.

Steve Jobs
Jobs might have been a technological and entrepreneurial genius, but the arguably world-dominating company he co-founded is named for one of the most elementary things on the planet: The humble apple. This popcorn recipe, which uses apple chips and brown sugar salted caramel, seems well suited to a viewing of the film for which Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet received Oscar nominations for their roles as Jobs and markering exec Joanna Hoffman.

The story of a young woman who emigrates from Ireland to Brooklyn in the 1950’s deserves a bowl of something that celebrates the main character’s native and adopted homelands. There are a few ways to go about this: A Guinness-infused caramel popcorn, cheesy corn courtesy of Kerrygold, or this sweet and crunchy leprechaun chow, which features Lucky Charms and green M&M’s. Granted, that last option is probably an insult to the whole of Ireland, but it does highlight some American foodstuffs Eilis Lacey would have encountered had she come over 15 years later. That might not be a bragging moment for those of us from the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Fifty Shades of Grey
It’s a little tough to reflect bondage and S&M in popcorn. Frankly, the Google image search was a wee bit disturbing. Save yourself and your inner goddess the trouble, and stick to a little sel gris et poivre. That’s grey salt and pepper. Get it, shades of grey? Yes, yes, the pun police will see me now. I won’t suggest anything that will be more up Christian’s alley, however; I’m a lady.

Holly Leber was very pleased to see Spotlight win the Best Picture Oscar, but did not include it in this feature, because how do you say “clergy molestation exposé” with popcorn? Suggestions welcome via Twitter @hollyhodgepodge.

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