Snacking Around the World: International Movie Food
Though we may not be going to cinemas at the moment, many of us still arm ourselves with snacks before we settle in to watch a movie or series on our screen of choice.
Popcorn first became the “go-to” movie snack in 1930s USA during the great depression, as it was affordable and accessible to most; even those who didn’t have a lot of money. This signalled the dawn of the golden age of cinema, as movies were the ultimate escape and the price of admission wasn’t very high.
The popcorn tradition stuck. And it migrated from America to many other countries in the world. In South Africa, it’s as much of an institution, along with an icy drink and a bag of sweets. In some other countries, though, movie snacks aren’t quite what you might expect.
In South Africa, mopani worms are a common traditional staple, so maybe ants isn’t such a huge stretch. In Colombia, South America, one of the most popular snacks you’ll find being consumed at cinemas is hormiga culona, which are essentially roasted ants that can be consumed like peanuts.
When you hear the word “caviar”, you probably think of high-society events with tuxedos, evening dresses and fine Champagne. But in “Mother Russia”, caviar is in abundance, and it’s one of the items on the menu in local movie theatres, along with the country’s most famous alcoholic export, vodka.
South Africans love biltong. So, this one isn’t much of a stretch either. In Norway’s outdoor cinemas, it’s common to find people chewing on dried reindeer meat – a jerky, which is, in many ways, similar to biltong in SA.
One of the things the Dutch are known for producing is salty liquorice. For those who didn’t grow up in Holland, it may be a bit hard to sink your teeth into this strong snack, but it is highly popular there. The liquorice has an unmistakeable “bite” that can leave your mouth feeling a bit numb.
Known as Iwashi Sembei, these small packets of fish that is baked and then dried, are flavoured with a mix of soy sauce and sugar and eaten whole – a lot like sardines, except these are dried like jerky or biltong.
Settle in with AIM
So, next time your family or friends judge you for snacking on something unusual while you’re watching a movie, it may be worth mentioning that other cultures have far more interesting options available. Perhaps you could interest your friends in some fried ants?
Whatever your snack of choice may be, settle in with AIM audio-visual and electronic products for your choice of entertainment. AIM is for South Africans, by South Africans, and AIM products are exclusively available at Pick n Pay stores, nationwide. Browse AIM’s selection of products online to find out more.