Food on Film

Festival audiences often find themselves in a state of hunger, salivating at what characters are getting to eat on screen. Venice attendees soon tire of ham and cheese rolls and seek morsels more inventive. My favourite punning panini people (pictured) were back this year, over on the VR island, with their movie star-inspired creations including: Gregory Speck (speck, scamorza, funghi), the Al Panino (turkey, cheese, and grilled veg), Tony Curtis (tuna, mozzarella and tomato) or the Briez Taylor (ham, brie and rocket).

Giant gamberoni and the gamberi en soar and the Legato Veneziana

On screen, food got more inventive but didn’t always make your tummy rumble in envy. My Movie Meal items: a midnight pasta with tinned tomato gobbled by Nico on a heroin come-down in Nico 1988 and washed down – to the horror of her Italian host – with a bottle of old Limoncello; an Elephant’s Ear in Lean On Pete (I’m told this is a huge fried donut thing with sugar and cinnammon typical of American State Fairs); the enormous Happy Swirl desert ordered by Donald Sutherland in a diner in The Leisure Seeker; the cans of Potted Meat boiled by the Israeli soldiers in Foxtrot; and, beautifully symbolising the poisoned American dream, it’s the deadly Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich in Suburbicon.

Anyway, as I’m sure you’ll be worried about my dietary situation, I did manage a few decent nom noms on the Lido myself – here are the giant gamberoni and the gamberi en saor (a typical Venetian sweet and sour style) at my favourite Osteria Al Merca, washed down with a lovely white wine new to me, a Lugana. 

The Fegato Veneziana (essentially, liver and onions) at La Cucina was a lot tastier than it looks – but the service there was so slow I half expected Fred Wiseman to be making a doc in the kitchen…

And I couldn’t resist a gelato from Magiche Voglie, a simple blend of pistachio and their beautiful vanilla…perfect…

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