Cartoon Food (and drinks) I’ve Always Wanted To Try – Part 2 (Ghibli edition!)
Updated: Apr 11
Back in 2017 I wrote a blog post called Cartoon Food I’ve Always Wanted To Try and now I am recycling that idea however tailoring it to only the dishes and drinks found in Studio Ghibli films. I even accidentally used similar thumbnails for the two posts, proving my point that Ghibli food deserves it’s own tantalizing list.
With a hunger warning in place, let’s get cooking!
The Food at the Spirit Festival – Spirited Away
Although eating this sacred food would result in me becoming a literal pig, I’d be willing to take that risk for what looks like the best BBQ in the world. I don’t even know what a lot of those dishes are but that doesn’t stop my whole mouth filling up with saliva at the mere sight of it. Honestly, I don’t blame Chihiro’s parents for getting in on the spirit food action.
Ponyo & Souske’s Ramen – Ponyo
So I’ve heard of people “hearing” gifs but have you ever felt a gif? I can literally feel the steam coming off of this tasty bowl of ramen just by looking at it. Part of the magic of Studio Ghibli is their ability to make 2D images jump off the page and in this case, into our bellies. I already feel cosier thanks to this piping hot ramen.
Fried Egg – When Marnie Was There
Here’s a fun fact for you, thanks to a bad case of food poisoning I received as a kid, I am very fussy with eating eggs. Especially fried eggs for some reason, however watching that warm yolk drip out of the centre of that egg has me craving egg and soldiers (or whatever you call it where you are). I also really appreciate the symmetry Anna has created by skilfully cutting her fried egg with a pair of chopsticks.
Cheese and Onion Sandwich – Tales from Earth Sea
Nothing beats a nice cheese ploughman’s after an afternoon out and this thick bread, slabs of cheese and fresh onion combination from Tales From Earth Sea look like it’d really hit the spot. I can practically smell that red onion, all that would make this lunch better is if that cheese is extra mature and the addition of some Coleslaw mmmmm…
Howl’s Breakfast – Howl’s Moving Castle
Again with the drooling over food that’ll pile on the pounds, this time however focusing not on the bread and cheese found on the table but the thick slabs of bacon on little Markl’s plate. Considering Howl’s Moving Castle is based on an English novel and is set – in parts – in an English style town, it would only be appropriate to include a full English breakfast, complete with bacon, 2 eggs and by the looks of it some baked beans too.
Zeniba Afternoon Tea – Spirited Away
Although I’m not sure that I’d like to help myself to a plate of biscuits and desserts that a mouse had previously taken from, I can’t deny that those snacks look sweet. Especially the large cheesecake to the left of the gif which looks like it would taste of vanilla or lemon and be fluffy and moist (yeah, I said it!) there’s not much worse than dry cheesecake and Zeniba – twin sister to bathhouse witch Yubaba – looks like she has all areas of this afternoon tea down to a T(ea).
Coffee – The Secret World of Arrietty
When you’re the size of a Borrower (5-6 inches tall to be exact) you don’t need much of anything for it to be enough. This includes the coffee or tea which is being poured into those tiny little cups. As you can see, Arrietty’s mother Homily only needs a drop or two of the liquid for it to fill the cup. I don’t even like hot drinks but the steam rising from tho
se cups along with the bouncing droplet of coffee makes me want a cup right now!
Dola’s Hunk of Meat – Castle in the Sky
I know this way of eating is a little barbaric for some but it’s the way Dola the sky pirate likes to eat her meat and who can blame her! This ham type meat looks as if it’s crispy on the outside and firm on the inside, although I am unsure if the mystery meat has even been cooked at this point. All I need to accompany this is my trusty cheese ploughmans from Tales From Earth Sea!
Umi’s breakfast – From Up on Poppyhill
Sometimes, when it comes to the food in Ghibli films, presentation is key and nobody has this down better than Umi Matsuzaki from From Up on Poppyhill. Umi’s house doesn’t house your conventional family, with a mother away studying, two kids, lodgers and a grandmother to look after, Umi is usually the one to prepare the meals. As you can see, Umi has a working system which is perfect for keeping up with all the mouths to feed.
Shizuku’s Snack – Whisper of the Heart
Teenager Shizuku is like any other girl her age; she likes to read, write songs, worries about her future and also likes to trade real meals for yummy snack alternatives. Honestly, I’m not too sure what she is eating in this scene, I imagine it as like a sugary shortbread biscuit but it could be a popular Japanese snack that I’m not aware of. Either way it looks like the best thing to snack on when writing.
The Dessert Table – The Cat Returns
So spongecake with a raw fish topping may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it certainly is to the subjects of the Cat Kingdom, especially Muta who can be seen stuffing several slices of cake into his mouth at breakneck speeds. If this dessert table is good enough for the Cat Kingdom royal family, it most certainly is good enough for us peasant folk! I think I’ll leave the goldfish punch bowl to the kitties though…
The Bakery Bread – Kiki’s Delivery Service
This is actually a dumb one on my part considering I have a gluten intolerance and can’t eat bread, however no allergy could stop me from fantasising about those warm, soft, doughy loaves which are available in Guchokipanya (the bakery in Kiki’s Delivery Service) or by delivery thanks to Kiki’s Delivery Service! Think of it as Uber Eats but with less of a delivery charge. Bread is one of many treats served up by bakery owners Osono and Fukuo – all of which I probably can’t eat either 😦
The Pineapple – Only Yesterday
When it comes to a quick food fix, sometimes the best thing to eat is a slice of fresh pineapple. For Taeko Okajima, this very pineapple was the pinnacle of a good time during her childhood and once again, I don’t blame her. The thick cuts of pineapple appear saturated with juice – evidenced by the juice gathering on the chopping board – as well as fresh and cool. A very refreshing fruit which is bound to stay memorised for 16 years in Taeko’s case!
The Water in Setsuko’s Tin – Grave of the Fireflies
For a film that usually appears in ‘The Saddest Anime Films of all Time’ list, this one may come as a bit of a surprise. Whats even more of a surprise is how tasty the water in Setsuko’s tin in Grave of the Fireflies looks considering the film focuses on two children trying to survive World War II… I’m basically just highlighting Ghibli’s expertly crafted water animation that looks so crystal clear and cool, perfect for re-hydrating on a hot day.
Fish in Sauce – Porco Rosso
If there’s one dish you’ll never see me eat, it is likely fish in sauce with boiled carrots on the side. How did it make this list then? Well it’s the comfort food part of my brain that can sense how warm and creamy this dish probably is. It’s the equivalent of something like gooey Mac & Cheese or fluffy potatoes with thick gravy. Well I can only imagine it’s similar, like I said; I don’t eat fish in sauce with boiled carrots.
Satsuki and Mei’s Cucumber – My Neighbor Totoro
Talking about gifs you can hear/feel, does anyone else look at Mei crunching on her cucumber and hear the end snap off? Or feel the spray of water from inside of it due to how fresh that thing is?! I can’t even say I’m a massive fan of cucumber but I now can’t imagine anything better than biting into a fresh cold cucumber on a warm summer day.
Cheesy Bread – The Secret World of Arrietty
At first I thought that this was warm bread and butter, it was then bought to my attention that this may infact be warm bread and MELTED CHEESE. Which basically changed everything. This again is from The Secret World of Arrietty, meaning it is a fraction of the size of your usual cheese on toast but by the looks of it, you get double the enjoyment out of it, just look at that cheese wobble!
Siberia Cake – The Wind Rises
Do not be fooled, this is not an ordinary spongecake filled with a chocolate or even a jam filling. This is Siberia Cake and can be found in The Wind Rises. Siberia Cake consists of a large fluffy sponge with red bean paste layered between sponges. I did some research and it turns out that this cake was actually really popular in the early 1900’s and was mostly forgotten about until this film was released which bought it back into the public sphere. Studio Ghibli food, doing more for us than just making us hungry since 1985.
Watermelon – When Marnie Was There
Not much can be said for this watermelon that hasn’t already been said for the pineapple and the cucumber, basically it looks refreshing, succulent and very satisfying thanks to the way it breaks in half so evenly. Perhaps all fruit is this way in Japan, or perhaps Studio Ghibli are the masters of animating tasty looking fruit and vegetables.
Honey – Ponyo
What’s the best thing for when you’re sick? Warm honey and lemon of course! Now I can’t be sure that that’s what Sosuke’s mum Lisa is making here, all I do know is that that honey looks so good. It drips off the spoon in such a lifelike way and actually looks even better than real life honey. Again, something about it feels so comforting and makes me now majorly crave honey on toast.
I hope I haven’t tortured you all too much by making you crave all the foods at this time of night. I think if we have learnt anything from this blog post is that Studio Ghibli are the best at animating comfort food and that I need to eat all the fruit and veg I can if I ever end up in Japan.
For more lists like this see what else I have to offer here as well as my work on nerdoutwordout.com