Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood

Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood cover

I loved the concept of Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood: 50 Movie-Themed Cheese Platters and Snack Boards for Film Fanatics, and I loved it even more when I read it. (The photographs, which are glorious, are credited to Rachel Riederman, and I think she wrote the text as well, based on the about page, but the text is copyrighted to the publisher, Ulysses Press, although the recipes are credited to Riederman. Modern books are weird.)

For each famous movie, there’s a set of snacks, but it’s not just a list — there are also mini-recipes. The films are grouped by categories, several each for romance, action and drama, kids and musicals, horror, and comedy.

The ideas are clever, demonstrating a love of both film and food. The Princess Bride, for example, gets cheese, peanuts, and “Miracle Max Pills”, which are bits of peanut butter and pretzels coated in chocolate. You’ve Got Mail is all New York with bagel dogs and mini cheesecakes. There’s a great traditional tea sandwich spread for Pride and Prejudice, but the one that won me over to the book was the plate for Fight Club — the reader is instructed to get the most generic cookies possible to serve with black coffee. That’s hilarious.

Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood cover

The pictures, as mentioned, are beautiful. I don’t think I’d ever make the Christmas-wreath shaped charcuterie and cookie platter for It’s a Wonderful Life, but it’s an amazing idea and lovely to look at. Some of these are great ideas whether or not you watch the movie — the Jaws board has shrimp, kielbasa, and mini Old Bay potatoes (recipe provided), much like a beach bonfire roast.

My favorite, just for taste, had to be The Shining. (By the way, all the boards have names but they’re all cheese puns, so I’m just calling them after the movie.) It’s got, among other things, Stilton and dark chocolate, accompanied by a Manhattan. Mmmmm.

I have so many ideas after reading Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood. Time for a movie night!

(The publisher provided a review copy.)

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