By Wayne Harada
Who made the rules on movie snacks, anyway?
I’ve often wondered why we all prefer kakimochi with popcorn at the theater. Both have always been sold separately at the snack bar, but some time back, the marriage was consummated: Mochi crunch and popcorn rule as the snacky couple.
Then along came the add-on hurricane mix, with furikake flavoring the blissful kakimochi-popcorn blend.
Ever wonder, though, why not cheese? Commercial popcorn manufacturers have touted cheese flavoring, along with caramel, even a chocolate veneer. Options for those mail order popcorn also include sour cream flavors.
Outside of Hawaii, you never hear of mochi crunch as the standard partner for the popped corn.
So drool with me, please, as I ponder what works, what doesn’t in movie muchies.
WHAT I’D LOVE TO NIBBLE:
• Malasadas. OK, these sugary numbers need to be piping hot, meaning you may want to hit the snack bar midway through a film. Ideally: Why not a Leonard’s concession in the lobby?
• Beef jerky. Once in while, don’t you yearn for a good chew-out?
• Hot manapua. The standard would be the char siu bao, with roasted char siu pork, in a steamed or baked bun. but some folks crave chicken, black sugar, and other recent curried variations; I’d just go with the char siu.
• Spam musubi. No kidding; Spam is the unofficial meat of the populace; when lying on a mini-slab of rice and blanketed with nori, it is a meal in itself. We’ve made ‘em at home, bought ‘em at fast-food bento counters and consumer-friendly places like Longs and your neighborhood supermarkets.
• Sushi mini-packs. Wouldn’t it be super oishi (that’s great-tasting) if Genki or Kozo concessions provide niblets for the film experience?
WHAT’S AVAILABLE THAT SHOULD GO:
• Nachos with cheese. OK, they’re yummy. But the cheese drips. The cheese smells. And have you not encountered a discarded sticky box when the lights come on? Getridofit!
• Cuttlefish, aka ika. This is one of those love-it-or-loathe it item. Delish for true-blooded grinders, bothersome for those who freak out with the fishy odor.
WHAT SHOULD STAY:
• Hot dogs. A standard spectator sport (think football or baseball). It’s messy when relish, ketchup and onions are added. Big quibble: If Costco can offer a $1.50 long dog with a drink tossed, why does it cost so much at the movie house?
• Saimin. Again, this is a mini-meal, slurping variety. In cold weather (and chilly theater A/C, it’s a warmer-upper).
Concession sales of popcorn and the assortment of candies and snacks long have been the big money-maker for the theaters, which profits from the kaukau, not the films being shown. That’s why concesson prices are astronomical.
So do you have a custom film snack? What would you like to see offered? Do you sneak in your own kakimochi bought from Long’s to give your popcorn its crunch? Now’s the time to confess.