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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top 10 Fictional Foodies of All Time

Posted By on Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Foodies may be a relatively new term, but they have long played a role in our TV, movie, and book enjoyment. From the cookie-loving Marcel Proust and his madeleine-sparked remembrances to Cookie Monster on Sesame Street, food lovin' is all around. Just look at our cartoon friends: Garfield loved lasagna, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craved pizza power, Popeye needed spinach, and Wimpy hoarded multiple burgers. Good as those fictional gluttons were, none made it to our countdown of the top 10 fictional foodies of all time:

10. George Costanza in Seinfeld

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Sure, Elaine loved a big salad and made muffin tops more famous than women in too-tight low rider jeans, and Kramer may have liked to shave and lotion up with butter (eliciting turkey fantasies in Newman), but it was George who was Seinfeld's ultimate foodie. He was the double-dipper (no real foodie would be satisfied being limited to one chip and one dip), and he was willing to eat trash, all in the name of an éclair. But George's foodie status was cemented when he aimed to answer the ultimate question: Can you mix life's two greatest pleasures, food and sex, into one? He got away with sex and a pastrami sandwich, then got greedy when he aimed for the trifecta by adding a radio. According to Jerry, "I'll tell you what you did, Caligula, you combined food and sex into one disgusting uncontrollable urge." We are so proud that he tried.

9. Grace Adler in Will and Grace

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A single, neurotic Jewish woman with many gay boyfriends and a love for food? Grace Adler, it's like you spoke my language. She loved raisins in everything, knew that one should always maintain equal distance between a Krispy Kreme and a gym, went to AA meetings for the free homemade marshmallow and hot chocolate, and knew that the relationship between Jews and chicken is real and deep:

Will: Where's all the Chinese food?
 Grace: Oh, I opened it up and started to eat it and then I noticed a
 hair in it. So I called the restaurant to complain and they were
 like, "Well, how do you know it's not your hair?" and I said "Well, I
 know what my hair tastes like." Anyway, I got so disgusted, I threw 
it all out.
 Will: You ate all of it, didn't you?
 Grace: Yes, I did.

8. Artie Bucco in The Sopranos

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On a show like The Sopranos we expected ziti, sausage and pepper sandwiches, and salami. What we didn't expect was a super refined palate and 5-minute explanations of dishes. Artie Bucco, a childhood friend of Tony Soprano, was a local chef and restaurant owner. Tony may have burnt and then rebuilt Nuovo Vesuvio, but it was home to all family celebrations and "business meetings." Listening to Artie's descriptions of pasta, truffles, olive oil, and cheeses made Carmela shoot him the "shut up already" look. For us it made the episode more exciting than any whacking. Artie was even the character behind The Sopranos Family Cookbook.

7. Nero Wolfe

A fictional detective who showed up in books, movies, radio, and television and who loved to eat and drink. He always ordered properly by any foodie's standards, with an appetizer, a main course, a salad, and dessert with coffee. He had a large tummy and a know-it-all attitude when it came to food that made him a first-rate foochebag. In Gambit, it is reported by assistant Archie that, "Once he burned up a cookbook because it said to remove the hide from a ham end before putting it in the pot with lima beans. Which he loves most, food or words, is a tossup."

6. Augustus Gloop from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

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Learning that the Willy Wonka river wasn't polluted but made of chocolate led to the demise of the gluttonous Augustus Gloop. All things considered, drowning beneath a chocolate waterfall that eventually leads to the fudge room is not a bad foodie death. In the words of Willy Wonka, "The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last." You know you are an original foodie when the Oompa Loompas sing a song about you that says: "What do you get when you guzzle down sweets?/ Eating as much as an elephant eats/ What are you at getting terribly fat?/ 
What do you think will come of that?" The answer is a place in our top fictional foodies list.

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Carina Ost

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