Crabby Snacks from Silver Linings Playbook
Crabby Snacks from Silver Linings Playbook

Investigating Food in Film: Crabby Snacks and Homemades

It's little surprise many famous movie scenes involve food; there's a certain pleasure in watching characters eat the foods we enjoy in real life or grapple with familiar challenges of cooking, say, lobsters. But have you ever been watching a film and someone mentions a food you've never hear of? Or there's a dining scene and you can't pay attention to the dialogue because you're too distracted wondering what the heck they're eating? This series is devoted to answering those questions.

Having spent the past five years pleasantly trapped in 19th-century literature, I am way behind on all forms of 21st-century media, especially movies. I am currently trying to watch some of the past decade's Oscar-nominated films, which is why just two weeks ago, I saw Silver Linings Playbook for the first time. I'm not a movie critic, so pardon my terse review of the film ("Good!"). Also, to tell you the truth, I was less able to pay attention to the narrative and acting performances after the scene in which Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) tries to rally his father (Robert DeNiro) by reminding him that his wife is making "crabby snacks and homemades" for the game.

Crabby snacks and homemades?, I thought. Want to eat. Don't know what they are, though.

Because many other viewers of Silver Linings Playbook are not acquainted with esoteric Philly snack foods, I was certainly not the only person to ask this question. Or, for that matter, to assume that crabby snacks and homemades were, in fact, some sort of Philadelphia Eagles tradition, similar to the "Roethlisburger" for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

More intrepid reporters than me found out that actually, "crabby snacks" was Matthew Quick's (author of The Silver Linings Playbook) nickname for his mom's riff on a fairly common crab and cream cheese appetizer. And "homemades" was a term director David O. Russell heard used by Anne Cappelletti, longtime Philly resident and extra in the film, to designate homemade egg noodles.

Okay, so crabby snacks and homemades are not some famous Philadelphia specialty that should have been on my food radar (especially as a Pennsyvlania native). They still sound damn good, though, especially the crabby snacks, recipes for which can be found here and here.

I wonder, if I make crabby snacks and homemades during football season but serve them with Heinz ketchup, will I screw up the Eagles' juju and facilitate the Steelers' ascendance? No, won't do it. Too gross. I mean, er, mean.

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