If I were to pick my favorite film of all time, I would have to go with Jaws. I could go on and on about all of the many reasons why I love this particular film, but I will save that for another time. For now, I will focus on why this film is a fantastic choice for food & a film.
Also, if you are wondering since it’s my favorite film, why Jaws is the 9th installment of food & a film instead of one of the first, it is because of the film’s timeline; the film opens on June 28th and ends on July 8th. Today, July 5th is the day that Brody, Hooper and Quint set sail in search for the shark off the coast of Amity Island.
Jaws is filled with a multitude of food moments, making it an ideal film choice for menu inspiration. The opening scene begins with a group of college-aged kids at a beach bonfire where they are eating, drinking and having a good time. Aside from a clear shot of a lobster (fancy!), it is hard to make out exactly what kind of food is being served; however, a keg of beer is clearly visible, as well as plastic Falstaff beer cups.
Another scene with food takes place in the dining room of the Brody residence following dinner. Matt Hooper arrives carrying two bottles of wine (one red, one white), and once seated at the table, proceeds to eat the leftover food on Martin’s plate. As with the bonfire scene, it is difficult to make out exactly what is on the plate, but it looks like some type of meat, and side of cooked green beans.
Later in the evening, Hooper enjoys some pretzels while he and Brody take a trip out on his boat. Additionally, there is a scene that takes place right before this one, where two fisherman use a holiday roast to try (unsuccessfully) and catch the shark.
Undoubtedly, one of the greatest beverage moments captured on film is when Quint drinks from a can of Narragansett Lager before crushing it in his hand. There is also plenty of Coca-Cola product placement in the film, including the scene in the Brodys’ kitchen, as well as the beach scene when Alex Kintner is killed.
Another notable food moment is when Quint, Hooper and Brody have finished eating dinner and drunkenly break into song. Yet again, it is unclear exactly what they have had for dinner, but since they are on a boat, my guess is some type of fish.
Furthermore, additional food moments worth noting include Michael requesting coffee ice cream while in the hospital, as well as Quint eating saltines during his introductory scene and later in the film, mentioning apricot brandy, champagne & caviar.
When it came time to decide upon a vegan menu to pair with Jaws, I certainly had plenty of food moments to choose from. Ultimately, since the film is about a giant, man-eating fish, I wanted to have some type of vegan fish dish that would be easily found at a New England seaside retreat like Martha’s Vineyard, which is where the movie was filmed. In addition to having vegan fish on the menu, I wanted to incorporate pretzels in some way and after a bit of browsing, stumbled upon this genius recipe for a vegan fish burger on a homemade pretzel roll.
This vegan fish sandwich, complete with a homemade pretzel roll and garlic yogurt sauce, is absolutely delicious and could not be more appropriate to enjoy with a screening of Jaws. I particularly love how seaweed is included in breading of the tofu filet! Also, instead of paring the sandwich with french fries, I decided to go with a side of Cape Cod potato chips.
I then rounded out the menu with some vegan coffee ice cream (what is summertime without some ice cream?) and a can of Narragansett Lager. I ended up tracking down an original beer can from 1975* on eBay – the exact type of can that Quint crushed; however, Narragansett Brewing Company has released a 1975 Limited Edition can of their Narragansett Lager, which I found at a local grocery store as part of “The Clam Shack Summer Variety Pack.” (Narragansett Brewing Company is vegan friendly!)
*(I should also add that the original 1975 cans are thick! They are definitely not the thin, lightweight beer cans we have today so it is actually impressive that Quint crushes the can in his hand.)
Finally, for the place setting, I took inspiration from the film’s primary color palette of reds, blues and yellows. I ended up finding this fantastic seersucker anchor-print fabric, inspired by the incredible blazer sported by Amity’s Mayor Vaughn. I found a vintage yellow enamel plate, inspired by the yellow barrels, and a napkin inspired by the tomato red-orange striped beach cabanas.
And that concludes the 9th installment of food & a film. Thank you so much for visiting – until next time!