Whenever you hear about fava beans, you probably don’t immediately think of a crunchy snack that’s high in dietary fiber.
Chances are, you think of that famously creepy line in “Silence of the Lambs” during which Anthony Hopkins talks about eating a man’s liver “with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
It might not have been the best PR for the fava bean, but it certainly brought it notoriety. Through the years, fruits and vegetables have occasionally enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame thanks to Hollywood. Here’s more about are our favorite fruit and veggie stars:
- Fava beans. The flowering plant in the pea family lived a relatively obscure life until Thomas Harris wrote about it in his novel “Silence of the Lambs,” which became a blockbuster film adaptation. But while Hopkins memorably delivered his fava bean line, according to this piece, Harris might have had a deeper reason to choose the combination of fava beans, liver and red wine – one that could make a bad man even badder.
- Spinach. Thanks to Popeye the Sailor’s claims that “I’m strong to finich ’cause I eats me spinach,” sales of the leafy vegetable soared in the 1930s. But while spinach does have health benefits, the idea that it will give you suddenly giant muscles was actually based on misinformation about its iron contents.
- Potatoes. When out-of-this world visitors drop in, Richard Dreyfuss’s character suddenly seems obsessed with the Devil’s Tower in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” In one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, Dreyfuss begins sculpting the famous Wyoming landmark out of his mashed potatoes.
- Apples. Of course, apples have long symbolized immortality, sin and temptation. And in movies, the poisonous apple frequently appears, particularly in Disney films. In “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” a witch tries to do away with our hero by offering up one seriously bad apple. Luckily, there’s a prince to save the day.
- Fried green tomatoes. A slice of Southern cuisine was the title of a Depression-era movie (based on the Fannie Flagg novel) about friendship and murder.
- Garlic. Garlic has been featured in many vampire movies, though a better garlic line came from “The Lost Boys” when a character named Edgar Frog warns, “You’d better get yourself a garlic T-shirt, buddy, or it’s your funeral.”
- “Eh . . . what’s up, doc?” Bugs Bunny, of course, made the carrot cool.