Ghibli films are celebrated the world over for their enchanting art, beautiful world-building, and family friendly plotlines. Stylistically, there are many things that set these movies apart from other animated titles, both in terms of common themes and art quality. The backgrounds will be scenic. The children will fly. Tears will fall like big, fat drops, and the food will always, always look enticing.
Latching on to that latter truth, Japanese news source My Navi Woman asked its readers which of Ghibli’s mouth-watering morsels they would most like to eat. 225 women responded, leading us to six of the most desirable dishes featured in Ghibli films.
- From Kiki’s Delivery Service
Bread from the Gütiokipänja Bakery
This bakery, owned by the sweet Mrs. Osono and her husband, is the place where Kiki lives and works upon moving to the town of Koriko in the film Kiki’s Delivery Service. The shop’s shelves are always full of row upon row of oven-baked goods, with everything from dinner rolls to sweet pastries, all toasted to a golden brown hue. The shop is a major part of the film’s setting, and thus bread appears frequently throughout. In response to the survey, one woman exclaimed, “The repeated appearance of freshly baked bread looks so good!”
Herring and pumpkin pot pie
In the movie, Kiki helps an old woman with her cast-iron oven to bake a special pie for her granddaughter’s birthday. Considering how much work our loveable little witch must go through to both bake and deliver the pie, it’s heartbreaking to see that the recipient is dissatisfied with the gift. But apparently, there are many Japanese women who would be more than happy to shove the girl aside and take the pot pie for themselves! “Baked in that old wood-burning stove, it looks delicious,” says one. “I bet the fact that the grandmother poured her heart into the dish would be reflected in the flavor,” adds another. Luckily for you guys, if you happen to have a hankering for this particular dish, RocketNews24 has a delicious recipe for herring and pumpkin pot pie right here!
- From Castle in the Sky
In the beginning of Castle in the Sky, Pazu orders a bowl of meatball-laden soup for his boss at the mines. Though not a major feature of the film, the soup appears to be hot, thick, and filling and has left a big impression on many who watched the film. Packed with vegetables and meaty proteins in a steaming broth, the dish could certainly serve as a hearty dinner on its own, and many of Japan’s netizens would love to tuck into it.
Fried egg on toast
This simple dish is often referred to as Laputa pan (Laputa bread) after its appearance in the Ghibli movie. In the film, Pazu shares this straightforward breakfast with Sheeta, and the way that they gobble it up so eagerly makes it look incredibly appealing. However, while this light meal is fairly easy to emulate, it’s hard to capture the delicious taste as one imagines it. One survey respondent confessed that, “I make something similar these days, but it never looks as good as in the movies.” Another recalled a time where, “the day after the movie aired on TV, my friend’s entire family had Laputa pan for breakfast.” Just remember that if the dish lacks flavor, there’s no harm in adding a bit of cheese or bacon to suit your personal tastes.
- From Spirited Away
The street-side feast
When Chihiro and her parents first cross over into the spirit world a the start of Spirited Away, they come across a deserted street with stacks of delicious-looking foods on display. Even knowing that to gorge on never-ending feast will literally turn a person onto a pig, many of the survey’s respondents would gladly give in to the temptation and eat. “Everything looks sooo tasty. I’d certainly stuff my gut,” says one. “It really stimulates my appetite,” adds another. Although, a meal like that would undoubtedly give rise to a new meaning of the words “pigging out.”
Plain rice balls
It’s amazing how food so simple can hold so much appeal. Rice balls are a Japanese staple, often filled with pickles or fish and wrapped in seaweed, though triangles of salted rice are common enough on their own. What makes the dish stand out amongst all the other images of food shown in Spirited Away is the change in character dynamics that it facilitates. Haku, usually so nonchalant, shows Chihiro this kindness that makes our hearts clench. “[The rice balls] look like they were packed full of tender kindness.” “Haku really put his heart into them,” say a pair of the respondents. It’s obvious that these plain, white rice balls embody Japanese comfort food.
So how about you, dear readers? Was there ever an animated dish that set your stomach rumbling? I know that just talking about all this Ghibli food makes me want to scrounge around in the kitchen for something to nibble on!