Peru and the Surgeon General

ALEX: Ready to try another? I hear there’s one from Peru that comes with a Surgeon’s General warning.

Peru, a country on the west coast of South America. Despite Alex’s warning, Peruvian coffee is said to be mild and light in flavour.

The surgeon general of the United States is the operational head of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States. The US surgeon general is nominated by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.

In 2003, the Surgeon General of the US was Richard Carmona (born 1949); he was in the post from 2002 to 2006. In 2014 he wrote a book called 30 Days to a Better Brain, where he actually promoted coffee as a healthy drink that could improve mood and memory.

Sumatra and Colombia

[Lorelai is sitting at a table as Alex walks over with two little coffee cups]
ALEX: Okay, now this is the Sumatra blend. It’s supposed to be a little sharper than the Colombian.

Sumatra, one of the Sunda Islands in Indonesia. Sumatran coffee is considered one of the world’s top speciality coffee, with an intense flavour.

Colombia, a country in South America which is one of the five biggest exporters of coffee in the world. Their coffee is said to have a mild, smooth flavour.

Amaretto

SOOKIE: Twelve courses, each paired with a specific wine, and for dessert, individual chocolate amaretto mousse cakes in the shape of a G.

Amaretto, sweet Italian liqueur that can be made from almonds, bitter almonds, apricot kernels, or peach stones. It can be drunk neat, added to cocktails or coffee, and is commonly used in cooking, especially desserts. Its name means “a little bitter” in Italian.

Eggnog

PARIS: Everything was red and silver and there was eggnog … It’s disgusting … But disgusting in a really great way.

Eggnog is a rich, sweet drink, traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks, and whipped egg whites (which gives it a frothy texture, and its name). Distilled spirits such as brandy, rum, whisky or bourbon are often a key ingredient. Throughout North America and some European countries, eggnog is traditionally consumed over the Christmas season.

The Five Stages of Grieving

SOOKIE: Well, you caught me at a good time, ladies. I’ve already gone through the five stages of grieving. Denial, anger . . . I don’t remember these two, but they were served on the rocks with salt! Now, I’m just happily enscotched in acceptance.

The five stages of grief are said to be denial, anger, bargaining, anger, and acceptance. The model was popularised by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. Despite being commonly referenced in popular culture, there is no evidence for these stages, and the model has been considered outdated and unhelpful. Kübler-Ross later stated that the stages are not linear or predictable, and she regretted writing them in a way which was misunderstood.

Sookie references the Margarita cocktail, previously discussed, which is served on the rocks with salt around the rim. In her drunkenness, she says she is “enscotched” rather than “ensconced”, as if she has been drinking Scotch whiskey as well.

Ovaltine

[Rory is studying on the couch as Lorelai walks into the room with two mugs]

LORELAI: Coffee and Ovaltine.

Ovaltine (originally Ovomaltine), a chocolate milk powder which can either be made into a hot or cold drink. It was developed in Switzerland in 1904, and quickly gained international appeal. By 1915 it was being manufactured in the US, among other countries. The drink is particularly popular in Britain, and the British version is also imported in the US.

It seems that Rory doesn’t have coffee before bed, the way Lorelai does. She may have trouble getting to sleep if she drinks coffee late at night, or the Ovaltine is a comforting childhood ritual.

Food and Drink References in this Episode

Shish-kabobs

Taylor says that if birds land on the street lights, he will put sharp metal spikes on top and turn them into shish kabobs.

Shish kabobs is the North American term for shish kebabs, skewered and grilled cubes of meat, traditionally lamb, found in Mediterranean cuisine and originating in the Middle East. In North America, the word kebab nearly always refers to a shish kebab. The word kebab comes from Arabic, and means “frying, burning”, while the shish part means “skewer, pointed stick”.

Quiche

Rory predicts that quiche will be served at Sherry’s baby shower.

Quiche is a French tart which is a pastry crust filled with savoury custard and pieces of cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables. The word goes back to the 17th century in the Lorrain patois (quiche Lorraine, anyone?), but only to 1805 in French. It’s probably related to the German word for “cake, tart”. The basic premise of putting savoury custard into a pastry shell goes back to the 14th century in England, and the 13th century in Italy, so they are not uniquely French.

Mojito [pictured]

Maureen offers Lorelai a mojito at the baby shower, which she gratefully accepts.

Mojito is a traditional Cuban punch, made from white rum, sugar (or sugar cane juice), lime juice, soda water, and mint. It originated in Havana, but it’s origins are debatable – local South American Indians, Sir Francis Drake, and African slaves have all been given the credit for it. The name may come from mojo, meaning a spice made from mint, or from mojadito, the Spanish for “lightly wet”. It’s a popular drink for summer, but because it’s green, Sherry has it at her “green is the new pink” autumn baby shower.

Club Soda

Gail offers Rory a club soda at the baby shower.

Club soda is a manufactured carbonated water used as a drink mixer. English chemist Joseph Priestly discovered the method for making carbonated water in 1772, but commercial production was begun by Johann Jacob Schweppe, a Swiss jeweller and amateur chemist in 1783. It was first made commercially in the US by Benjamin Silliman, a Yale chemistry professor, who sold in New Haven, Connecticut. The original trademarked club soda was made by Cantrell and Cochrane in Ireland in 1877 – the “club” in the name refers to the Kildare Street Club in Dublin.

Horseradish

Susan guesses that horseradish is the smell in her diaper during a game at the baby shower.

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a root vegetable in the radish and mustard family, cultivated since antiquity for use as a spice and condiment. You may remember that Emily enjoys horseradish on her steak.

Jell-O

Babette thinks that the Town Loner mentioned the word “Jello-O” in his protest.

Jello-O, previously discussed.

Andre Cold Duck

LORELAI: And I, in turn, chimed in with my story about getting sick on Andre Cold Duck in the back of Peter Cutler’s car in ninth grade.

Andre Cold Duck is a sparkling red wine, which is sweet with a fruity flavour. Made in the Sacramento area, it is marketed as “California champagne” and is very cheap. It was a go-to choice for high schoolers and college students in the 1980s due to its price and syrupy flavour, and at that time was supposedly the best-selling sparkling wine in the US. Its sickly sweet taste meant that it was common to throw up from drinking it, like Lorelai did, and the sugary overtones also meant a killer headache the next day if you overindulged. Beware of its properties if you want to try it out!

Palermo

LORELAI: Yes, he sniffed, swirled, swished, and did every other pretentious and borderline-disgusting thing that you can do with a glass of wine in a public place, and he did it all while describing to me the vintage discrepancies and the wood they use for the barrels in Palermo and the grape crop projections for the following year.

Palermo is the capital of Sicily, an island region of Italy. Almost three thousand years old, it is rich in history and culture, and a popular tourist destination for its climate, music, nightlife, and cuisine. There are several vineyards and winemakers in the area.

“You like piña coladas”

RORY: You like piña coladas.

LORELAI: And getting lost in the rain.

A piña colada is a cocktail made with rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk or cream, served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with a pineapple wedge, a maraschino cherry, or both. The cocktail originated in Puerto Rico, is its national drink, and its name means “strained pineapple” in Spanish. One story is that the cocktail was invented by Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Confresi in the 19th century; the less exciting but more probable version is that it was invented in 1954 at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico by bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero.

Lorelai refers to “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”, written and recorded by British-American singer Rupert Holmes, released as a single from his 1979 album Partners in Crime. The song is about a man who is bored with his current relationship, and answers a lonely hearts advertisement in the newspaper which begins, “If you like piña coladas …”. When he meets up with the lady, it turns out to be his partner, who was equally bored in their relationship. They realise they had more in common than they realised, and their relationship is now reinvigorated. It was an international hit, and went to #1 in the US and Canada. Ironically, Rupert Holmes has never drunk a piña colada, and the original lyrics were, “If you like Humphrey Bogart”.

Lorelai gets the words slightly wrong. The lyrics are actually:

If you like piña coladas

And getting caught in the rain

not getting lost in the rain.