MICHEL: Go back to the cooking room.
SOOKIE: Not until you eat these and tell me what you think!
MICHEL: Sookie! I only eat fifteen hundred calories a day. If I eat that, I cannot have my Boca Burger later.
Boca Burger is a vegetarian burger patty made from soy protein and wheat gluten, first manufactured in 1979. Boca Burger products have been owned by Kraft Foods since 2000.
We learn here that Michel eats only 1500 calories a day. One Boca Burger has around 70 calories, while macaroon has over 400 calories and a chocolate praline cookie over 300. Clearly if Michel eats both cookies, as Sookie wants him to, he’s going to have to give up more than a Boca Burger – he will have eaten around half of his daily calorie intake on just two cookies!
Maybe he’s including the bread and salad to accompany the patty, although even that would only be around 400 calories. Or maybe he is calculating the calories of just one bite from each cookie, since he would only need a taste of each to decide which one he prefers.
1500 calories a day is about the lowest amount of food recommended for a man, and it probably wouldn’t be recommended long term, especially for someone who’s already a healthy weight. Even men on calorie restriction diets usually eat around 1800 calories a day, and still lose weight doing so. We never actually see Michel lose much weight on his strict diet, so maybe he’s having a few cheat days.
Lorelai seems to eat as much as she wants while remaining slim, while poor old Michel apparently starves himself just to maintain a normal weight.
SOOKIE: Just pick a cookie.
MICHEL: I don’t want to.
SOOKIE: Michel, for the rest of their lives, Lorelai and Max are gonna think back on their engagement party and they’re gonna talk about three things. They’re gonna talk about the friends who came, and that special song they danced to, and the cookies that they ate.
MICHEL: Their world is very small, isn’t it?
SOOKIE: Macaroons or chocolate pralines?
Macaroons are small biscuits originating from Italy, and made since medieval times. They are typically made from ground almonds and egg whites, and are light and fluffy with a crisp outer coating. Macaroons made with coconut are common in both the UK and US, and they are a favourite treat for the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Chocolate praline cookies are chocolate biscuits that are often filled with nuts such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds, and may be covered in a rich chocolate icing or filled with chocolate paste.
We learn later in the episode that Sookie decided on the macaroons. The one she is showing Michel does not look like the standard Italian macaroon, as it is very large with pink icing on it. These massive decorated macaroons are an American interpretation of the Italian biscuit.
LORELAI: Okay, well, I’m not gonna be home late. And listen, I would reconsider calling Dean. It’s not his fault that you’re so fabulous he can’t think about anything else.
RORY: Bye Mom.
LORELAI: I mean, he just sits in his room, eating Froot Loops out of the box, saying your name over and over and over.
Froot Loops are a brand of breakfast cereal made by Kellogg’s since 1963, consisting of sugary, flavoured and coloured ring-shaped cereal pieces. They don’t actually have any fruit in them.
LUKE: And then after all that planning, the [wedding] reception will still be a disaster because no matter what you do or how carefully you plan, halfway through one of those nauseating Bette Midler ballads, someone’s getting drunk, someone’s sleeping with someone else’s wife, and someone’s Chicken Kiev is landing on the cake.
Bette Midler (born 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and film producer. She began her career on the stage, and was in Broadway shows such as Fiddler on the Roof in the late 1960s. In 1970 she began singing in a gay bath house, and built up a core following as a solo artist; she has released 14 albums and many of her songs have become hits, including ballads such as The Rose, and Wind Beneath My Wings (possibly the sort of songs Luke is thinking of). She made her film debut in 1979 in The Rose, and has starred in a number of films, such as Ruthless People (1986), Beaches (1988), and The First Wives Club (1996). In her career spanning more than half a century she has won three Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and two Tony Awards, as well as selling over 30 million records worldwide.
Chicken Kiev is a Russian dish of chicken fillet stuffed with butter, coated in egg and breadcrumbs, and either fried or baked. It may date to the early 19th century, and is claimed to have been the invention of French chef Marie-Antoine Carême, who spent several months at the court of Tsar Alexander I. However, it only became commonly known in the mid-twentieth century. It is popular in the US, and often included on wedding menus.
LORELAI: Shouldn’t we wait for Dad?
EMILY: Don’t worry about him.
LORELAI: He’s the one with the early plane. We don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow. We can stay all night. Have a party, do some Jell-O shots, play light as a feather, stiff as a board.
Jello-O shots (jelly shots) are made from flavoured gelatine powder, some water to dissolve it, then alcohol added, usually rum or vodka, and set into little jellies served in shot glasses or little plastic cups. The alcohol is contained within the jelly mixture, so that the body absorbs it more slowly, making it easy to consume a lot of alcohol before the effects are felt. Alcoholic gelatines have been enjoyed since the 19th century, but became more common during the 1950s.
Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board is a game often played at girls’ slumber parties. It is a levitation trick, where one girl pretends to be dead while the others chant “light as a feather, stiff as a board”, and lift the girl using just one or two fingertips. At the end of all the chanting and rituals, the girl will seem lighter, or even weightless. The game works through equal distribution of weight, making it easy for a group of people to lift a child. Variants of the game have been played since at least the 17th century, and it always seems to have been a girl’s game (perhaps partly because girls tend to be lighter and easier to lift to begin with).
LORELAI: You know what else is good though Mom, is a Ho Ho. Because if you can’t find a Twinkie, you know, treat yourself to a nice Ho Ho.
Ho Hos are cream-filled chocolate snack cakes that look like small Swiss rolls, made by Hostess Brands. They were first created in 1920.
LORELAI: Uh, uh, well, pens are very nice, but I just bet there is a fabulous fancy dessert just sitting out there in that kitchen of yours.
EMILY: As a matter of fact there is. Twinkies.
EMILY: Well, Rory told me that was her favorite dessert.
Twinkie is a brand of snack cake formerly owned and made by Hostess Brand. First invented in 1930, they were conceived as a sponge cake filled with banana cream; when bananas were rationed during World War II, the company switched to vanilla cream, and it proved so popular that it remained the predominant flavour.
Emily’s cook Antonia makes her own Twinkies to reproduce Rory’s favourite dessert – of course Emily could never just buy a box of Twinkies. Home made Twinkies are more difficult to make than Beefaroni, but well within the range of a competent home cook. A professional like Antonia would have no problem, but oddly enough doesn’t make them ahead of time, so the Gilmore girls never get to try them.
Emily supplying Rory with her favourite foods, even though her choices must have made her grandmother shudder, is a callback to when Emily served Lorelai and Rory pudding, one of their favourite desserts. Lorelai was so impressed by Emily’s effort that she must have thought she’d try it again.