SOOKIE: Papaya won’t eat, so I’m pretending to eat out of her bowl so she’ll copy me.
LORELAI: Sookie, you named the cat?

Papaya (Carica papaya), also known as pawpaw. A tropical fruit first domesticated in Mesoamerica, within modern-day southern Mexico and Central America. Spaniards introduced papaya to Europe in the 16th century. Papaya cultivation today spans Hawaii, central Africa, India, and Australia. India produces more papaya than any other country.

Babette had a cat named Cinnamon, and then got a kitten named Apricot. Women like calling their cats after food on this show. Sookie has committed numerous health and safety offences in the kitchen of the Independence Inn – now she is feeding a stray cat on the floor! They should have really have been shut down years ago.

Truffle Hunting

RORY: I’ve gotta head to school.
LORELAI: Hey, why go anymore? You’re in college. Let’s go truffle hunting or something.

Truffle, the fruiting body of a subterranean ascomycete fungus, predominantly one of the many species of the genus Tuber. Some truffle species are highly prized as food, and are considered a delicacy.

Truffles are cultivated and harvested in natural environments, usually growing close to tree roots. Because truffles are subterranean, they are often located with the help of an animal possessing a refined sense of smell. Traditionally, pigs have been used to extract truffles, but dogs can be used instead. Although dogs must be trained to hunt truffles, unlike pigs, they don’t have any interest in eating the truffles once they find them.

Truffle hunting is sometimes offered by truffle cultivators as a fairly expensive experience for people to enjoy and pay for. Such tours are most commonly offered in the Pacific North West of the US – in Oregon and Washington.

“I brought pizza”

LORELAI: Oh, well, I brought pizza if you guys are hungry.

In previous seasons, Paris is said to be lactose intolerant, and cannot eat cheese. When she had pizza before at the Gilmores’, Lorelai got her a pizza without cheese on it. This can’t be the case now, as Lorelai didn’t know Paris was coming over. Maybe the big blow out of mac and cheese Paris had when Jess brought dinner over taught her that she wasn’t as lactose intolerant as she thought?

Ruth Reichl

SOOKIE: They sent it back. My food. My four star, ‘you haven’t lived ’til you’ve eaten there, says Ruth Reichl,’ food.

Ruth Reichl (born 1948), chef, food writer and editor. In addition to two decades as a food critic, mainly spent at the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, Reichl has also written cookbooks, memoirs and a novel, and been co-producer of PBS’s Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie, culinary editor for the Modern Library, host of PBS’s Gourmet’s Adventures With Ruth, and editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. She has won six James Beard Foundation Awards.

Reichl was a food critic for The New York Times from 1993 to 1999, so if she ever visited the Independence Inn to review Sookie’s cooking for this publication, it would have been in the late 1990s. From 1999 to 2009, she was the editor of Gourmet magazine.

Monte Cristo Sandwich

LANE: Did you take off the Monte Cristo sandwich?

A Monte Cristo sandwich is an egg-dipped or batter-dipped ham and cheese sandwich that is pan-fried or deep fried. A variation of the French croque monsieur, recipes in American cookbooks called this a French toasted cheese sandwich from the 1930s to the 1960s. The Monte Cristo sandwich supposedly entered the scene in 1960s Southern California, and exploded in popularity after the Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland began serving it.

For reasons which escape me, this sandwich is often served with powdered sugar, jam, or maple syrup in the US. Although Wikipedia says it is usually savoury in the US, I was unable to find a picture of an unsweetened Monte Cristo sandwich.


LUKE: There wasn’t really that much for her to eat on the menu, so I just . . .
LORELAI: Oh, you added three more salads just for Nicole. When I asked you to add chili-topped Pringles, you said no.

Pringles, brand of stackable potato-based chips made from fried dough invented by Procter & Gamble in 1968 and marketed as “Pringle’s Newfangled Potato Chips”. The brand was sold in 2012 to Kellogg’s.

I think Lorelai’s idea is meant to be a version of chili fries. Note how quickly Lorelai becomes jealous and possessive over Nicole’s influence upon Luke.

“One was enough”

LORELAI: Three more salads – who needs three more salads?
RORY: One was enough.

Rory says that the one salad on Luke’s original menu was plenty. However, when Emily ordered lunch at Luke’s in “Haunted Leg”, she chose between the Cobb salad and the Caesar salad, so there were at least two salads on the menu only a few months ago. Perhaps Rory never noticed the second salad option.

Note that Nicole’s love of salad means that she’s one of those women who eat healthily, unlike Lorelai and Rory, making her really uncool and probably a terrible person. In the world of Gilmore Girls, at least.