Red Vines

MRS. KIM: They [the girls] could be anywhere, they could be doing anything. Smoking, or drinking, or buying drugs!
LORELAI: They’re at the movies. There’s no drugs there. They don’t even have the real Red Vines.

Red Vines is a brand of red licorice candy made by the American Licorice Company. The current flavour has been used since 1952.

Lorelai and Rory seem to be very fond of them as Lorelai said Dean had saved their movie night when he gave Lorelai the Red Vines she had forgotten at the supermarket. The Black-White-Read Bookstore apparently only sells generic red licorice.

Ganache

SOOKIE: What was Rory, eight?
LORELAI: I believe she was.
SOOKIE: Oh God, that mud pie fiasco haunted me for a year! I mean, hers looked just like mine. Of course I used, you know, homemade chocolate cookies, bittersweet ganache, and she used well, mud. You know, but they did look damn similar.

Ganache is a glaze, icing, or pastry filling made from chocolate and cream with butter added to it; it has a smooth and shiny appearance. It originated in Paris in the mid-19th century.

This amusing anecdote from Rory’s childhood took place before Lorelai and Rory moved into their current house. Rory presumably made the realistic-looking mud cookies while visiting Sookie’s home, or at the inn.

Pattypan Squash

SOOKIE: Uh, squash.
JACKSON: What?
SOOKIE: I need some.
JACKSON: Squash.
SOOKIE: Pattypan.

Pattypan squash is a variety of summer squash that is small, round, and with scalloped edges, and comes in white, green, and yellow varieties. It is also known by such names as button squash, custard marrow, scallopini, or (in Australia) as just “squash”.

Baked Alaska

LORELAI: Oh! Meringue.
SOOKIE: Yeah, I thought I’d do a variation on a baked Alaska for dessert tonight.

Baked Alaska is a classic American dessert consisting of ice cream in a dish or baking tray which is lined with cake, then the whole thing covered in meringue and quickly browned in the oven. The ice cream won’t melt as the meringue protects it, and the oven is very hot so that cooking time is brief.

According to legend President Thomas Jefferson, earlier mentioned, was the first person to serve Baked Alaska, in 1802. He served a dessert which was warm ice cream in a pastry shell, so not really the same, but shows that the idea of baking ice cream had been around a fair while – and a presidential connection is always a cool thing to have.

The famous Delmenico’s Restaurant in New York City claimed that their chef Charles Ranhofer named the dessert to mark America’s purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. The actual dish was probably created some time after the purchase, and Ranhofer called his dessert “Alaska, Florida” to indicate the extremes of heat and cold in the dessert. He published the recipe in 1893.

The first known published recipe for something resembling Baked Alaska is in Mary J.B. Lincoln’s Frozen Dainties in 1888. It seems to be much the same as the modern dish and she calls the dessert Ice-cream en Deguiser (“ice cream dressed up”). Lincoln was the first principal of the Boston Cooking School, so the dish has a distinguished pedigree.

Taco Bell

(Michel tries to get Lorelai’s attention while she is studying)
MICHEL: Because learning the eating patterns of the average Taco Bell consumer is a vital lesson that –
LORELAI: Michel. What do you want?

Taco Bell is a chain of fast food restaurants that sell Tex-Mex foods such as as tacos, burritos, and nachos, serving 2 billion customers each year at over 7000 restaurants. It was founded in 1962 by restaurateur Glenn Bell, and first franchised in 1964. Since 1978 it has been part of the fast-food arm of PepsiCo.