Food is one of the greatest tools for bringing people together, whether as part of a family, friend group or even a gathering of strangers.
To welcome one another into our homes or share time and experiences with new people, food is the staple ingredient (as it were) that draws communities and cultures together.
What better way to integrate yourself into a new country or group?
By viewing even limited examples of outstanding world cinema, us foodies discover a common passion anywhere on the planet; the love of food.
Get some snacks ready: these movies will make you hungry for food and travel!
Miami, US: variety of cuisines
Besides a lively soundtrack and an all-star cast, anyone who has seen this film well tell you that it’s impossible to refrain from snacking and emptying your fridge while you watch it. From high class restaurant food to the sizzling of authentic-looking street food, this film has every type of food filmed so meticulously that you can almost smell it!
Hamburg, Germany: German/ Italian cuisine
Following heart-breaking events in her life, the chef in this story leaves behind her obsessive, perfectionist way of cooking and is influenced by an Italian chef to put more happiness and passion into the food. You’ll end up unsure of whether you want to visit and taste the food of Germany or Italy!
Mumbai, India: Indian cuisine
As if the storyline of two lonely souls connecting over food is not enticing enough, The Lunchbox is a film to showcase home-style Indian cooking at its finest. Due to a delivery mistake, a widower and an unhappy wife start an unusual communication through food, and sometimes the message is got across without words. The power of taste! You’ll be booking tickets to Mumbai any time now.
Eat Drink Man Woman
Taipei, Taiwan: Taiwanese cuisine
In the 90s, this was one of the best reviewed foreign language films in the world. Watching only a scene is enough to make you want to try all these new tastes and appreciate the incredible skill of different cuisines across the world. The film deals with the traditional values of meals with the family vs. the modern youngsters with whom the father lives.
This clip takes you from the farm to the plate!
Paris: French cuisine
It is impossible for us not to include Ratatouille on this list. Despite the fact that every pixel of food is animated, there’s something about the way that little rat cooks that makes your mind drift to the kitchen. The film’s namesake, ‘ratatouille’, is the mouth-watering final dish of the movie that will have you inviting your French friends over to cook.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain: Spanish cuisine
Anyone who has spent time in Spain knows that their sobremesa (the custom of remaining at table after the meal is finished to socialise) is an important part of eating. This film shows how connections are made and stories are brought together at mealtimes across the city. It will make you crave sharing food with loved ones and you’ll want to be a part of the Spanish tradition.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Tokyo, Japan: Japanese cuisine
Unlike the other films on this list, this documentary has the added bonus of depicting real life. All of the stunning preparation and delicious dishes can be experienced in a real subway station in Japan’s capital. Each neatly prepared sushi platter is artistically captured on camera and takes you through Tokyo’s food industry at the highest level. Next stop, Japan!
The Hundred Foot Journey
France: French/ Indian cuisine
For anyone who loves travelling and relishes in discovering new cultures, this is a beautiful depiction of how food can be an integration tool. When an Indian family set up shop in France, the competition between their restaurant and the existing French restaurant in the town creates a wonderful opportunity for both to display the best of their cultures and also experience each other’s.
Curitiba, Brazil: Brazilian/ Italian cuisine
As half of this film is set in a prison, there are, admittedly, several scenes displaying less appetising food. However, this only makes you appreciate the scenes following when our imprisoned chef begins to share his talent with his fellow inmates. Flashbacks show his training in an Italian restaurant where there are more delicious camera shots to behold. So it’s a mixed bag, really.
It’s perhaps not the best idea to watch these films when hungry, if no food is available! And keep a laptop handy nearby in case you suddenly need to order in that kind of cuisine, or book a flight to visit the country!
Any honourable mentions of great food scenes you’d like to include in the comments?