I love listening to music while I cook - making everyday meals can become mundane, but adding great tunes turns it into an "experience." This is especially true if the songs played are food-themed. Throwing on "Mambo Italiano " can make you feel like you're channeling Primo and Secondo, assembling an elaborate timpano, even if you're just boiling water for Kraft Dinner.
I just came across this massive list of food songs on Wikipedia. I havn't heard of a lot of these, but it's cool to know that so many artists have turned to food for inspiration.When I want to add an aural component to my time in the kitchen, here are some of my favourites:
- The aforementioned "Mambo Italiano" (Rosemary Clooney) is a classic. In the same vein falls "Tic Ti, Tic Ta" (Claudio Villa). Both of these songs are on the Big Night soundtrack, which is a great disc to throw on anytime you're making anything remotely Italian.
- "Eggs and Sausage" (Tom Waits) is a fantastic Sunday brunch song. Hearing Tom Waits serenade "burgers and fries" is worth the price of admission.
- The "Coffee Song" (Frank Sinatra) is an oddity. This entire song was written around the fact that "they've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil." The hell?
- "Chop Suey, Chow Mein" (Louis Prima) is one of my favorites - it's so cute! "Chop suey, chow mein, tofu, and you..." Is that romantic, or what? Listen to this one eating Chinese out of takeout containers with your main squeeze.
- "Beans and Cornbread" (Louis Jordan) is that song that Dinner and a Movie on TBS used to use as its theme. This song reminds me of New Orleans, and I love listening to it anytime I'm making Cajun or Southern food. See also: "Jambalaya" (Hank Williams) and "Saturday Night Fish Fry" (Loius Jordan, again).
- Hearing Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong sing "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" together is a beautiful thing. Do some people really pronounce oysters, "ersters?"
- "Green Onions" (Booker T and the MGs) has been a favorite of mine since I was small. I first came across this song on the American Graffiti soundtrack LP that my parents had, and I would play it over and over. It's still a great tune for cooking to.
- I find that the soundtrack to Amelie (Yann Tiersen) is an especially great accompaniment for baking, or fussy French cooking. Don't forget your beret and striped shirt.