We’ve always named foods for celebrities.
I’m not talking about foods named after their creators, like the Earl of Sandwich or Sylvester Graham of graham cracker fame, but foods that are named in tribute, like the Shirley Temple or Baby Ruth.
Really, could there be any higher honor?
New York’s Carnegie Deli is famous for immortalizing its showbiz regulars with sandwiches.
There’s Henny’s Heaven (cream cheese, lox, lettuce, tomato, onion, and capers on a toasted bagel) named for the classic comic Henny Youngman, and the overstuffed corned beef of the Woody Allen. We know that Tim Tebow has truly arrived now that the newest Jet has his own Carnegie Deli sandwich. We also know that he’s not yet a real New Yorker: the corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, American cheese, lettuce and tomato of the Jetbow are packed between slices of white bread and slathered with mayonnaise, both firsts for the deli, which is more of a spicy mustard and rye bread kind of place.
Ben & Jerry’s favors rock stars for its ice cream flavor honors.
There’s been the Queen-inspired Bohemian Raspberry, an homage to their favorite jam band with Phish Food, Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies, and the butter brickle salute to Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road. Cherry Garcia was the company’s (the world’s?) original rock star ice cream, and is still its all-time best selling flavor.
Food on the celebrity brain.
Could it be wishful thinking on the part of those who have yet to achieve sandwich-like star stature? Maybe it’s all the deprivation required for the photo-op-ready body. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: the stars are naming their offspring for food, and not the Basils or Honeys of yesteryear.
Jason Bateman’s daughter, born just this winter, is Maple Sylvie. Isla Fisher and Sascha Baron Cohen have daughter Olive, and both Ethan Hawke and Claudia Schiffer named their daughters Clementine. Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon chose a spice for his daughter Saffron, while Grey’s Anatomy’s Isaiah Washington went with the herb Thyme for his son, and there’s a glut of little Hollywood Coco’s (David Arquette and Courtney Cox; TV actress Diane Farr; Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore; No Doubt’s Tony Kanal). The Man vs. Wild star, himself saddled with the monicker Bear Grylls, named his son Huckleberry, while Chef Jamie Oliver can almost be forgiven for daughter Poppy Honey.
Most credit Gwynyth Paltrow and Chris Martin with kicking off the trend when they named their baby girl Apple, but early rockers Frank Zappa and Bob Geldof both bested the couple—by a few decades and a ton more audacity—with their now-grown daughters Diva Thin Muffin and Peaches Honeyblossom. For the record, Ms. Zappa has dropped her middle names and Ms. Geldof has appealed to celebrities to stop the naming madness, claiming to be haunted by hers all her life.
In Unfortunate Baby Names, Uncas Slattery (yup, Uncas) identifies what he believes are the most unfortunate food-related names of all time:
- Apple Pie – born Virginia, c. 1830
- Candy Barr – born South Carolina, c. 1848
- Cherry Tart – born Mississippi, c. 1859
- Eggy Bacon – born Georgia, c. 1851
- Ham Burger – born Michigan, c. 1847
- Liver Bacon – born Missouri, c. 1891
- Muffin Hill – born Texas, c. 1876
- Treacle Tart – baptized Durham, 1746
- Gooseberry Berry – born Texas, 1920
See, Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof? You could have done a lot worse.