Angelina eats fried insects like Doritos. Selena loves pickles with chocolate. Dalai Lama spirals into meditative bliss at the sight of cilantro balls. Find out what 97 other celebs reach for when they want a special cheat-treat
BY NABANITA DUTT
President Barack Obama
>>> The President of the United States isn’t to be trusted around a bowl of chips and some good guacamole dip. He completely loses his mind, when he is within arm’s reach of this Tex-Mex appetizer. “I lose my mind, I lose my mind…” he confesses. “Yes, he does lose it,” confirms his First Lady.
We wonder if the Prez has tried the `ultimate’ version of a guacamole dip — the Venezuelan style known as guasacaca. In any case, we have found this super-easy, uber-amazing recipe for you.
>>> “My knowledge of these things [snacks] is very limited,” he says. “Whatever I get, I accept…” The Tibetan religious leader is a Buddhist monk, and as such, shouldn’t crave any tasty foodstuff.
But surely the Buddha will forgive Dalai Lama this one small failing: a weakness for cilantro balls!
Here’s a recipe for these crunchy, savory fritters (also known as pakoras) made with a mix of fresh cilantro and chickpea batter.
>>> The actress fesses up to a deep love for pork scratchings. In case you don’t know what that is, pork scratchings are a crunchy, British grease treat made by cooking bite-sized pieces of pork skin, which may or may not still have some residual hair left on the surface.
Unfazed by stray porky plumes, Diaz says: “It is still my favorite snack in the whole world. Even with the bristles…”
>>> A die-hard fan of Indian cuisine, Brad is addicted to a small, Indian takeaway in England. Back home in America, Brad misses their spicy fix so much, wife Angelina had to fly in a selection from their menu, which included an amazing wrap snack called kathi roll. You can make kathi rolls from scratch with this recipe – or buy the pan-fried bread and the kebab stuffing to put together at home as a piquant snack or appetizer. Washed down with Brad’s favorite Indian beer: Kingfisher.
>>> When it comes to food, one of the richest men in the world insists on “eating like a six-year-old”. The investor and philanthropist downs several cans of Coke (cherry flavor, preferably) every day, loves a fat, juicy cheeseburger to go with his fries, calls steak dinners a “fancy meal”– and when he’s in a mood to snack, he reaches for a bag of his beloved orange, cheese-flavored, cornmeal sticks: Cheetos.
>>> If the comedian and TV host was lodged in death row, and granted a last snack before he departed the world, he says he would petition for a bowl of Chex Mix.
But not just any Chex Mix. It had to be his mother’s delicious, homemade variety. “No one makes it like her, although I recently learned that the key to her success is just butter.” Alas, we don’t have have Mama Meyers’ recipe to share, but here’s one suggested by Chex that has propped up parties for 50 years…
>>> The Colombian-American actress has a nagging problem with her sweet tooth. She’s constantly craving desserts, and to drip-feed this sugar addiction, Sofia always carries a bunch of lollipops in her handbag.
Whenever she gets the urge to snack on something sweet, she sucks on a lollipop instead. “It’s better than to order a tiramisu — which is what I really want to do.”
LL COOL J
>>> “I always give myself 10 [extra] pounds, so that I can have a normal life and eat a little bit,” says the rap star about his ideal weight and fitness goals. Which is a good thing, because by his own admission, he cannot resist apple pies, peach cobblers, ice-cream, cake and brownies.
And when it’s fresh cookies baking in the oven, “it’s like I’m handcuffed to the table. You smell the warm, baking cookie smell, and whoo!”
>>> Whoever thinks that Vegans live in some sort of epicurean wasteland must think again. Because the Glee starlet has declared that vegan sweets are much, much better than regular ones.
Ever since Lea turned vegan, her whole outlook on food has changed, and besides eating more mindfully, she’s feeling much less guilty when she’s allowing herself to enjoy a selection of her favorite vegan cupcakes.
>>> “Cheez-Its are my vice,” says the Twilight star. “So I never buy them myself. Usually someone else is buying them for me and they’re like, ‘I know you love them.’ I will eat a whole box. I have no self control.”
Ashley fills ziplock baggies and Tupperware containers with Cheez-Its, and forces herself to take only one portion along to snack on during the day.
>>> The British actor loves a good cigar and all things Indian. Acting in a Bollywood film is on Brosnan’s bucket list. Indian women charm him. As for food, Brosnan is so mad about desi Indian dishes, he’s travelled to India simply to locate a chef he can open an Indian restaurant with. Brosnan loves Samosas – fried triangular dough dumplings stuffed with seasoned potatoes that is often consumed with a cup of chai. They’re pretty simple to make at home and are best eaten straight out of the fryer.
>>> If you happen to drop some nachos on the ground, you’ll probably be saved a clean-up if Jennifer is about, because the actress swears she will go down on her knees, and eat every single piece and crumb off the floor for you – and to hell with hygiene, because she’s that loco for her favorite snack. Jennifer makes her own by frying tortilla triangles in coconut oil. Not a calorie-cool idea, but coconut oil does add that something extra to whatever’s fried in it. Here’s a recipe for tortilla chips fried in coconut oil, if you want to give it a whirl…
>>> The filmmaker loves Reese’s Pieces – and with good reason too. They’re candies that made ET famous, and vice versa. When Spielberg was working on ET, he approached the Mars company to feature their colorful M&M chocolates as alien snack in the film. When the Mars people said no, he chose Hershey’s Reese’s Pieces instead as they resembled M&Ms with their pellet shape and hard candy shells. The rest, of course, is history, and the incident left a permanent sweet spot in Spielberg’s peanut-butter-loving heart.
>>> The teen idol can do really amazing things with pickles. She can eat pickles with Reeses. “They just work together for more reasons than one,” she assures. Give her some pickle juice instead of pickles and she will happily pour it over her popcorn. Treat her to an order of deep-fried pickles from Hooters and she will probably be your best friend. Selen’s `pickling’ whatever she eats has raised some curious eyebrows, and to avoid embarrassment she stashes a few of these vinegary treats in her handbag, to eat secretly when nobody is looking.
>>> “Straight up celery,” says the former Minnesota Republican congresswoman when asked about what she likes to snack on. “It is my favorite thing to eat. I will personally consume an entire stalk of celery. Even at the Thanksgiving table, I have a plate of celery in front of me.”
Remember never to share the 26 November holiday meal with Michele Bachmann.
>>> No matter where he makes his home, nothing bends Beckham like his love for British peasant food. In spite of his celebrity status and his wife’s posh influence, the hunky footballer hasn’t outgrown his English working class background, or his taste for ordinary fare like bangers-and-mash that few haute cuisine eateries will care to serve him. Or a newspaper-wrapped portion of fried fish and `mooshy’ peas from a street vendor that the British never seem to get tired of snacking on.
>>> Residents of Iowa have unanimously declared that Mila Kunis is cuter than a Matryoshka doll, ever since the Russian actress declared Casey’s breakfast pizza her favorite in the world.
Casey’s chain of gas station convenience stores are a matter of state pride in Iowa, which also happens to be husband Ashton Kutcher’s home state, and ever since Casey’s introduced their signature pizzas in 1984, Iowans have set great store by out-of-towners who appreciate the specialness of their local pies.
>>> There was a time when the Beeb loved the tangy taste of Sour Patch Kids – until fans knocked this preference out of him by throwing Sour Patch Kids at the teen heartthrob wherever he went.
So now he favors Swedish Fish. His dressing room is always stocked with a bulk supply of these red gummy candies that he generously shares with anybody who walks in. Back home in Canada, he switches to the universal Canadian gummy candy favorite: Big Foot.
>>> Angie and her kids love to munch on deep-fried insects. It’s a taste the family picked up in SE Asia where it’s quite common to buy a bag of crunchy insects from street-side vendors to snack on like potato chips. “My children eat them like Doritos,” she says.
Angelina herself sampled some bee larvae, which she didn’t like. The cockroaches had pointy bits in their stomach, which was annoying. But meaty, high-protein grasshoppers and crickets? Yummm….
>>> The ex-Prez snacks on apples in a peculiar way. He eats the fruit — core, stem, seeds and all. Apparently, he learnt to do this in college from his professor Jan Deutsch, who believed all the good minerals in apples were lodged in the parts we normally throw away. And since the professor was a lot smarter than him, Clinton says he figured this must be the right way to do it. Well, we all know of a certain Adam who was pretty stupid with his own apple. And look what a blazing mess he – and Clinton – landed themselves in…
>>> If you’re a Gosling fan, you already know about his obsession with fried calamari. The Lost River director, actor and restauranteur is not just a foodie, but a complete junkie when comes to batter-fried seafood.
But few people know that he’s a closet connoisseur of candy as well. “Yes, I’m a secret candy freak,” he says. “I love all kinds. I can’t get enough of a sugar high. My best one is Hi-Chew in Green Apple and Grape. I also like Red Vines red licorice strings.”
>>> Like many celebs who visit India for the first time and fall in love with the sheer variety of the country’s many cuisines, Matt was on a tour of the subcontinent with Water.org when he came in contact with a plethora of Indian snacks he never knew existed.
One of them was Bhel Puri – a light, tangy snack made with puffed rice, tamarind juice and all sorts of seasonings. “It was a luxury experience,” Matt says, though he probably cannot still pronounce the name of the dish.
>>> Nestled in New York’s Upper West Side is Levain – an artisanal bakery that any foodie tourist must put on their have-to-try list while in the city. Levain’s rustic breads are world famous, as are their six-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookies. And perhaps no one loves them with as much passion as TV news anchor Hoda Kotb.
“If someone shoots you dead just after you’ve eaten a Levain cookie, I would say you had the best last meal ever,” she says.
>>> Madonna’s best snack satisfies her carb craving and is something you can eat a lot of when you’re dieting. The dish is called Idlis – round, fluffy white pats of a lentil batter that has been steamed. Typically, Idlis are eaten with a coconut chutney and a lentil soup called Sambar. You can buy the readymade Idli batter online and steam them up at home. You will also need to buy an Idli steamer though. But once you’re set up, Idlis can become a regular snack/mini-meal that gets pretty addictive once you grow accustomed to the taste.
>>> The Colombian songbird was introduced to South Asian cuisines by partner Gerard Pique, and now she’s always hungry for a nicely-curried Afghan Chicken.
But Shakira’s real failing is Gajar Ka Halwa — a sweet snack made by boiling grated carrots in a milk reduction. It isn’t at all like a carrot cake – it is softer, more moist and the heady aroma of Gajar Ka Halwa cooking in your kitchen will probably have neighbor’s salivating for a taste of this mystery recipe.
Check it out!