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For a show about "nothing," Seinfeld has enough food references to fuel a roundup a mile long. In its 180-episode, 10-year reign, Seinfeld employed peas as a relationship barometer, debated the merits of chocolate versus cinnamon babka, poked fun at muffin tops (toss the "stump"), and popularized the term "double-dip." While nothing may be its premise, the show put ordinary, everyday ongoings at front-and-center. In Seinfeld-land (a.k.a. New York City, circa '90s), nothings, like how someone eats their peas, are everything.
Break out the dip and don your best Kramer-style lobster shirt: Seinfeld is back, baby. Not only is this year its 26th anniversary, but the series is coming to Hulu on June 24th. You can take it slow, savoring each episode day-by-day—or you can binge-watch like the best of 'em. Either way, here are 11 great Seinfeld food moments, with matching, must-make recipes. Trust us, choosing only 11 was as hard as losing your gyro to grubby subway snatchers:
“The Soup Nazi” (Season 7, Episode 6)
Quote: “No soup for you!”
Recipe: Best Ever Turkey Chili by kmartinelli
The Storyline: There’s a new soup place in town and, rumor has it, it’s the best in the city. The gang frequents the stand for its fantastic crab bisque and turkey chili, only for the owner (“The Soup Nazi”) to ban them—one after another—for violating his strict ordering protocol. George asks for bread, Jerry’s girlfriend shows too much PDA, and Elaine bangs on the counter. Eventually, Elaine drives The Soup Nazi out of the city when she finds his secret recipes in an armoire he gave to Kramer.
“The Engagement” (Season 7, Episode 1)
Quote: “You've never seen anything like it. It takes her an hour to finish them.”
Recipe: Macaroni Peas by Nicholas Day
The Storyline: Jerry breaks up with a girl because she eats peas one at time. The episode’s takeaway: Watch your peas and q’s.
“The Cigar Store Indian” (Season 5, Episode 10)
Quote: “This stop is famous for its gyros. You want one?”
Recipe: My Home-Style Lamb Shawarma by monkeymom
The Storyline: Kramer rushes off the subway to get a gyro (there’s a stand on the platform) and gets his arm stuck in the door trying to make it back in. The gyro is ripped from his hand and the subway speeds off, leaving Kramer gyro-less and having to catch the next train. Of course, the same thing happens to Jerry.
“The Muffin Tops” (Season 8, Episode 21)
Quote: “It’s where the muffin breaks free of the pan and sort of does its own thing.”
Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Muffins by Sarah Jampel
The Storyline: Elaine tells her boss, Mr. Lippman, she only eats the tops of the muffins. Lippman goes behind her back and opens Top of the Muffin to You!, a shop selling—you guessed it—muffin tops. Business is failing until Elaine recommends baking a whole muffin and then throwing away the "stump," which somehow makes the business more efficient.
“The Big Salad” (Season 6, Episode 2)
“What’s in the big salad?”—George
“Big lettuce, big carrots, tomatoes like volleyballs.”—Jerry
Recipe: Carrot and Radicchio Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette by Kenzi Wilbur
The Storyline: A salad—no, a big salad—leads to George and his girlfriend Julie breaking up. Elaine asks George to pick up a big salad for her. He does; however, Julie hands it to Elaine and takes credit for the salad’s doing. George loses it, equating the salad’s purchase with his generosity.
“The Dealership” (Season 9, Episode 11)
Quote: “Twix is the only candy with the cookie crunch!”
Recipe: Twix Bars by jestei
The Storyline: George has a traumatizing experience when he tries to procure a Twix bar from a rebellious (or cruel) vending machine. The Twix doesn’t drop, hanging tauntingly from its metal perch. George seeks help, but when he returns, the Twix is gone, leading to accusations of candy bar capering.
“The Maid” (Season 9, Episode 9)
Quote: “T-Bone, the ladies are gonna love ya.”
Recipe: Sunday Steak with French Butter by thirschfeld
The Storyline: In an effort to garner the nickname “T-Bone” from his co-workers, George orders T-bone steaks for lunch. George, however, is given another nickname, “Koko the Monkey,” after he goes a bit ballistic while holding a banana. A co-worker is named T-Bone instead.
"The Gymnast" (Season 6, Episode 6)
Quote: "You're in the kitchen. You see an eclair in the receptacle. So you think to yourself, 'What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.'"
Recipe: Meyer Lemon Eclairs by Yossy Arefi
The Storyline: George gets another shot with Lindsay, a girl he met at a book club. Things are going well until, while at Lindsay's mother's house, George is caught eating a chocolate eclair out of a trash can. George tells Jerry the pastry was clean "on top" and totally edible, so it really wasn't weird at all. George explains this to Lindsay and gets yet another chance with her.
“The Fusilli Jerry” (Season 6, Episode 21)
Quote: “It’s Fusilli Jerry!”
Recipe: The Splendid Table's Pasta with Two Broccolis and Raisin-Pine Nut Sauce by Genius Recipes
The Storyline: Kramer creates a statue of Jerry (complete with a microphone) out of fusilli, explaining that the hardest part of the creative process is deciding on a pasta that captures the individual. Kramer promises George that he’s making George out of ravioli next.
“The Dinner Party” (Season 5, Episode 6)
Quote: “You can’t beat a babka.”
Recipe: Chocolate Babka by Yossy Arefi
The Storyline: After Jerry and Elaine can’t buy a chocolate babka, they consider a cake. Carrot? Black Forest? Napoleon? No, no, and no. The proprietor points out a cinnamon babka, to which Jerry is astonished. “Another babka?” he says. Elaine worries cinnamon is a lesser flavor; however, in true babka equality fashion, Jerry argues for cinnamon’s popularity. They buy the babka.
“The Implant” (Season 4, Episode 19)
Quote: “That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip! From now on, when you take a chip—just take one dip and end it!”
Recipe: Nacho Cheese Sauce by Lara
The Storyline: While at his girlfriend’s aunt’s wake, George “double-dips” a chip and his girlfriend’s brother, Timmy, voices his repulsion. Timmy tells George the right, sanitary way to dip. George indignantly continues his double-dipping ways, inciting a struggle between him and Timmy. Chips fly.
Have a favorite Seinfeld food moment? Tell us in the comments below!