There's something about animated food. My sister and I have always agreed that our mouth waters when Pluto the dog chows down on a turkey leg or the Teletubbies guzzle their pink Tubby custard. But as far as I'm concerned no one does food scenes like Studio Ghibli.
From Totoro's neatly packed bento to the languid sizzle of Howl cooking bacon and eggs, these sensory moments speak straight to our stomachs. And it appears I'm not alone in this. A new cookbook directly inspired by the fare within Studio Ghibli films will soon hit the shelves.
Written by Minh-Tri Vo and translated Lisa Molle-Troyer, The Studio Ghibli Cookbook: Unofficial Recipes Inspired by Spirited Away, Ponyo, and More! features 20 recipes plucked directly from the animation studio's most popular films. Think the spaghetti and meatballs from Porco Rosso or the chocolate cake from Kiki's Delivery Service, even the rice porridge or okayu from Princess Mononoke.
The recipes have been catered to all levels of experience in the kitchen, so you can whip up fistfulls of red bean buns à la Spirited Away without breaking a sweat.
The Studio Ghibli cookbook is another example of a fanbase recreating iconic meals from an animated series. Laurel Randolph, the figure behind @thejoyofcookingmilhouse Instagram account famously published The Unofficial Simpsons Cookbook back in August 2021. And in November last year, production studio A24 came out with its first cookbook Horror Caviar. Which begs the question, which animated series is next?
Where can you buy the Studio Ghibli cookbook?
If you have a Studio Ghibli obsessive in your life then consider this the perfect Christmas present. Otherwise, you can get your hands on a copy of The Studio Ghibli Cookbook: Unofficial Recipes Inspired by Spirited Away, Ponyo, and More! from October 25. Pre-order it now at your local bookstore.
For more cookbook recommendations, take this list of 15 classic cookbook every kitchen needs.