The Creamed Spinach and Poached Eggs in 'Carol' Sounds Delicious

The hotly debated dish ordered by Cate Blanchett's Carol in the movie 'Carol,' along with a martini, is NOT disgusting, as people have suggested.

The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company

With temperatures dropping and holiday decorations starting to go up, it’s officially Carol season. Five years ago, Todd Haynes’ Carol came out and was immediately hailed as a new classic of queer cinema. The wintery romance based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt stars Cate Blanchett as the titular Carol, a self-possessed housewife who woos shopgirl Therese Belivet, played by Rooney Mara. It’s a gorgeous, heartbreaking film, available to watch on Netflix, that has also stirred up a culinary debate. Creamed spinach and poached eggs: good or gross? 

Obviously, the answer is: What the hell are you talking about? That meal sounds amazing and I would eat it in a heartbeat. But let’s back up a second.

After leaving her glove at the department store where Therese works, Carol invites the younger woman out for lunch at a darkened bar, the air heavy with smoke and presumably the smell of 1950s hair products. Immediately upon sitting down, Carol places her order: “Creamed spinach over poached eggs and a dry martini with an olive.” Therese, slightly flabbergasted, puts in the same order. 

At the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards, hosts Kumail Nanjiani and Kate McKinnon parodied the scene, with McKinnon playing Carol and Nanjiani playing the clueless waitress at the restaurant. When she puts in her order, Nanjiani responds: “Very good choice, that is our most disgusting meal.” Look on Twitter and you’ll find other people voicing their distaste for Carol’s go-to lunch. For example: “I’m absolutely not sorry to say this, but creamed spinach and poached eggs is a [sic] awful order. No, just no, absolutely no.” And: “carol orders the grossest lunch. who wants fucking creamed spinach over poached eggs?”There are dissenters, like this smart person: “wish everyone would grow up and admit that a martini with poached eggs over creamed spinach sounds good, actually!” Hell yeah, it does!

Truthfully, I’ve never been totally sure what grosses people out about this order. Is it the “creamed” part of the spinach? Because eggs and spinach are a common combination. If so, what do you have against creamed spinach? It’s one of the most delicious side dishes there is! You can’t go to some place like Peter Luger’s and not get the creamed spinach as one of your side dishes with a hunk of steak. Pair that with poached eggs, and you’ve got the decadent yolk bleeding into the greens’ buttery sauce. Sure, it’s rich, but it tastes good.

Maybe, for some, it’s the martini that does it. But think of the tart, cold vodka cutting the soft, luscious mush on your plate. Delicious! Plus, people pair incongruous alcohol with food all the time. I’ll never understand ordering, say, a Bloody Mary and pancakes, for example. But people do it. Are people just anti-egg? Then you’ll be banished into the egg hater corner along with known egg hater Guy Fieri. Is it the texture, in that it is essentially texture-less? This dish is basically just slime, I’ll admit that. Add some toast points! You’ll be fine!

This is all to say: Over the holidays, it’s your duty to watch Carol. Not just because it’s a near-perfect movie that conjures all the longing and loneliness of the time, but also because it features a dish that I would eat right now if you gave it to me. Can someone give it to me? Thanks. Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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