10. You Don't Mess With The Zohan - Baba Ghanoush
For all that it was described by The New York Times as "the finest post-Zionist action-hairdressing sex comedy I have ever seen", You Don't Mess With The Zohan is a fairly standard Adam Sandler vehicle. Featuring Sandler as the eponymous counter-terrorism agent turned hairdresser, ...Zohan may seem to feature a more ambitious political context for the erstwhile Little Nicky, but ultimately it boils down to the same puerile humour as ever. As a result, Zohan's target teenage audience were not all that likely already to be huge enthusiasts for Levantine food. Nevertheless, Sandler and Robert Smigel's screenplay spent a remarkable amount of time attempting to draw humour from the love of hummus amongst Israelis (and Palestinians). In the film the mashed chickpea dip is used for everything from tooth paste to fire lighter, but it is the similar, but less widely known, baba ghanoush that enjoyed a surprising new popularity in the aftermath of a reference in the offensive comedy. The film probably served simply to make its audience aware of the existence of the dish, which is made with aubergine (eggplant) rather than the chickpeas, and thus more inclined to order it through newfound familiarity. Either way the proprietors of Middle Eastern and mezze eateries definitely noticed an upturn in baba ghanoush orders after ...Zohan's release
, so at least somebody benefited from the movie.