Food and TV

Don Draper, Peggy Olson and Ken Cosgrove taste Cool Whip in Season 5 of "Mad Men." (Michael Yarish / AMC / November 4, 2011)

No matter how you slice it, food is as integral to TV as chocolate is to bonbons, or tonic to gin. The Hershey chocolate bar became a sad symbol on “Mad Men.” And on Netflix's prison tragicomedy “Orange is the New Black,” prison food was practically a character itself.

Downton Abbey without its dining scenes — upstairs and down — would be just another soap opera, and who can imagine “Seinfeld” without the rows of cereal boxes in Jerry’s kitchen? Food, glorious food, provides punch line, plot, even romantic interest, as Valerie Harper made clear in the opening lines of her hit show, “Rhoda”: “The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food.”