The Snack That Was Inspired By An Iconic Rita Hayworth Character

So many dishes and drinks have become synonymous with their namesakes that it's easy to overlook how they got their names in the first place. Take, for example, the Cobb salad, which earned its moniker when Bob Cobb, who owned the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, shared an inventive, late-night salad creation with his buddy Sid (via Institute of Culinary Education). Or, the Shirley Temple, which shares its name with the actress who, according to legend, while in the presence of adults enjoying cocktails, was served a special drink "so she could feel fancy" (via Another person responsible for inspiring a food's name is none other than legendary actress Rita Hayworth.

Fans of old movies no doubt recognize Hayworth from her acting roles in the '40s and '50s and her dance numbers with Fred Astaire. In the actress' obituary, The New York Times called the New York native "the epitome of Hollywood glamour and allure, a stunningly beautiful actress and dancer." Author Stephen King even named a novella after her, "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," which would eventually get made into a movie (via Simon & Schuster). The work that lead to a snack being named for her work, though, was arguably her most well-known role.

There's a snack named for Gilda

"Gilda" was the "smash hit" that made Rita Hayworth a "superstar," according to Criterion. Not only did the sexy role make Hayworth's career, but it had another long-lasting effect by making its way into the food scene. Today, there's a classic pintxo named Gilda. In case you're not familiar with pintxos, Eusko Guide describes them as finger foods from the Basque area. In the case of a Gilda, according to Spanish Sabores, it means olives, an anchovy, "a pickled green guindilla pepper, and (sometimes) a gherkin pickle or sundried tomato," all lined up on a toothpick for easy eating.

The naming of the Gilda pintxo took place over 60 years ago at a bar in San Sebastián. Hola Foodie explains that it was at Casa Vallés, according to legend, that the restaurant's founder would serve pickles as well as olives, gherkins, guindillas, and the occasional anchovy. After a regular customer began skewering the combination, the rest was history. The name "Gilda" was given to the pinxto for its "verde, salado y picante (green, salty, and spicy)" qualities which could have an additional translation of "little pervert, witty, and spicy" — all terms that could be used to describe Hayworth's title role (via Hola Foodie). Punch reports a New York City restaurant is even serving up a martini called a "Pintxotini" garnished with a Gilda, giving the timeless snack new life in Hayworth's hometown.