Back to the Future: The Trivia

The last few days, Bravo has been giving viewers a heavy dose of Back to the Future, the first VHS tape I ever bought. Let's celebrate the highest-grossing movie of 1985 with some BTTF trivia:

  • The role of Marty McFly was originally played by Eric Stoltz. After filming had started, he was deemed not right for the part and replaced by Michael J. Fox.
  • In President Reagan's 1986 State of the Union, he quoted Doc Brown. "Never has there been a more exciting time to be alive, a time of rousing wonder and heroic achievement. As they said in the film Back to the Future, 'Where we're going, we don't need roads.'"
  • Producers contacted Reagan's agent Lew Wasserman about taking a role in the third installment, which was filmed the year after Reagan left office. He was to play the Mayor of Hill Valley. He considered, then decided against it. Damn.
  • In the alternate 1985 in Back to the Future II, a newspaper headline says, "Nixon to Seek Fifth Term; Vows End to Vietnam War by 1985."
  • Elijah Wood made his film debut in II, playing the arcade game Wild Gunman in the Cafe 80s.
  • Crispin Glover, who played George McFly in the first movie, demanded Marty money and script approval to appear in the sequels. These were dealbreakers, so the role of George was played by Jeffrey Weissman BTTF II and BTTF III. Footage from the original was used in the sequels, which prompted a lawsuit from Glover, a settlement from Universal, and new rules about future use of an actor's likeness.
  • The movie was inspired by screenwriter Bob Gale's father's high school yearbook. Gale saw it and wondered whether he and his dad would have been friends as teenagers.

Back to the Future airs again on Bravo December 19th.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess
iStock
iStock

Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
Bone Collector
iStock
iStock

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios