Blessed be the fruit.
Praise be! As of today, the second season of Hulu’s award-winning original series The Handmaid’s Tale is finally coming to a computer or smart TV near you. Perhaps the biggest hit produced by the popular streaming service, The Handmaid’s Tale is based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel in which fertile women are enslaved to bear children for the elite. The show’s dark plot, which is scarily relevant at times, and powerful performances by the likes of Elizabeth Moss, Samira Wiley and more have kept watchers hooked and eager to learn Offred’s fate.
In preparation for the season two premiere, we rewatched the first season and realized just how important food is in Gilead. Throughout the episodes, food is seen as a status symbol, is given as a reward and is at the center of pivotal moments—though when they say “blessed be the fruit,” they definitely don’t mean apples. Here are ten food moments from The Handmaid’s Tale to get you excited for the new season. Under his eye.
When the Commander likes his eggs.
Episode 1 “Offred”
In the very first episode, Offred introduces us to many of the main players through narration. “Rita makes the bread from scratch,” she says, as we watch a cook kneading dough and peppering it with flour. “It’s the kind of thing they like the Marthas to do, a return to traditional values. That’s what they fought for.” When Offred enters the kitchen, Rita starts to give her instructions for her grocery shopping. “Commander likes his eggs lately,” she says. “Make sure they’re fresh—not like last time. Let them know who it’s for and they won’t mess around.” Talk about power.
When Offred doesn’t need oranges.
Episode 1 “Offred”
In the white, bare grocery store, the handmaids shop for food with their partners, metal baskets in hand. “Did you see? They have oranges,” says a handmaid to Ofglen.
“Praise be,” she responds. “Fighting in Florida must be going well. Your mistress likes oranges,” Ofglen tells Offred. Offred says she doesn’t have a token for oranges, but the other handmaid tells her that all she needs to do is name-drop Commander Waterford to get the fruit. “I don’t need oranges,” Offred narrates to herself. “I need to scream and I need to grab the nearest machine gun.”
When Offred spits out the cookie.
Episode 2 “Birth Day”
During the birth of Ofwarren’s child, all the handmaids are upstairs in the bedroom, while all the wives cater to Mrs. Puttnam downstairs, though she isn’t actually going through childbirth. There is an ornate table full of desserts, and Mrs. Waterford requests Offred to come in and tell her and the other wives what’s going on upstairs. Then a very uncomfortable cookie incident ensues. “Would you like a cookie, dear?” asks one of the wives to Offed. “You shouldn’t spoil them. Sugar is bad for them,” says another wife. “Oh surely one won’t hurt. It is a special day,” the first wife retorts. “Offred, would you like a cookie?” Serena asks reluctantly. “Yes, please. Thank you,” Offred responds. Plucks an orange macaron off a tree and slowly hands it to Offred. “Aw. Isn’t she well-behaved?” one of the wives comments as if Offred is a pet. Offred takes a bite gingerly and is then dismissed by Mrs. Waterford. Offred then disgustedly spits out the bite of macaron in the bathroom sink.
When the coffee sucks anyway.
Episode 3 “Late”
In a flashback, June and Moira go into a bakery after running outside. June orders a “medium drip with a shot and a tall nonfat capp” and the barista gives her major attitude when she asks if the barista who usually works there is sick. He is even ruder when her credit card is declined for insufficient funds, calls her and Moira “f***ing sluts” and tells them to leave. “Your coffee fucking sucks ass, f***er,” says Moira. This is one of the first moments they realize something seriously wrong is happening. Then June and all the women in her office get fired.
When Offred is late.
Episode 3 “Late”
Offred doesn’t realize her period is late until she is suddenly treated like a princess by Rita, who cooks her a whole sit-down lunch, including a dessert of stewed apples with cinnamon. She even pointed out that she had to trade cheese to get said cinnamon. She also adorns the table with a vase with white roses, which she says are from Mrs. Waterford for good luck. “Finish your lunch, every bite now. You need to be in the clean plate club,” Mrs. Waterford instructs in a sugary tone. It's a seemingly kind gesture that only further serves to remind Offred of her place in society.
When Luke gets two hotdogs.
Episode 5 “Faithful”
In a flashback, June and Moira are standing in front of a bunch of food trucks debating June’s Tinder photos. Moira asks an attractive guy who “looks heterosexual” to consult and June is visibly embarrassed, but the guy says he will take a look while he waits for his hotdog. He finds one where June looks “invincible” and then scurries off when he gets his two hotdogs with extra onions. This is how June meets Luke, her future husband.
When the Waterfords seem somewhat normal.
Episode 6 “A Woman’s Place”
In a flashback, the Waterfords look like a normal couple going to the movies. “Are you sure this is big enough?” Fred asks sarcastically about the large tub of popcorn. “There is no problem that cannot be solved with enough movie popcorn,” Serena responds. She carries two large sodas into the theatre and through their conversation, we learn that Serena was a published author and intellectually equal to her husband in the planning of Gilead. They even discuss the possibility of three attacks on the U.S. government.
When Hannah makes pancakes.
Episode 7 “The Other Side”
In a flashback, June, Luke and Hannah are happily living in a secluded cabin, hiding from the Gilead forces. The sun is shining into the kitchen and June and Hannah are making pancakes for breakfast. “Hey, do you want blueberries?” June asks. “No! Chocolate chips!” says Hannah, insisting that Luke makes them that way. June pours in a lot of chocolate chips and they stir together. “We’re out of syrup again,” Hannah tells her dad. “That’s because you have pancakes every day,” he responds. “I’m trying to set a record!” Then June and Hannah ladle the batter into the pan together, blissfully.
When June knows her cocktails.
Episode 8 “Jezebels”
Commander Waterford gives Offred a sparkly dress and heels and takes her to a secret, underground brothel for the night. He tells her she can have one drink and asks for her order.
“Manhattan,” she replies. “Sophisticated,” he comments and then orders it for her from the bartender along with a Scotch neat for himself. Moments later, Offred spots Moira across the room, who is now a prostitute known as Ruby.
When Moira knows the butcher.
Episode 9 “The Bridge”
After Moira and Offred get in a fight about the resistance, it seems clear that Moira doesn’t want to help Offred deliver a package because it’s too dangerous. The following day at the market, however, the butcher tells Offred he has a special cut of meat for Commander Waterford and hands her two packages, one with a note from Moira, showing she’s down to resist. We then see Moira escape the brothel and eventually make it to Canada.