A History of M&M’s in Grub Street Diets

Carly Rae Jepsen The God eating the world’s most important snack Photo: Tommy Garcia

As the New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells once said, “I love the Grub Street diet … I’m surprised by how often they are revealing.” It’s true: The Grub Street Diet raises some of life’s most important questions. Like, how much Checkers can one man eat? Does everyone have really neurotic breakfast routines? Where do you go when you need to eat an extra-large spicy tofu-kimchee soup at 10 a.m. and not be judged? Did Jadakiss complete his investigations of salmon? And most important, what are your thoughts on Peanut M&M’s?

Believe or not, M&M’s are probably the No. 1 candy of Grub Dieters everywhere. I haven’t actually looked into this, so maybe it’s not true, but I don’t care. M&M’s and the Grub Street Diet are forever linked. America’s No. 1 candy has factored into the Grub Street Diet before it had even evolved, Pokémon style, into the Grub Street Diet. When it was known as the New York Diet. The first mention was exactly ten years ago (June, 27, 2008!) by the Naked Cowboy, who was living a “mind-bogglingly strict, M&M’s-free diet.” Thankfully, he was an outlier. Here, we you an overdue collection of the most important moments in the Grub Street Diet: every time (we think?) someone mentions M&M’s.

October 29, 2010. Jenny Slate, who got them for an engagement party: “We also got all the different kinds of M&M’s; Mike loves M&M’s; we mixed them all together. Well, I kept the plain ones separate in case of allergies.”

March 23, 2012. Mickey Boardman, who in an extremely New York move paired them with a egg and cheese bagel: “I had my usual egg and cheese on a bagel with a side of hash browns from Silo. But as it was being prepared, I chatted with the workers and ate a bag of peanut M&M’s, because I stopped at the newsstand at the subway earlier to buy the new Vogue and I couldn’t pass them up.”

November 9, 2012. Cookie queen Dorie Greenspan, who couldn’t resist the allure of M&M’s: “I couldn’t stop nibbling: crackers, bits of cheese, a clementine, a few handfuls dark-chocolate M&M’s, two cookies, and then more cheese. Finally, I got some ‘real’ food — I fried two eggs and a couple of strips of bacon and had them on a slice of my husband Michael’s homemade multigrain bread. I should have done it a handful of M&M’s earlier, but … ”

October 11, 2013. Michael Chernow, who — blasphemy — says they aren’t his main squeeze: “On our way upstate, we stopped and met with my buddy John Silverman, who’s one of the owners of Ed’s Lobster Bar. He’s got a place up there, and we had dinner with him at one of his spots: Magoya in Chester. I had the sashimi deluxe, an eel-and-avocado roll, and edamame. I got home and had peanut M&M’s, my second-favorite junk food.”

August 8, 2014. Mark McNairy, who eats them, as we all should, nightly: “M&M’s for dessert. Happens almost every night. I don’t know why, specifically. I used to eat a pint of Häagen-Dazs almost every night. To me, a pint is a single serving, but I have really bad cholesterol, so I’ve gotten out of that habit. Now a handful of M&M’s does the trick.”

November 6, 2015. Carly Rae Jepsen, who makes a good decision: “I forget my apple, so I snack on M&M’s.”

December 11, 2015. Dominique Ansel, who uses them to increase his energy levels: “There’s a conference call with our team in Japan via Skype in a half an hour (it’s morning their time), and by then, I’m eating bags of peanut M&M’s to stay awake.”

March 18, 2016. Mike Solomonov, who feeds his kids a proper diet: “It’s a pretty lazy Sunday at home, which means popcorn and M&M’s with the boys.”

October 20, 2017. Homer Murray, who does not mince words and gets it (that peanut M&M’s are numero uno): “I came home kind of late and walked my dog. Got a turkey sandwich at a local bodega and ate a handful of peanut M&M’s. They’re the best. People shouldn’t be able to engage in society if they don’t like peanut M&M’s. They should be dragged into the street and have their heart cut out like they’re a rabid dog.”

March 23, 2018. Hari Kondabolu, who binges on them: “We had two very fun shows, but skipped dinner after. We had been eating Nacho Cheese Doritos, Cheez-Its, and M&M’s for several hours. (These were plain, but peanut is 100 percent my favorite.)”

June 15, 2018. Twin Shadow, who has lots of thoughts on the interplay between M&M’s and ice cream: “I felt like I had to do something uncle-like, so I took the kids to Yogurtland for frozen yogurt piled with M&M’s, hot fudge, marshmallow drizzle (new to me), and peanuts. I don’t like the little mini-M&M’s. And while I love peanut M&M’s, I don’t like them in ice cream, so I always get regular M&M’s. They get hard and crunchy. It’s my favorite thing. With the peanuts, it’s next level.”

A History of M&M’s in Grub Street Diets