Why we hunger for novels about food

A friover has ribbed me gently for writing about the magic of cooking when she knows I have a deep adversion lớn cooking myself (with a very few exceptions), and have sầu been known to live sầu on popcorn and coffee when left lớn my own devices. Mea culpa.

I love fine dining, I'm an adventurous eater, and I care about the ethical and ecological dimensions of the food that's on my plate...but I truly hate lớn cook, and vày it as seldom as I can possibly get away with. (This is, er, not entirely unconnected with having nearly burned my grandmother's kitchen down when I was a kid.)

Fortunately I am married to very good cook, and our daughter is a professional chef & pastry chef in London, trained in a Michelin Star kitchen và deeply interested in food politics. Food is, as a result, a constant topic in our house -- & my love sầu of fine cooking is not diminished by not being a practitioner of the art myself, just as my love sầu of music is not lessened by the fact that I don't play an instrument. Some of us are musicians và some of us are the appreciative audience; some of us are wizards of the kitchen and some of us are happy eaters (và dish-washers).

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The dishwasher at work (after a Jane Austen themed dinner party).

Now, with that Full Disclosure aside, here's one last post on food khổng lồ kết thúc the week: a look at blogs và websites combining literature and food in interesting ways. Here are a few of my favorites...và suggestions of others are very welcome.

* The Paper and Salt blog, by Nicole in New York City,  is "part historical discussion, part food and recipe blog, part literary fangirl attempts khổng lồ recreate và reinterpret the dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries, essays, & fiction." The Jane Austen Brown Pudding Tarts and L. Frank Baum Ginger Cake with Butterscotch Sauce below are two of the recipes on Paper & Salternative text, which has run for almost three years now, covering writers from the 18th lớn 21st centuries.

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* In the "Fictitious Dishes" series, Brooklyn designer Dinah Fried has recreated food scenes from books ranging from Moby Dick và The Chronicles of Narnia khổng lồ The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Follow the liên kết lớn see examples of her work, or seek out her book Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals, containing fifty such photographs.

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Below, Fried composes place settings for Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderl&.

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* Cara Nicoletti's Yummy Books started as a Brooklyn book club in 2008, turned into a supper club in 2009 & then a  "literary food" blog in 2010. Nicoletti (a butcher, former pastry-chef, và writer) explains her combined focus on food và books lượt thích this:

"There is nothing as engrossing as the eating of a truly great meal & nothing that nourishes my spirit quite like the reading of a good book. Hemingway himself once said 'I have discovered that there is romance in food when romance has disappeared from everywhere else.' Perhaps it is because of this symbiosis that, for me at least, some of the most lãng mạn, most poignant scenes in literature are scenes of cooking and eating." 

Pictured below, Nicolleti's food-and-book pairing for Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.

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* Eat This Poem, by Nicole Gulatta in Los Angeles, is written in a similar vein but focuses more on poetry, and on literary city guides "for bookworms who love sầu to eat."

Gulatta says that she launched her blog in 2012 "as a way to fuse two of my passions, food and writing. I hope you'll stay a while (preferably with a hot mug of tea or coffee in hand) as we explore how poetry moves from page khổng lồ plate, and inspires our palates along the way."

Pictured below, an onion tart in homage khổng lồ Pablo Neruda's poem "Ode to lớn the Onion."

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* The Blaông chồng Letters, a lovely literary blog  by the "ravening bibliophiles" Emera và Kakaner, occassionally strays inkhổng lồ "The Bibliophile's Kitchen," where you can sample Honey Oatmeal Scones inspired by Roald Dahl's Matilda, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell Blaông chồng Forest Raven Cake và other delights. I was fortunate enough khổng lồ meet this blog's talented young authors in London this summer, và can't wait khổng lồ see what they "cook up" next.

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* On her Food in Literature blog, Bryton Taylor notes food reference in adult and children's fiction, gives advice for book-themed parties, & offers literary recipes -- including the Snow White Apple Pie pictured in process at the top of this post, Ogden’s Olde FireWhiskey from the Harry Potter series, and Twice Baked Honey Cake that might have been served in Tolkien's Hobbiton.

Xem thêm: 20 Stunning Editions Of Classic Books You"Ll Want To Add To Your Library

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* For a more scholarly approach to the subject, try the Literary Food Studies blog by Vivian N. Halloran, an associate professor at Indiamãng cầu University. The blog is devoted, she explains, khổng lồ "discussing food in multiple genres -- from blogs, khổng lồ culinary memoirs (with and without recipes), chefographies, fiction, poetry, investigative sầu journalism and cook books -- & from a variety of perspectives. My approach khổng lồ food studies is interdisciplinary, but this blog focuses on literary criticism; I consider how the texts under discussion embody, challenge, or exp& our assumptions about what makes for beautiful, thought-provoking, compelling, and/or moving writing about food."

Also, if you love good food blogs with dazzling photographs, try A Fantatical Foodie -- which isn't a literary blog per se, but the author is a frikết thúc of the family (formerly of Chagford, now living in Bristol) và her food is just incredibly good.

Bon appetit!

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Happily eating a scrumptious dessert of Howard's concoction: Vanilla Bean & Honey Panne Cotta with Bitter Chocolate Ganache


Chuyên mục: literature