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Literary Feasts: Recipes from the Classics of Literature

Richard’s previous blog post, about the Hunger Games cookbook made me hungry. It also made me wonder whether “dried plums” are just prunes in fancy dress. And most importantly, it made me wonder what other literary recipes I could find.

I came across Literary Feasts: Recipes from the Classics of Literature by Barbara Scrafford, which includes discussions of some succulent foodie scenes from various books, and accompanying recipes.

For instance, inspired by Tom Sawyer, there is a recipe for Corn Pone, one for Fresh-Killed Catfish, and one for Doughnuts (remember within the first few pages, when he “hooks” a doughnut from Aunt Polly?).

Another book represented and discussed is Love in the Time of Cholera, which inspired recipes like Coconut Rice, Eggplant and Green Bean Salad, Stuffed Eggplant, and Jamaican Punch.

The introduction to the book ends with the thought:

“It is said that you cannot truly know a man until you have walked in his shoes. I like to think that you also know a character better when you have tasted his food.”

I like that idea. I sometimes feel like (particularly working in the book industry), I focus too much on reading as much as possible, rather than really richly, thoroughly experiencing and exploring the books I do read. Wouldn’t it be great if we took our favourite, most beloved books, and listened to the music mentioned in their pages, ate the food eaten by their characters, visited the places they take place? Maybe in my next life I will have/make time for that. But cooking some great meals inspired by amazing stories doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

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