Food in books is something of a thing for me. You might have noticed. I blame Enid Blyton. What with all her descriptions of sandwiches, slabs of ham, crisp lettuce picked from the garden, ices – even Timmy's bone from the butchers, everything just sounds so delicious. A few weeks ago I wrote about my favourite books to relax with on a summer holiday – and they all referenced food. The Feasting On Romantic Comedy posts are an affectionate look at some of the food authors write about in their books. I can't get away from it. So this week I've decided just to go with it and tell you five of my favourite novels for listing food.
1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg – I only discovered the film of the same name was actually a book first a few years ago. Set in the south of USA this novel is set in the twenties and thirties and based on the lives of Idgie and Ruth who open the Whistle Stop Cafe. We have buttermilk biscuits (a bit like a scone), pink cupcakes, gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, apple butter (apple butter!), brownies and lemon icebox pie. As well as the fried green tomatoes.
2. Sally by Freya North – We've already mentioned the chocolate krispie cakes that appear in Polly in the Feasting in Romantic Comedy posts. Freya North uses food to convey homeliness, family, seduction, friendship and celebration. In Sally, Freya's first novel, there is food in abundance. We have…(are you ready for this?)…ciabatta, stuffed olives, salami, warm salad with peppers and goats cheese, pappardelle (large pasta) with porcini and chicken, tiramisu, barley soup with cracked rolls and cold, hard butter, digestive biscuits (homemade!), shortbread, chocolate brownies, scones, cheese souffle, grilled trout, bread and butter pudding and fudge. Wow.
3. Bookends by Jane Green – Like Freya, Jane also has food in abundance in her novels. And in Bookends you have both books and food. Almost an overload of delight. Like Freya's list you need a deep breath for this one. Iced buns, homemade coconut pie with chocolate sauce, treacle tart, salmon fishcakes, croissants, scrambled eggs, pecan pie, bread and butter pudding, apple and cinnamon biscuits, chocolate cake, strudel, savoury cheesecake, tarte tatin and hot chocolate souffle with vanilla sauce.
4. Scruples by Judith Krantz – Food in Scruples? Really? A book with models and a woman who is on a diet every day of her life. I think it is so delightful simply because it is so unexpected. Cookies, pies, cakes, apple pie with vanilla ice-ceam, open faced apple tart glazed in syrup, lemon souffle, strudel and chocolate souffle are all there.
5. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner – One of the items featured in this novel is chocolate chip scones which we've already given a recipe for. Page thirty six mentions spring rolls, tiramisu, calamari, mashed potatoes and roast chicken. Chocolate bread pudding, fried chicken, grilled stuffed grape leaves, brownies and chocolate tarts. But there is also chicken with garlic and rosemary, hot buttered prezzels, a baseball sized eclair, a slab of chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, bagels, fudge, quiche and, for health, a fruit salad.
I'm very hungry now. Are you?