When suffering from some bizarre kind of stomach bug, the logical response is naturally to read a bunch of blogs about literature and food.
I don’t know what’s gotten into me.
Anyway, as life has been much too serious lately, it seemed like a good time for some literary fun. While browsing through the “Freshly Pressed” section of WordPress, I came across a post about food and literature, and wondered if there were other such magical creatures in the blogosphere. Happily, there are. I have now sacrificed the better part of my afternoon to unselfishly bring you the following list of Excellent Blogs about Food and Literature. In case, you know, you’re wondering, “How on earth can I possibly find some way to kill time on the interwebs and procrastinate the writing of my novel/poem/doctoral dissertation/grocery list??”
The Art of Eating Books: Food and Fashion Inspired by Literature This is the one that got me started. There is nothing not to love about this, from recipes to cocktails to Lit. Love. I am looking forward to much, much more from this one. And there is a picture of a Biblioburro. If you do not know what this is, a little something will be forever missing from your life.
Bryton Taylor Pumpkin juice from the Harry Potter books…..Butterscotch from Willy Wonka…..Peter Rabbit recipes…..and what?? Printable Pumpkin juice labels?? Aaaaa!!! This website is way, way too much fun, and it’s beautifully-designed to boot.
Cook the Books: A Bimonthly Foodie Book Club Marrying the Pleasures of Reading and Cooking If you not only like to eat food and read about food, but also like to write about reading about food, check out this online book club, where readers cook recipes inspired by the book of the month and then blog about the experience. It’s fascinating to see how a single literary work can inspire a variety of culinary responses.
Dishy Literature: Food to the Letter A lovely and literary blog reaching back as far as ancient Rome for recipes inspired by dishes in great works from a variety of cultures. From the “About” page: “Edible or not, such described dishes may provide something more than mere curiosities. They can serve as small windows through which we might begin to understand a historical period, an artistic movement, even something as specific as characterisation.” If this had not made me fall madly in love, the inclusion of John Keats-inspired recipes for “The Eve of St. Agnes” would have done it.
Fictitious Dishes: A Blog about Books + Food If you need a break from all the words, words, words, explore Dinah Fried’s website for gorgeous (okay, in the case of Kafka, maybe not so appetizing) photographs of famous meals from literature. The “blog” is a tumblr account with lots and lots of food/literature-related images of all sorts. Her book is subtitled An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals. These pictures alone make me want to go revise everything I’ve ever written and add in about fifty eating scenes.
Literary Food Porn Thank you, kind blogger, for providing literary food-lovers everywhere with an invaluable service–excerpting the best parts of books (the bits about food) so that we can skip all that tedious plot stuff and just read the parts that make us drool. As if that wasn’t wonderful enough, the helpful tags on the right allow you to find a specific literary work, food item, or author, from Alcott to aquavit, watercress to Wynne Jones. I am now wondering how I have hitherto managed to survive without such an invaluable resource.
Literary Food Studies This one takes a much more serious tack. From the “About” page: “Literary Food Studies is the blog site where Professor Vivian N. Halloran analyzes literary texts discussing food in multiple genres–from blogs, to culinary memoirs (with and without recipes), chefographies, fiction, poetry, investigative journalism and cook books–and from a variety of perspectives. My approach to food studies is interdisciplinary, but this blog focuses on literary criticism; I consider how the texts under discussion embody, challenge, or expand our assumptions about what makes for beautiful, thought-provoking, compelling, and/or moving writing about food.”
Paper and Salt This one has it all–insightful explorations of literature, actual recipes for such wonders as “Kurt Vonnegut: Spiked Three Musketeers Bars”, and pictures. PICTURES. THE PICTURES, PEOPLE. If you have to remind yourself not to lick your computer screen, then you have way more self control than I. Blogger/reader/cook/genius/my-new-hero Nicole describes Paper and Salt thusly: “Part historical discussion, part food and recipe blog, part literary fangirl-ing, Paper and Salt attempts to recreate and reinterpret the dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries, essays, and fiction.” If you do not love this, we cannot be friends.
Yangsze Choo Her tagline is “Likes to eat and read.” If you haven’t read her debut novel, The Ghost Bride, you should; it’s lovely and articulate, exotic and thought-provoking. It also contains tantalizing descriptions of Chinese Malaysian food, Choo’s native cuisine. She blogs–about her love of food, books, and eating while reading–with the same wit and charm that characterize her novel. You know someone’s a brilliant writer when she can make a Southern girl crave a mysterious substance called “Kewpie mayonnaise.”
Yummy Books Another wonderful food/lit. blog, indexed not only by course but by author and genre. Perfection. From Rudyard Kipling to C. S. Lewis to Toni Morrison to Stephenie Meyer, there are recipes, mouthwateringly huge and lush photos, and my favorite critique of the Twilight novels ever: “these books are achingly romantic, atrociously written, and people…they are weird.” Plus, this woman is seriously intrepid. She may be the only person in the history of anything who has ever overcome a traumatic early childhood experience with Lord of the Flies and gone on to cook a pig’s head. True story. Check it out. They say that it’s all been written about before, but I can honestly say that I have never before read the words “remove the snout.”