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Literary Meals That Will Make You Hungry

Over the past ten years, I’ve become one of those awfully annoying people you might know as “foodies.” I really hate that word, foodie, but if someone were to label me, I’d probably fit somewhere in that designation.

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw a recently released coffee table book called Fictitious Dishes, written by Dinah Fried (such a great last name for a food writer). Food and literature? I’m in. All that’s missing is college football.

In Fictitious Dishes, Fried pulled quotes about meals from famous novels, cooked the food, then took beautiful photos of the result. It’s really a cool concept that is impressively executed.

Here are 6 samples from Dinah Fried’s website (used with permission) with the relevant sentence from each novel. And, okay, maybe the title of this post was misleading–let’s hope the meal from The Metamorphosis doesn’t make you hungry. 

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
“‘Gracious alive, Cal, what’s all this?’ He was staring at his breakfast plate. Calpurnia said, ‘Tom Robinson’s daddy sent you along this chicken this morning. I fixed it.’ ‘You tell him I’m proud to get it—bet they don’t have chicken for breakfast at the White House.’”

 

Fictitious_Dishes_tokillamockingbird_WEB_17

 

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE
“When I’m out somewhere, I generally just eat a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk.
It isn’t much, but you get quite a lot of vitamins in the malted milk. H. V. Caulfield. Holden Vitamin Caulfield.”

 

Fictitious_Dishes_thecatcherintherye_WEB

 

THE GREAT GATSBY
“On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.”

 

Fictitious_Dishes_thegreatgatsby_WEB

 

THE METAMORPHOSIS
“There were old, half-rotten vegetables; bones from the evening meal, covered in white sauce that had gone hard; a few raisins and almonds; some cheese that Gregor had declared inedible two days before; a dry roll and some bread spread with butter and salt….”

 

Fictitious_Dishes_themetamorphosis_WEB

 

MOBY-DICK
“Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favorite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition…”

 

Fictitious_Dishes_mobydick_WEB

 

A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
“Stopping before the narrow garage, he sniffed the fumes from Paradise with great sensory pleasure, the protruding hairs in his nostrils analyzing, cataloging, categorizing, and classifying the distinct odors of the hot dog, mustard, and lubricant.”

Fictitious_Dishes_aconfederacyofdunces_WEB

 

What beautiful photos, and such a cool project.

I hate hot dogs, but I really want that hot dog form Confederacy of Dunces now. I want to read, and I want to eat.

Read more about the book on Dinah’s site.

All photos used by permission of Dinah Fried.

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25 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve always wondered what food from books I read would taste like. It never occurred to try, though! Good one!

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  2. I want that hot dog too! What a great project!

    Like

    May 7, 2014
    • That hot dog is killing me. And I hate hot dogs!

      Like

      May 7, 2014
      • Susan #

        What I want to know is, where did she find a pull-top can WITH AN ACTUAL PULL-TOP?? I haven’t seen one of those in decades.

        Like

        May 7, 2014
  3. PaperbackDiva #

    Reading and Food: my two favorite things to do. What a wonderful idea for a book. Thank you for sharing it with us, Robert.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 7, 2014
    • You bet. It’s all Dinah though. Great idea.

      Like

      May 7, 2014
  4. wow i like this food unless it is beef,pork!!!

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  5. I’m so glad you shared this – it sounds like such a cool project! And though I too think the word “foodie” is annoying, I definitely am one, so this is right up my alley!

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  6. How fun! This is a brilliant idea!

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  7. Lucille #

    I participate in a small book discussion group and for years we have prepared dinners at our gatherings based on foods either directly mentioned in the books or suggested by the atmosphere of the story. With Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance we dined on Indian food. Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky called up borscht, cucimber salad and a shot or two of vodka. Some books, like Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones create challenges, but that one demanded at least a taste of canned peas..With some books, it becomes “all about the food.”

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  8. Terrific idea for a book. I tend to be a cookbook junkie, finding it almost impossible to pass them up. I recently discovered Heston Blumenthal’s videos on YouTube. He was just the recipient of the James Beard award for his cookbook that I can’t afford. It costs $200 with a discount at Amazon. But if the photos are anything like his videos then it is worth the money.

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  9. This is so cool! Yum, to The Great Gatsby one.

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  10. I love this! I’d go for the bowl of chowder from Moby Dick. Yum.

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  11. a) Great Idea for a book and BEAUTIFUL!
    b) I’m really glad that I started cooking before I read this!
    c) Have you tried the all Angus Ball Park hot dogs?? Cook them on the grill or in a pan (don’t boil) and they are juicy and have just a little hint of the smoke…the only hot dogs I like!

    Thanks for sharing this!!

    http://www.alaynabellesmom.wordpress.com

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  12. Yum! Hot dog looks fab! Great post :))

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  13. Very interesting, thank you! I hate the word ‘foodie’ too.

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  14. I put this book on hold at the library and can’t wait to read it!

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  15. The timing of this is so ironic. For the past two days, I’ve been composing in my head a post about how much to include food in my writing. I love this!

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  16. The one for Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” is actually hilarious. I have never seen existential food before

    Like

    May 7, 2014
  17. Maybe after you finish reading the 101 books you could go and make a meal from each one of them. Then post a review of the meal. Oh, and the Great Gatsby and the Confederacy of Dunces are making my stomach growl. Next thing you know, we’ll be reading about a character who says to her food, “I could just eat you up.”

    Like

    May 8, 2014
  18. Reblogged this on The Black Cat Bookclub.

    Like

    May 8, 2014
  19. Reblogged this on burningatheart.

    Like

    May 8, 2014
  20. Missing A Song of Ice and Fire… You could probably shave a hundred pages off those books if you cut out the food descriptions, they never fail to make me hungry!

    Like

    May 9, 2014
  21. That’s an awesome project, and now the Gatsby description has made me hungry. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

    May 17, 2014

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