Artist Dinah Fried brings the food of fiction to life in her book Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature's Most Memorable Meals. What an appetizing work! Beautifully staged photographs are accompanied by a piece from “its inspiration, with annotations that give gastronomic and historical contexts”. The author pairs literary moments with creative design and delicious food and shares her unique perspective to serve up some literary greatest meals to the reader.
My personal favourites are the pictures for:
The strawberry picnic in Emma by Jane Austen. "I wanted to do an Austen novel, but she actually doesn't discuss food very often, which is something I didn't really think about before getting started," says Fried. “There's so much more attention paid to the conversation, to the relationships. But I remembered that the strawberry-picking scene in Emma, a picnic scene where the character Mrs. Elton goes on and on about how much she loves strawberries as a method, on Austen's part, to demonstrate the annoyance of a certain personality type. I love the image of these women in their clean dresses and white gloves on a strawberry picnic, a scenario in which they'll probably get them all covered in juice." Saveur magazine
The iconic mad tea party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. "This was one of the first in this series that I did. There's actually very little food in it; it's a nonsensical scene with an elaborate table setup, and the only thing they're serving is tea. I found the props in a variety of places: the little silver pieces were my grandmother's, most of the plates came from Savers in Rhode Island, a big thrift store, and the silverware came from a friend. I was asking around for props, and a friend dismissed my request saying, 'You don't want my stuff, it's all mismatched and crazy.' And I was like, 'No, that's exactly what I want! Wild and off-kilter!”- Fried says. Saveur magazine
I love the concept of the book, the stories, the fun facts, and the excerpts. Fictitious Dishes inspired me to reread some of my favourite books and pick up those I have not read yet.
Dear Readers,what are your favourite literary meals?