Food in Literature

food in lit

Helen Garlick loves both food and reading. In this series for Talking of Food, she chooses food-related extracts from some of her favourite authors and books. Helen says:

There are hundreds of good books that will take you through memorable accounts of food in literature. Dickens alone has filled several. Everyone knows his account of Christmas dinner at the Cratchitt's. Everyone also knows Ratty’s description of his picnic basket, Mrs Ramsey’s boeuf en daube and Marcel Proust’s madeleines. The last two would make my list of favourites but I have only selected extracts from books I have read and loved. They are random, not in any order but I hope you enjoy them.

Food in Literature 9

In Part 9 of Food in Literature, Helen Brings us excerpts from The Gate of Angels, by Penelope Fitzgerald, and the short story The Cut Glass Bowl by Scott Fitzgerald in Babylon Revisited.

Food in Literature: Part 10

Part 10 of Helen's excursion through Food in Literature includes extracts from The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann and extracts from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler.

Martin Chuzzlewit

Part 11 of Food in Literature brings together three extracts from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens.

Food in Literature Part 12

In Food in Literature part 12, Helen gives us extracts from Expiation by Elizabeth von Arnim, The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope, As They Were by MFK Fisher, and a further extract from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens. All four extracts concern butlers or waiters.

Food in Literature part 13

Part thirteen starts with Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. The novel won the Booker Prize in 2020. It is a masterpiece and should become a classic, that will be read a hundred years from now.

Food in Literature Part 14 header image

The Sandwich: in this article in the Food in Literature series, Helen Garlick brings us the sandwich, with extracts from The Cold Table by Helen Simpson, The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott, Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll, from With Bold Knife and Fork by MFK Fisher, Unnatural Death by Dorothy Sayers, and The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

The Food of Love

Where else to start but with the incomparable Dame Barbara Cartland’s cookery book, The Romance of Food published in 1984. The authoress (she would have insisted on the feminine noun) of over 350 romantic novels, with titles such as Gypsy Magic, Bride to a Brigand and The Island of Love, was also a proponent of health food, especially honey.