DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
May 20 2011

Food in Fantasy Literature

by Jesse M

This evening they had supped on oxtail soup, summer greens tossed with pecans, grapes, red fennel, and crumbled cheese, hot crab pie, spiced squash, and quails drowned in butter. Each dish had come with its own wine. Lord Janos allowed that he had never eaten half so well.
A Clash of Kings

Have you ever read a passage in a fantasy novel describing a hearty meal the characters are about to consume, and found your mouth watering? If so, you’re in good company. Many readers, intrigued (and hungry!) after learning what their favorite characters have been eating, have decided to try their hand at preparing the dishes referenced in books they’ve enjoyed. The passage quoted above, along with the spread of food pictured, is courtesy of a blog called The Inn at the Crossroads, a reference to an inn featured in the fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. There are numerous descriptions of food throughout the books in the series, and the authors of the blog have featured over two dozen dishes thus far, each with mouth-watering illustrations and accompanied by the relevant passage from the book in addition to recipes for the dishes. In many cases, two recipes are presented; one medieval version along with a more modern variation.

The bloggers behind Inn at the Crossroads are the most recent in a long line of chefs who have prepared dishes inspired by their reading material. For instance, recipes for food from the seminal Lord of the Rings trilogy (such as Lembas, the highly nutritious elven bread) are featured on a number of websites, one of the best known of which is Middle-Earth recipes. Fans of the Dragonlance series of books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman might like to try Otik’s spiced potatoes, a recipe for which can be found here. And no list of fantasy literature cuisine would be complete without mentioning the delectable descriptions of foodstuffs from Brian Jacques’ Redwall series. The meals described in the various books of the series were so appealing to fans that in 2005 Jacques published The Redwall Cookbook, which featured recipes for some of the most appetizing dishes.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dea Anne M May 20, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Great post! The Inn at the Crossroads blog is very readable (and funny!) and the pictures are great. I will be visiting it often.

Brittany T February 15, 2012 at 2:49 AM

I have always had that mouth watering experience when reading about food being prepared. Even as I began to read this passage from “The Inn at the Crossroads”. I never to much liked Oxtails but the way the writer describes them being cook definately makes me want to give them a try. Its something about reading the about the preparation of food that gets those mouth juices flowing. Espeacially when one is hungry, just visualizing something being sauteed in butter is very arousing.

khb September 26, 2013 at 4:57 PM

LOve it

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