A Literary Meal

I’ve been noticing a trend in many of the readings for my children’s lit class… there’s A LOT of food. And some of the descriptions are so vivid and detailed that you can almost picture yourself enjoying the cuisine. Ranging from the delightfully decadent (like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Chocolate River Drink) to the insanely unappealing (How to Eat Fried Worms, anyone?), these foods can play a major role in books. Certainly, a number of them have piqued my interest. Here’s a list of the five literary foods that I’d most like to try:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “Drink Me” Potion & “Eat Me” Cake
I absolutely love the way that Alice gets to eat and drink her way through Wonderland. There’s marmalade, there’s chocolates, and even a mad tea party. But the goodies that interested me the most were the “drink me” potion and “eat me” cake. They’re obviously magical (they make her shrink and grow several sizes!) but we don’t get much more of a description than that. That being said, thanks to the internet, there are now plenty of creative suggestions for how one might make this treat.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Turkish Delight
In this series, Edmund basically sold his soul to the White Witch for Turkish Delight. So I imagine this confection must be pretty delicious. It’s supposedly made of gelatin with nuts, and is flavored with rosewater, but it looks to me like cubes of jelly covered in confectioners sugar. Not the most attractive food, but I’m definitely curious about the taste of this dessert, considering the price that Edmund was willing to pay for it.

Harry Potter: Butterbeer
This beverage was described in one of the novels as “the most delicious thing Harry ever tasted, and it seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.” That sounds pretty appealing to me. This popular wizarding brew has been described as tasting a bit like shortbread and butterscotch. While this is available at the Harry Potter amusement park (a place I’ve sadly yet to visit), you can also make it at home. Perfect for even us muggles.

The Hunger Games: Frothy Raspberry Soup
While reading this series, I noticed there was a lot of time spent on some of the descriptions of the Capitol’s food. There are now even entire cookbooks dedicated to Hunger Games foods. Tributes were offered creamy pumpkin brew, hot chocolate, and more. Despite their unfortunate circumstances, at least there seemed to be a non-stop buffet. Katniss’ favorite dish was the lamb stew with dried plums, but I found this raspberry soup to be more tempting.

Hansel and Gretel: Gingerbread House
Alone and hungry in the forest, Hansel and Gretel stumble upon a lone cottage constructed out of gingerbread and cakes, with window panes made of clear sugar. Maybe they shouldn’t have tried to eat the cottage (an old woman does lure them inside in an attempt to eat them), but I imagine a house-sized dessert would be hard for anyone to resist.

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