The Memory of Food in Great Literature
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Memory is a strange thing. It collects and files away what it wants to. Faces and sometimes names. Or names and perhaps no face. Some people can recollect a long-ago day trip, a spot of bad weather, that first or second kiss, or something said, innocuous or otherwise. For others, it’s a meal. Or a book. And sometimes, for many of us, it’s both.
It’s hard to imagine Alice in Wonderland without remembering the magic of the Eat Me cakes, or the Queen of Hearts and her missing jam tarts or the Mad Hatter and his rampageous tea party.
We all remember any number of Roald Dahl’s delicious delectables: Farmer Bunce’s mashed goose-livers in donuts, Charlie and his daily cabbage, and of course the BFG’s snozzcumbers.
There’s even memorable cod and clam chowder in Moby Dick, pages of it in fact—and that delicious line, ‘“we dispatched it with great expedition.”
Yes, the books below were chosen for particularly memorable food, but also for the fact that the food was central to a scene or a mood.
If there are any other literary edibles that you remember well, please share them in the comments. I’d love to know.