Perhaps my title is somewhat convoluted, but you know what; I think that sometimes that is exactly what is needed. I am also well aware that despite only posting once a month for a while you are now reading my second post in a week; what can I say, I’m on holiday and I’m feeling inspired. I do, however, intend to do a literature and food post as often as I find foods in literature to try. And I am always willing to read books that have been recommended to me as the sort that will take one on a journey of the stomach – what can I say; I like to eat.
I have a list of foods that I want to at least try, and all of them are courtesy of some literary volume or other. Some of them aren’t even that peculiar (actually most of them), and some of them I may not be able to lay hands on key ingredients. I will share with you from which book these foods have jumped out at me, you may want to try the book (if not the food) for yourself, and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
From Harry Potter (the whole series) we have the humble pumpkin pasty; I haven’t worked out if these are supposed to be sweet or not, and likely I will try it both ways.
From The Help we have fried chicken; now I know that even here in New Zealand we have KFC, but there is just something so comforting about the thought of making it myself – probably how it got to be so popular in the first place.
From The Mists of Avalon we have venison stew, as a kiwi we don’t usually stew our venison – it usually gets slapped on the BBQ – it must be because it’s winter (here) and I’m seeing comfort food everywhere.
Rabbit stew is with many thanks to The Lord of the Rings and I have to say this is one where it’s really a lack of rabbit meat availability as to why I’ve never had it before. It is certainly not for a lack of rabbits, you see them covering the park in Alexandra at the Great Easter Bunny Hunt; but after lying out in the open like that for three days or so, you’d be hard pressed to find people who want to eat them. So I shall have to find myself a hunter before I can have rabbit.
My son has had me reading him Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, and it’s all about pheasants. Now I’m not sure that we have pheasants in NZ at all, so I may have to admit defeat on that one; put it to the back of my mind and start saving for a trip to England where (so I’ve heard) one can still eat pheasant.
There is a fantastic Kiwi book called Fire By Deborah Chalinor, and it is inspired by the 1950s (from memory) Ballentynes department store fire. But for the sake of the High Tea that I am interested in (Tea, and Scones dabbed with Chantilly Cream and jam – but most importantly with friends) the department store has a cafe which specialised in High Tea for the Ladies who had come in for a day of shopping.
Finally we come to a number of things that I have yet to research (so I can’t even give proper regions/countries) we have the third book in Kushiel’s Legacy series: Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey. A read that is not for the faint of heart, but utterly compelling, it is essential to read the first two books before attempting this one. From this book we have Falafel spread with fig jam as a breakfast dish; and a spicy African stew eaten with a spongy flat bread.
I will be sure to update you with the results of my endeavours.