Food passages in books have always been some of my favourites in terms of creating flavoursome texture and setting a scene. There’s something so delicious about reading what your favourite characters are eating and drinking, and food descriptions really bring a setting alive. That chowder scene in Moby Dick has remained in my mind as being one of the cosiest and scrumptiously rustic meals, and all of my winter soups aspire to Melville’s hearty description.
Stumbling across Dinah Fried’s Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals was therefore very magical for me, and Dinah’s photographic recreations of some of literature’s most beloved banquets are delightful. She’s captured the atmosphere of the novels and the writer’s words perfectly, focusing carefully on every single detail, from the shape of the crockery to the pattern on the table cloth.
When looking at the plates in Dinah’s compositions, you’re suddenly transported to the cafe where Holden Caufield has his swiss cheese sandwich and malted milk, or you’re at a club poking your dainty salad-fork at Esther Greenwood’s avocado and crabmeat salad. Also in the mix is Alice’s tea party, salted potatoes from The Secret Garden, and Gatsby’s impressive selection of glistening hors d’oeuvres. It’s mouth-watering stuff.