Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals is a book by Dinah Fried of meals from celebrated literature—ranging from The Secret Garden to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. She exquisitely transforms the meals described in prominent written works into visual form. We see table settings perfectly arranged to create the atmosphere portrayed by the author. I absolutely loved her work and I couldn’t not share (pardon the double negative.)
Check out some of these brilliantly set up fictitious dishes from famous literature:
ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
“‘Have some wine,’ the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea.”
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE
“When I’m out somewhere, I generally just eat a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk.
It isn’t much, but you get quite a lot of vitamins in the malted milk. H. V. Caulfield. Holden Vitamin Caulfield.”
THE BELL JAR
“Then I tackled the avocado and crabmeat salad…Every Sunday my grandfather used to bring me an avocado pear hidden at the bottom of his briefcase under six soiled shirts and the Sunday comic.”
THE GREAT GATSBY
“On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.”
MOBY-DICK; OR THE WHALE
“Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favorite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition…”
“There were old, half-rotten vegetables; bones from the evening meal, covered in white sauce that had gone hard; a few raisins and almonds; some cheese that Gregor had declared inedible two days before; a dry roll and some bread spread with butter and salt….”
“The kettle soon began to boil, and meanwhile the old man held a large piece of cheese on a long iron fork over the fire, turning it round and round till it was toasted a nice golden yellow color on each side. Heidi watched all that was going on with eager curiosity.”
ON THE ROAD
“But I had to get going and stop moaning, so I picked up my bag, said so long to the old hotelkeeper sitting by his spittoon, and went to eat. I ate apple pie and ice cream — it was getting better as I got deeper into Iowa, the pie bigger, the ice cream richer.”
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS
“‘You goddamn honkies are all the same.’ By this time he’d opened a new bottle of tequila and was quaffing it down….He sliced the grapefruit into quarters…then into eighths…then sixteenths…then he began slashing aimlessly at the residue.”
“One day in winter, as I came home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, suggested that, contrary to my habit, I have a little tea. I refused at first and then, I do not know why, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump cakes called petites madeleines…”
This unique book covers fifty photographs paired with the text from the book that inspired its creation. I am certainly curious to see inside the rest of the photos like the seductive cupcakes from “The Corrections”. It also includes interesting food facts and entertaining anecdotes about the authors, their work, and their culinary predilections which complete this charming book.
The book is sure to wet the appetites of lovers of great literature and food. You can order it on Amazon.
I’ll have the avocado and crabmeat salad for starters, then the creamy chowder accompanied by some melted cheese toast, and finish off with some tea and madeleines for a perfect literary meal.
What about you? How many of these books have you read and which of these fictitious dishes would you like?