Saturday, October 17, 2015

Food in fiction – a recipe for Anne Tyler’s chicken gizzard soup

What if you actually tried to make the dishes described in novels – from the fish stew in Ian McEwan’s Saturday to Bridget Jones’s blue soup? Here’s one recipe 

Experience Henry Perowne through his fish stew in Ian McEwan’s Saturday. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian
Food in fiction isn’t designed to give you meal plans. Rare is the novel with exact measurements. It’s all about appetite and good taste and personal preference. As long as the writer has done the job well, the reader will experience the character through the meal (think Henry Perowne’s fish stew in Ian McEwan’s Saturday, or Bridget Jones’s blue soup). If it’s done really well the poor reader can also be left hungry: they want to taste the risotto our hero made to distract the thug holding him hostage; they want to try those delicate pastries our girl just comforted herself with in a Viennese cafe as a love affair turned to ashes.

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