A call for Suggestions!

Sometimes, we read through a book, or play a video game, and the description of a particular food makes us want to pull up a chair and join the feast. I’m talking about Butterbeer, Lembas, Bowls of Brown, Turkish Delight, and Otter Hotroot Soup. 

See? For most of those, I probably didn’t even need to tell you what book the dishes were from, because they’re that iconic. 

But there are many, many more works of fiction that include wonderful descriptions of food. I’m enlisting your help to track down the best, most tasty sounding dishes from all of fiction, from Dune to The Iliad. And why stop there? Let’s include poetry, movies, video games, and any other foodstuffs that really stuck out. 

So how about it? Do you have a favorite fictional food? 


31 thoughts on “A call for Suggestions!

  1. Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House books) always did make me fantasize about eating. I really enjoyed Chocolat as well (movie and book), and the film Babette’s Feast was mouthwatering.

  2. I dare you to make the Portal cake according to the recipe. 😉

    Anything from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory would be wonderful. The film would always make me ravenous.

    • I always LOVED the scene where Wonka sipped tea out of the buttercup, then ate the cup. It’s seriously stuck with me. Perhaps it could be done with molded sugar?

      • Definitely! I always just assumed it was wafer (because of the crunch) but sugar would hold both hot and cold fluids nicely.
        Now I’m racking my brain trying to work out how the three course dinner gum could work. It would be easy enough as a hard candy though.

  3. I always imagined that lembas would be just like Lorna Doones or Girl Scout shortbreads! I think Turkish Delight is a real thing. It’s some kind of candy made with rosewater, I think?

    I haven’t read them in forever, but Steven Brust has a lot of food related stuff in his Taltos books. The one I remember specifically is Klava, the coffee based drink that is supposed to be ”much smoother and less bitter than coffee”.


    He has a potatoes paprikash recipe on his blog that we love to make at our house. It’s really good if you like Hungarian!

    • Oh, well done!

      I’m working on developing both a lembas recipe, AND hoping to make Klava this week, as per another reader’s suggestion. It’s good to know about his paprikash recipe as well, though.

      And I even lived in Turkey for a year! Win. 🙂

      • Aw. Back atcha. I’ll look forward to seeing how the Klava turns out. Vlad makes it seems like…quite a process! 🙂

      • It’s a welcome relief, though, when the process is so fully described in a novel. Makes my end of the work much more straightforward!

      • Oh, I bet! Just a description of a “tangy” or “spicy” flavor must be tough to work with. Have fun!

  4. I noticed you have a couple of Neil Gaiman recipes in your archives, which was very exciting for me – I’m a huge fan of his. Neil doesn’t have as detailed descriptions of food as other authors in your archive, but I can think of a handful of things that might come out tasty:

    -Candy Blackbeetles, the Other Mother’s Hot Chocolate (Coraline)
    -Laura’s Chili (the best chili in the state), Lakeside Pasties (American Gods)
    -Roasted Sunbird (“Sunbird,” from the collection Fragile Things)

    • Erin, these are GREAT suggestions! I’ve read through the books and stories, but not with an eye towards food. The chili and hot chocolate, in particular, will have to go near the top of the list, although the latter might have to wait for cooler weather. 🙂

  5. I you like Marmalade – you will love Esther’s Orange Marmalade Cake as written about in the Jan Karon novels about life in the town of Mitford.

    But my all time nostalgic favourite is the Gingerbread Castle recipe in Tasha Tudor’s book. I made it when I was 10 years old and my mother managed to store it and keep it around for several years after that. Eventually it returned to dust.

  6. i know you mostly do sci-fi/fantasy, but what about the aubrey-maturin series? there’s enough food there for it to have its own dedicated cookbook (“lobscouse and spotted dog”) but mostly i want to see you attempt a sea pie. >D

  7. In Panther in the Basement, Proffi and his babysitter make a really lovely chicken dish.

    Also, anything from Like Water for Chocolate.

    • Great suggestions! I just looked up the chicken dish, and my mouth is watering; definitely going on the list!

      And so far, the only thing keeping me from making the quail dish from LWfC is the random cactus ingredient. I need to delve into a few more international markets, methinks. 🙂

  8. How about things from the Anne of Green Gables books? L. M. Montgomery didn’t really give detailed descriptions of food, but I remember them all being really homey and evocative of country life — plum puffs! Raspberry cordial!

    • Love it! I read them when I was much younger, but mostly remember they made me want auburn hair. I’ll have to take a look through again for the food!

  9. How about Shakespeare?
    Like the warden pies from The Winter’s Tale: “I must have saffron to colour the warden pies”?
    Or maybe “They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.”, Romeo and Juliet

  10. I just discovered this blog-it’s wonderful! Food and books, my favorite things! I’m going to have to go through all my old favorites to look for potential recipes.
    I’m glad you mentioned the Redwall books, I’ve always wanted to have a Redwall feast.
    Also, have you read Greenwillow (B.J. Chute)? The main character loves to cook and it mentions all kinds of goodies – bilberry tarts, gingerbread, eve’s cake.

  11. Anything from the Redwall series by Brian Jaques. Particularly all the cheeses, scones, breads, and the “Deeper’n’Ever Turnip’n’Tater’n’Beetroot Pie”. I remember wishing I was a Redwall Abbey mouse just to eat the food!

    • Me too! Redwall was absolutely my first fictional food love, and even as a picky eater, I was desperate to partake of one of those feasts. Friends and I conspired to make a GingerbRedwall Abbey, and a feast to follow. It was awesome, and the beginning of many things. 🙂

    • I am currently reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and therefore would like to suggest two drinks that are very prominent in the book:
      Islington’s Wine – the “most potent” white wine from Atlantis
      Quote: “I like to imagine that one is actually tasting the sunlight of bygone days”
      Serpentine’s Restorative – the cure for every hangover
      Quote: “Richard knocked back the green liquid, which tasted of thyme and peppermint and winter’s mornings.”

  12. and there is Rex Stout’s great detective Nero Wolfe in like 75 books there are MANY (100’s) great dish’s like ,eggs au beurre noir, apricot omelet,poached eggs burgundian,
    and the O.o OMG the marrow dumplings, saucisse minuit.,fricandeau!

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