This is a book about food, and the food that’s in books. Tucked away in many great literary works are some essential truths on the subject of consumption: that someone is always disappointed when a tart is halved; that roasted udder is best kept a once-in-a-lifetime experience; that oranges should always be eaten in private; that toast is criminally under-appreciated, though even James Bond can’t get enough of it. Other less well-known truths include the fact that kippers can be cooked on an iron; gravy expectation is high among commercial gentlemen; and every child at some time sees their name written in treacle.
These extracts — some hilarious, some tragic, some downright bizarre — demonstrate that food is one of the great overlooked themes of literature, and pursuing this theme is a good excuse to re-read some classics. Each of the quotations is fully referenced, so the reader can source favored tidbits and seek out further treats.
An American native
A father’s legacy
The vegetarian-cooking pioneer
Cracking a Filipino favorite