“Any healthy man can go without food for two days – but not without poetry.” – Charles Baudelaire
“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw
When Shakespeare said music was the food of love, I think he was only half right. Sure, couples get choked up when a band starts playing their song, and after a breakup every sad song on the radio seems made just for you. But personally, I’m more likely to get misty-eyed when someone invites me over to make risotto, or when sharing a lobster roll at the end of a pier. And when agonizing over why it didn’t work out, you know we all eat ice cream. Why indulge in metaphor? Food is the food of love.
With apologies to Baudelaire, after two days of hunger I would turn in all my collected poems for a good meal. And I can think of a lot of authors who would probably do the same. This blog was inspired by them.
A love of good books often comes with a love of good food. It’s in the many mouth-watering descriptions we encounter in novels, the wealth of new food memoirs, and the explosion of incredible food writing and blogging online. But it isn’t just today’s writers that have a personal obsession with food. We hear about it in Ted Hughes’ letters, see it in Emily Dickinson’s recipes, and imagine it in Hemingway’s cafés. And when I hear about the food that inspired them, I want to eat it too.
This blog will attempt to recreate the dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries, essays, and fiction. In doing so, it will be part historical discussion, part food and recipe blog, part literary fangirling. Above all, I hope it will be delicious.