Food from Fantasy

If you’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, then you’ve seen many descriptions of food.  He always seems to describe every meal they eat.  But is it really important to know what the characters are eating?

Food is a major part of culture.  There are foods that people traditionally eat, as well as avoid.  Feasts are also a big part of culture.  They’re times when people gather, eat, drink, and talk.  Many things can happen during a feast: strengthening alliances, arguments, and forging new links.  They can be very important.

But what is this food really like?  Have you ever wanted to try cooking food you’ve seen in fantasy (and even science fiction)?  What we need are recipes.

If you have tried cooking something from fantasy or you know of any sources of recipes, share it in the comments below.

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26 thoughts on “Food from Fantasy”

  1. Hello, I remember a book (and a movie) long time ago called something like Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water to chocolate) with some cooking recipes as part of the plot. With my sister we tried to actually try to bake them (awful results but a lot of fun). Food is an essential part of life, and it is important to know what your characters love to eat -it tells you a lot about them, often in a subtle and compelling way.

    1. I agree. Food can show a part of their personality, what they like, don’t like, how they behave while eating, and more. Knowing what food can drive them crazy may be important for others to know.

  2. George R. R. Martin, sounds like he’s Southern! We love food. I can’t think of any SF or F book where I wanted to try the food. Star Trek food is just freaky and the bread given to Frodo by the Elves sounds bland.

  3. The Dragonlover’s Guide to Pern contains a few recipes. I remember liking the pies.

    Steven Brust manages to describe what his characters in the Vlad Taltos novels are eating (NOT every meal, but the protagonist enjoys cooking) without bogging down the pace of the story. Even gives enough detail that a reader with some experience in cooking could probably make a decent attempt at copying it without actually having an exact recipe. (Being familiar with traditional Hungarian foods would be a big help there.)

  4. There’s actually a Game of Thrones companion cookbook, called A Feast of Ice and Fire. Personally I’m just a newbie cook, so I don’t put much of it into my stories, but there are places where it’s relevant so I try!

    1. That’s something I should check out. I’m not a novice cook, so I could probably cook anything. Just not completely enthusiastic about cooking all the time.

  5. The Clan of the Cave Bear (and associated books) was FULL of recipes. They all sounded amazing. I always wanted to try the one where she stuffs the bird with its own eggs and roasted it in the ground. But I haven’t yet 😦

  6. I was actually just thinking the other day that I frequently use food analogies when I write book reviews. So weird that you posted this so soon after.

    There is simply something about the two that join together in my mind. After all, is there a little bit of this, and a little bit of that when we write? Or you can write from a recipe, but it’ll taste like someone else’s work.

    I think I need to reblog your piece and then do a bit on “writing recipes” on my own. 🙂

  7. Reblogged this on B-Side Book Reviews and commented:
    I have been thinking about the connection between food and writing lately, and right afterwards JayDee posted this. Great minds and all that! SO have a read and I will be posting a piece on “writing recipes” in teh next couple of day!

  8. I didn’t know until a couple of years ago that Turkish Delight is an ACTUAL food and not a delectable confectionary from the fantasy world of Narnia… does that count? Because it didn’t disappoint, haha.

      1. I never watched the movie, so I wouldn’t know. But that was the treat the Ice Queen used to “seduce” Edward into joining her side.

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