Words are tricky. Some are dry and flat, with a factory-run regularity: the gustatory equivalent of Morton’s table salt (with Iodine–blech!).
Other words are sumptuous. They make you want to lick the bowl, suck the marrow, curl your tongue around each tasty crevice. As copywriters with a healthy appetite for good eats, we relish food, and sit boarding school-straight when it occurs in literature. From a simple grilled cheese sandwich (a la Catcher in the Rye) to a banquet of the highest order (a Hogwarts Christmas feast), here are our favorite food passages:
The hearty: “But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh! Sweet friends, hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuits and salted pork cut up into little flakes! The whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt…we dispatched it with great expedition.” – Moby Dick, Herman Melville.
By the way, we love a monumental chowder. We’d add the crunch of sweet corn, harvested fresh from its cob.
The spare: “Nick put the frying pan and a can of spaghetti on the grill over the flames. He was hungrier. The beans and spaghetti warmed. Nick stirred them and mixed them together. They began to bubble, making little bubbles that rose with difficulty to the surface—there was a good smell. Nick got out a bottle of tomato catchup and cut four slices of bread. The little bubbles were coming faster now.” – Big Two-Hearted River, Ernest Hemingway.
Would you have mistaken his “this is that,” machismo-staccato style?
The sweet: “The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very center and Edmond had never tasted anything more delicious.” – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis.
We love us a good Turkish Delight, with its fresh, satisfying, rosy-zingy chew. We hope Edmond got more!
The decadent: “On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from the other.”–The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
This is so good, it could be copy.
Hungry for more? Check out designer Dinah Fried’s beautiful compositions of some of literature’s greatest meals in her photo project, Fictitious Dishes. And stay tuned for more treats from #CopywritersLoveFood!