Posts Tagged ‘bad food’


Adriatic Salad and other fictional foods

March 4, 2009

adriaticsalad1When my novel The Children came out I received several very gratifying emails from readers who particularly liked the family barney in the fictional country town of Rundle’s RSL Club restaurant, which featured an escalating  argument between two adult siblings, Mandy and Stephen, sparked by a dish on the menu described thus: ‘Adriatic Salad: Cajun prawns, sweet potato, snow peas and lime mayonnaise.’

For some reason, lots of people liked the sound of this dish. A couple of people even wanted the recipe. That salad actually exists, in a motel restaurant in a country town that will remain nameless, where I did a bit of research for the book – it seemed too good to be true, so I pinched it.  I quite enjoyed writing that scene actually – and now I find myself scanning menus hopefully at all times now for fictional fodder. Tricky though –  it would be so easy to repeat oneself, but there’s such a wealth of material out there I’m not sure I will be able to resist bad menu items for the book I’m writing now (I’ve got three words to say to you, Kimmy: Gourmet Pizza Kitchen).

On the topic of food in fiction, here is a wonderful New Yorker article by Adam Gopnik about cooking real dishes after  their fictional appearances in books, with varying results. He says, for example, of the eponymous dish from Gunter Grass‘s Nobel-provoking novel The Flounder:

Eating Günter Grass’s flounder was actually like reading one of his novels: nutritious, but a little pale and starchy.


Airline ‘food’

March 4, 2009

At the risk of this letter’s over-exposure, I am linking here to that fantastic complaint letter to Richard Branson about Virgin Airlines food which did the rounds on blogs & email lately. It has such a lovely playful tone (if bad spelling makes you retch, stop here).

Airline food is, as we all know, disgusting in almost all its forms. On a recent trip to the UK I found myself, by the end of the  journey, unable to distinguish the smell of the food from the smell of the passengers. All those bodily aromas mingling with the revolting farty smell of the food – errrughh.

Here is quite a nice piece on airline food by Fred Ferretti in an old New York Times article.