Redwall by Brian Jacques
This is not a book to read on an empty stomach. Dandelion salad, Otter’s Hotroot Soup, Meadowcream…I have no doubt that all of these are heart-stoppingly delicious, even though I’ve never tried any of them. Want to make them at home? There’s a cookbook! Or try one of these online recipe collections.
“Basil Stag Hare tut-tutted severely as he remarked, ‘Tch, tch. Dreadful table manners. Just look at those three wallahs, kicking up a hullaballoo like that! Eating’s a serious business.’
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
This one starts out with some not-so-appetizing food descriptions, including the one where James licks the remains of fish and chips from old newspaper. But that scene when it occurs to James that they can eat the peach is so memorable. There’s nothing better than a perfectly ripe summer peach.
“The walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling. James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious.”
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Chocolat is magical realism that tastes good. It’s the story of Vianne Rocher, who moves to a small French village and opens a chocolate shop during lent – it’s about temptation and magic and melted chocolate in a cup. Yummmmmm.
“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
These books gave me such a chocolate craving. Or, rather, a chocolatl craving – that Philip Pullman and his world building! I’m pretty obsessed with chocolatl; I’d like to try it in bar form, or melted down into a warm drink the way Lyra prefers it. But I’m not nearly as obsessed as this dude, who recreated chocolatl with a realistic wrapper and all. The sad thing is that this object of deliciousness was used to lure children into peril by the lady with the golden monkey.
“‘Do you like chocolatl?’
‘As it happens, I’ve got more chocolatl than I can drink myself. Will you come and help me drink it?'”
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
When I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe I thought Turkish Delight sounded like the most heavenly candy I’d ever heard of. I don’t know what I even expected it to taste like – sort of like those cookies with the slightly gooey center, I guess. But when I actually tried Turkish D, I was soooo disappointed. It was terrible; definitely not worth selling out my siblings for. Although I’ve been told to try it again and that it’s great if made correctly. So I might fulfill that childhood dream, after all.
“You mustn’t think that even now Edmund was quite so bad that he actually wanted his brother and sisters to be turned into stone. He did want Turkish Delight and to be a Prince (and later a King) and to pay Peter out for calling him a beast.”
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The candy alone! Dylan’s Candy Bar actually recreates a number of the Harry Potter goodies, but I have a feeling they’re not quite as magical as the real deal. You can buy the unofficial cookbook, but HP is another series that inspires at-home chefs to recreate their favorite treats and put the recipes online for all.
“There were shelves upon shelves of the most succulent-looking sweets imaginable. Creamy chunks of nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat, honey-colored toffees; hundreds of different kinds of chocolate in neat rows; there was a large barrel of Every Flavor Beans, and another of Fizzing Whizbees, the levitating sherbert balls that Ron had mentioned.”
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
This is a kids’ book about food literally falling from the sky, like weather, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One scene depicts a giant Jell-O sunset I just want to shove my face into. What?
“Dinner one night consisted of lamb chops, becoming heavy at times, with occasional ketchup. Periods of peas and baked potatoes were followed by a gradual clearing, with a lovely Jell-O setting in the west.”
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café by Fannie Flagg
I honestly can’t picture what Fried Green Tomatoes might taste like, but I have a feeling they’re hot and juicy and when you bite into their crispy shell they squirt deliciously into your mouth. Mmmmmm.
“I may be sitting here at the Rose Terrace Nursing Home, but in my mind I’m over at the Whistle Stop Cafe having a plate of fried green tomatoes.”