Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tasty Literary Treats

The Seattle Weekly's Voracious blog had a post on the five top foods in children's lit. Now this is my kind of debate. I was very pleased to see their inclusion of turkish delight from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Though I'm not a fan of the sticky candy in real life, in the book, Lewis makes turkish delight sound like the most tempting of treats (and to poor WWII-rationed Edmund, it probably was).

Talking about food in books isn't unique to our televised cooking competitions/food-blog obsessed age. In Little Women, Jo and Meg March talked about how it's impossible to read Charles Dickens without having a snack in hand. I found the same thing to be true with The Boxcar Children, which had a way of making even simple bread and milk sound like ambrosia. Reading Harriet the Spy made me long to try a chocolate egg cream (though I had no clue what one actually was). The occasional treats in the Little House girls' stockings made what had to have been a very ancient orange sound amazing.

And finally, there's Harry Potter. The Weekly's list called out butterbeer, but that delightful sounding tipple is just the tip of the food iceberg in Potterworld. I'd estimate fully a quarter of the books are devoted to descriptions of banquets, candy, and/or birthday cake. Is it any wonder that they're some of my favorite rereads? One of the most painful secondhand experiences I've ever had is going with a friend who hadn't eaten to a Harry Potter movie. By the time we hit the second banquet scene, he was whimpering in his chair. I don't want to know the kind of crimes he would have committed for a chocolate frog.

So tell me dear readers, what children's literary taste sensations am I missing?

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