Rosanne Dingli

Rosanne Dingli

Monday, March 21, 2011

Food and fiction

A cook sautees onions and peppers.Image via Wikipedia
Reality TV has given us an escape route from drudgery: cooking programs that seem to restore our faith in our ability to conjure up amazing meals. It is really all "if only" TV. It's wishful thinking TV, in the same way that lifestyle and home decor programs and magazines are wishful thinking productions.

Fiction has some of the same elements that make us, as readers, conjure up in our minds situations that seem a bit more palatable or enjoyable than ours. We read romance, adventure, drama, and nostalgia and sigh ... "If only!" It's like looking at a fabulous dessert on the cover of a cooking magazine, wondering whether you could ever summon the patience, ingredients and persistence necessary to create it yourself.

What then, if fiction and food were combined for such an experience? Perhaps it would have the same effect. Stories that have food in them have been known to send readers to the kitchen - or to a restaurant! There is that same element of satisfaction, though, that one gets from a good story that one can derive from a really good dish. Both together the sensations are twice as powerful.

Try it: either read a story that has food as one of its elements or topics, or get yourself to the kitchen, wield a wooden spoon, and create a delicious dish. Or you can write a story that contains food. There are various ways food can be used as a prop in fiction.

I have just resurrected seven food stories and packaged them as The Astronomer's Pig, a neat little volume that won't cost the earth. It will soon come up on Amazon. Don't forget to have a look.

And don't forget to tell me how you relate food with fiction in your mind, and whether you like the combination.

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