10 Classic Writers Who Talk About Food

Published by Monday, October 27, 2014 Permalink 3

by Jonell Galloway

Food writing is not confined to food writers. After all, food concerns us all and we all have something to say about it. Some use it as metaphor, others as porn. Here are a few examples from classic literature.

Food as the Essence of Being Human: M.F.K. Fisher

Fisher went straight to the point. Food was intertwined in almost all she wrote and used as a metaphor for the need for love in life. It was inescapable connected with its opposite, hunger.

“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.”

M.F.K. FisherThe Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition

Food, Heaven and Hell: Barbara Kingsolver

“Tortolita, let me tell you a story,” Estevan said. “This is a South American, wild Indian story about heaven and hell.” Mrs. Parsons made a prudish face, and Estevan went on. “If you go visit hell, you will see a room like this kitchen. There is a pot of delicious stew on the table, with the most delicate aroma you can imagine. All around, people sit, like us. Only they are dying of starvation. They are jibbering and jabbering,” he looked extra hard at Mrs. Parsons, “but they cannot get a bit of this wonderful stew God has made for them. Now, why is that?”

“Because they’re choking? For all eternity?” Lou Ann asked. Hell, for Lou Ann, would naturally be a place filled with sharp objects and small round foods.

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