But why stop there? While you’re reading, think about what you would be if you were food. Right now, I think I’d like to be a caprese salad…
Lee – Granola. You can’t get more stable than oats, so they’re a perfect choice for a man as grounded in his values as Atticus. He isn’t going to give in easy, just like those crunchy almonds and chewy raisins in your breakfast bowl. But there is a sweetness to him, especially in the way he raises Jem and Scout.
The Monster, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley – Stuffed peppers. The story goes that this guy chops up all these different foods and then sticks them inside another food to create something that looks like a pepper, but… something’s not quite right. Plus, peppers are green.
Eliza Doolittle, Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw – Duck Cassoulet. Eliza begins the story as an ugly duckling of sorts, but over the course of six months, Henry Higgins is able to transform her into an impeccably-pronounced beauty. Cassoulet is also a time-consuming process; more
traditional recipes call for three days of preparation to rub, roll and roast the duck to lip-smacking perfection.
Two common enough edibles,
but when you combine them, they create a unique and bold confection. Jane’s plain, butter-like appearance is misleading; when she writes her own story, plenty of sweet and spice come out.
Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell – Long Island Iced Tea. Being in the South, you may think you’re looking at a tall cool glass of iced tea. Not long after you take a sip, however, you’re immersed in Scarlett’s sometimes sugary, sometimes fiery, and always alluring personality. Even one can be overwhelming.
Authors create characters like a chef creates a dish: to make a believable protagonist, there must be a mix of both strengths and weaknesses. The beauty of a well-crafted dish is how the cooking process, like the various twists and turns of the plot, meld the various flavors together to create one glorious whole. The best characters, like the best foods, are those which stay with you and inspire you to be your boldest self, or at least have something more interesting for lunch.
For even more ideas about how to pair food and literature, check out Maria’s “Tasteful Reading.”