Thursday, January 30, 2014

Question of the Week: Which book made you the hungriest?

To me, a great book is not only one that is intellectually stimulating, but also invokes the senses.  And while I enjoy books that make me think of delightful sounds, sensuous touches, or interesting smells, it is those that describe food so well I find myself craving it or actually drooling that are my favorites.

One of my favorites is Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.   Not only does she capture the power and symbolism that food takes on in our lives, but also describes it with a deep pleasure that makes you wish you could make everything she describes:

She felt so lost and lonely. One last chile in walnut sauce left on the platter after a fancy dinner couldn't feel any worse than she did. How many times had she eaten one of those treats, standing by herself in the kitchen, rather than let it be thrown away. When nobody eats the last chile on the plate, it's usually because none of them wants to look like a glutton, so even though they'd really like to devour it, they don't have the nerve to take it. It was as if they were rejecting that stuffed pepper, which contains every imaginable flavor; sweet as candied citron, juicy as pomegranate, with the bit of pepper and the subtlety of walnuts, that marvelous chile in the walnut sauce. Within it lies the secret of love, but it will never be penetrated, and all because it wouldn't feel proper. 

Unfortunately the recipes in the book are more literary than functional, but what a feast of a book!

Which book made you the hungriest while you read it?  What did it make you crave?


David said...

For me, it was the Three Pines mystery series by Louise Penny. The stories are set in a remote Canadian village that has an amazing bistro --- so I was constantly making bacon sandwiches and snacking on brie!

Bookish One said...

I always crave New Orleans-style cream pralines when I'm reading any of Barbara Hambly's Benjamin January series. The desire is so strong that I have actually researched a New Orleans business that ships them. I'll be placing my order soon!

Ruth G. said...

I always get hungry when I read books about people starving. The worst was when I was a teen, reading "Gone With the Wind". Took a lot of ice cream to get through the Civil War!