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Fictitious Dishes theg opt

These book-inspired food blogs are totally lit

Few literary scenes are as memorable as those that conjure a good meal. Remember the mayonnaise-and-tomato sandwiches from Harriet the Spy? Or the key lime pie that lands in the face of a cheating husband in Heartburn? Luckily for ravenous readers, a growing community of “literary food bloggers” is providing a delightful Venn diagram of book club–worthy reads and Instagram-ready eats.

static1.squarespaceMadeleines from Swann's Way via thelittlelibrarycafe.com

Kate Young of The Little Library Café and Bryton Taylor of Food in Literature, take the dishes mentioned in our favorite books—the chocolate cake from Matilda, the crab-stuffed avocados from The Bell Jar—and turn them into easy-to-replicate recipes. Hanna Masaryk of The Piebrary uses narrative cues to create her own dishes: Pride and Prejudice inspired a lavender and Earl Grey-infused chocolate ganache dessert; a savory root vegetable creation was born from The Hobbit. “Reading is so deeply personal,” she says. “Parsing a story and distilling it into a baked good creates this visceral sense of commonality, of belonging.”

  pnp1Chocolate ganache infused with lavender and earl grey in a lemon sweet pastry crust, inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, via thepiebrary.com

Dinah Fried’s photo interpretations of meals mentioned in lit, Fictitious Dishes, started as an art school project and ended with a photography book (Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals), and Cara Nicoletti’s Yummy Books pairs elaborate dishes with thoughtful dissections (like a Goldfinch-inspired eight-course meal). But the most (ahem) novel, perhaps, is Nicole Villeneuve’s Paper and Salt, where the San Francisco-based writer re-creates dishes authors discussed intimately in letters, diaries, and interviews—like E.B. White’s killer martini. “Seeing the connection between authors and the food they ate makes them come to life for the people who love them,” Villeneuve says. “It’s a beautiful reflection of real life bleeding onto the page.”

By Kristen Bahler

Top Image: Fictitious Dishes’ The Great Gatsby

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