Friday, March 20, 2015

Booknote: Fictitious Dishes

Dinah Fried, Fictitious Dishes: an Album of Literature's Most Memorable Meals. New York: Harper Design, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-06-227983-5.

Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: Literature, Foodie, Photography
Format: Print (hardcover).
Source: My local public library.

The author did an interesting thing here. She took photos of dishes from literature. She would recreate the dish to the best of her ability, and she would take a photograph of it The book began as a school of design project, and like many creative projects, it went on to become a full book. The author prepared the foods, and she also set the tables and acquired any necessary props. Some of the dish set ups were done at home. Others were done on the road. The result is a "delectable assortment of photographic interpretations of culinary moments from contemporary and classic literature" (from the book's description).

If you have read the works that the author refers to, the text and photos will take you back. If not, perhaps you may discover something new to read. The book includes an introduction that describes the project, then the dishes, followed by a section of book summaries (to help those who may not have read the books), and a small bibliography. Each dish selection includes the photo, some text from the literary work that describes the dish, and then footnotes with trivia about the food and/or the literary work and its times. The photos are very well done and in full color. You can practically touch the food. Literary selections for the dishes include works like Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick, and even the watery gruel from Oliver Twist. Do note the book does not include actual recipes.

Folks who like books about books and foodies will enjoy this one. I really enjoyed this one very much, so I am happy to recommend it.

5 out of 5 stars.

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