Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

Food and Literature have always had a long and arduous relationship. It spans from the Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook to Jane Austen reimagined in recipes to Alice B. Toklas’s literary memoir disguised as a cookbook to those delicious dishes inspired by Alice in Wonderland

But designer and writer Dinah Fried has brought alive this relationship in an enchanting and vivid manner with her project: Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals. This ingenious project has Dinah cooking, art-directing and photographing meals from nearly two centuries of famous fiction.  Each photograph is accompanied by the particular passage in which the recipe appeared, as well as a few quick and curious facts about the respective author, novel, or food.

1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, 1963

‘Then I tackled the avocado and crabmeat salad…Every Sunday my grandfather used to bring me an avocado pear hidden at the bottom of his briefcase under six soiled shirts and the Sunday comic.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, 1951

‘When I’m out somewhere, I generally just eat a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk. It isn’t much, but you get quite a lot of vitamins in the malted milk. H. V. Caulfield. Holden Vitamin Caulfield.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, 1865

‘Have some wine,’ the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

4. On the Road by Jack Kerouac, 1957

‘But I had to get going and stop moaning, so I picked up my bag, said so long to the old hotelkeeper sitting by his spittoon, and went to eat. I ate apple pie and ice cream — it was getting better as I got deeper into Iowa, the pie bigger, the ice cream richer.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925

‘On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

6. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1910-1911

‘Roasted eggs were a previously unknown luxury and very hot potatoes with salt and fresh butter in them were fit for a woodland king—besides being deliciously satisfying.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

7. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, 1980

‘Stopping before the narrow garage, he sniffed the fumes from Paradise with great sensory pleasure, the protruding hairs in his nostrils analyzing, cataloging, categorizing, and classifying the distinct odors of the hot dog, mustard, and lubricant.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

8. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, 1851

‘Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favorite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition…’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

9. Heidi by Joanna Spyri, 1880

‘The kettle soon began to boil, and meanwhile the old man held a large piece of cheese on a long iron fork over the fire, turning it round and round till it was toasted a nice golden yellow color on each side. Heidi watched all that was going on with eager curiosity.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

10. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, 1915

‘There were old, half-rotten vegetables; bones from the evening meal, covered in white sauce that had gone hard; a few raisins and almonds; some cheese that Gregor had declared inedible two days before; a dry roll and some bread spread with butter and salt….’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs

11. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, 2005

‘She improvised bandages and covered the wound with a makeshift compress. Then she poured the coffee and handed him a sandwich. ‘I’m really not hungry,’ he said. ‘I don’t give a damn if you’re hungry. Just eat,’ Salander commanded, taking a big bite of her own cheese sandwich.’

Food and Literature come together in beautiful, elegant photographs