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It isn’t much, but you get quite a lot of vitamins in the malted milk.
April 26, 2014 12:40 PM   Subscribe

From grilled kidneys to gruel to open faced sandwiches to sliced up grapefruits, photos of literature's most memorable meals.
posted by pravit (40 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I never think anything from The Bell Jar could make my mouth water, but I always forget about those avocados. Wow.
posted by warm_planet at 1:52 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


No A Boy and His Dog?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:08 PM on April 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wine soaked and softened rolled pith of bread mustard a moment mawkish cheese. Nice wine it is. Taste it better because I'm not thirsty. Bath of course does that. Just a bite or two. Then about six o'clock I can. Six, six. Time will be gone then. She...
posted by kiltedtaco at 2:16 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yep, that's how I eat, suspended three feet and in perfect vertical alignment with the center of the plate.
posted by Mapes at 2:41 PM on April 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


Oh my goodness! The toasted cheese from Heidi. I read that book over and over when I was a child, and I still remember the toasted cheese. I loved seeing it represented in the photo.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:04 PM on April 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


From the first link, picture 6:
"After I had left the skating rink I went to a drugstore and had a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk." (The Catcher in the Rye)

From the second link, picture 7:
"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." (The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger)

I am a former cheese monger so I think I can recognize your basic cheeses and I'm pretty sure that's an American cheese sandwich*. That top left corner of cheese even looks like it has the creases you sometimes get from the plastic.

*Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:08 PM on April 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


I agree, Room 641-A. I noticed the colour of the cheese and the crease in the corner and thought, "That's not Swiss cheese." It seems an odd detail to get wrong, since she obviously went to a lot of thought putting the photos together otherwise, and Swiss cheese isn't exactly hard to come by. I mean there's Swiss on the open-faced sandwiches from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo photo.

[IANA former cheese monger, but IAA cheese enthusiast]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:17 PM on April 26, 2014


If I may cast aspersions as a one who embodies nearly all these traits, that To Kill A Mockingbird meal looked like Southern food as conceived of by an anorexic white Yankee.

And yeah, how do you screw up Swiss, for goodness sake? It had to be sitting right next to the craft singles in the deli case.
posted by Diablevert at 3:45 PM on April 26, 2014 [8 favorites]


Oliver Twist's gruel also looked excessively pauper chic styled (and far too delicious)!
Fab idea - but not perfectly plated, sadly.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 3:50 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am a former cheese monger so I think I can recognize your basic cheeses and I'm pretty sure that's an American cheese sandwich

Yes, this fucking enraged me beyond belief. That food stylist should be dragged out into the town square and stoned.

Furthermore the TKAM photo contains no scuppernongs, those are fucking regular green grapes, I am disgusted by this shameful substitution.

And that is not toasted cheese, that is cheese on toast.

I am angry, this photo series is 10 pages of abject betrayal.
posted by elizardbits at 4:08 PM on April 26, 2014 [14 favorites]


IM NOT OVERREACTING YOURE ALL UNDERREACTING
posted by elizardbits at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2014 [23 favorites]


The "pastry pigs" in The Great Gatsby are almost certainly pigs made out of pastry, not squares of pastry wrapped around cocktail sausages.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:53 PM on April 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


And here I was sure that "A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone" would make the list.
posted by blackberet at 4:54 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


OH I SEE HOW IT IS

Having finally bothered to RTFA:

She does take some liberties with her photos. The layouts are of her own design, and not all of the details are 100 percent true to the text. Take, for instance, the cheese sandwich from The Catcher in the Rye. "I know it's a Swiss cheese sandwich," she says. "But I didn't use Swiss cheese because I wanted the color to pop. The designer in me wanted the cheese to be more orange."

Madam, the designer in you is wrong and bad. Dishonor on you and dishonor on your cow.
posted by elizardbits at 5:02 PM on April 26, 2014 [18 favorites]


As someone who has spent too many years and far too much money studying in the fields of the arts, let me translate this for you:

"But I didn't use Swiss cheese because I wanted the color to pop. The designer in me wanted the cheese to be more orange."

"I either made a mistake or couldn't be bothered to get real swiss, and now I am using words to try and pretend it was done on purpose."
posted by Dynex at 5:10 PM on April 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


i am going to write a strongly worded letter of complaint except the designer in me is going to just send a picture of my dog making a poop because i really want it to "pop"
posted by elizardbits at 5:12 PM on April 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Uhg, seriously, you want the cheese to pop? Use dark brown bread and white swiss will really stand out. Sure, it was probably supposed to be white bread in the story, but it was DEFINITELY supposed to be swiss cheese, SO

I don't know why this is so enraging.
posted by Dynex at 5:12 PM on April 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


"I know it's a Swiss cheese sandwich," she says. "But I didn't use Swiss cheese because I wanted the color to pop.

*headdesk*

Except even the most cartoon-y wedge of Swiss cheese is is still yellow. She didn't make it pop, she decided that Swiss cheese should be a different color. And look like plastic. Making pale yellow cheese pop is what Photoshop is for. Even Edam could have worked, plus she might have gotten a hole or two!

I don't know why this is so enraging.

Me neither, but now I want to hear Jason Mantzoukas to rant about it.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:41 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Swiss cheese is my favorite cheese. That "Swiss cheese" sandwich photo is a betrayal of all that is cheesy and good.

And the clam chowder from Moby Dick appears to have been replaced with corn chowder.

I really wanted to love this project when I saw the description. Now that I've looked at the photos I am starting to feel like the photographer did this just to troll those who truly love both books and food.
posted by BlueJae at 5:43 PM on April 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know why this is so enraging.

Because it undermines the entire premise of the project. The writers were careful in choosing their words to evoke a specific milieu; everything a character says and does informs your view of that character and their world, and the food they eat is far from the bottom of the list in terms of the sensory details that help carry that load. The passage in To Kill A Mockingbird literally evokes the idea of bounty, surfeit, even, a heaped table glistening with grease. The picture chosen is a scattering of limp and lonely vegetables and two slender portions of chicken, looking like what a 1960s copy of Good Housekeeping would offer up in a spread for gals trying to keep their figure. Most of 'em look like something you'd see in the background of a photo shoot for Apartment Therapy --- and it shouldn't be that way, when the settings they're meant to evoke are as different as a lunch counter in 1950s New York and a Georgia matron's home and a cafe in fin de siècle Paris and a shepherd's cottage on the side of a Swiss mountain.


I bet she sorts her books by color on her shelves.
posted by Diablevert at 5:46 PM on April 26, 2014 [18 favorites]


THOSE ARE NOT PIG PARTS

PIGS DO NOT HAVE WINGS OR DRUMSTICKS

FRIED CHICKEN IS NOT SALT PORK
posted by infinitewindow at 5:47 PM on April 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


EVERYTHING IS WRONG. (Also, there are many Swiss cheeses, but none of them look (pop?) like that.)
posted by trip and a half at 5:52 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dishonor on your cow is my new swear.
posted by maggieb at 6:24 PM on April 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


but I always forget about those avocados.

I have recently learned that the young Elvis Costello liked his avocados studded with frisky capers.
posted by ovvl at 6:24 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


In the time-honored MeFi tradition of contributing to a pile-on, I should point out that the White Rabbit wasn't carrying a stop watch. According to the text his watch "tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is". I appreciate that such a watch may be hard to obtain, and in fact the Tenniel illustrations seem to show the Rabbit with a normal watch. None the less, it certainly wasn't a stop watch.

All the photos are ruined for me now.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:40 PM on April 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


BlueJae: And the clam chowder from Moby Dick appears to have been replaced with corn chowder.

Sigh.... BlueJae, clams don't pop.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:53 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


In the time-honored MeFi tradition of contributing to a pile-on

In the equally time-honored MeFi tradition of piling on to the pile-on, I will point out that the Hatter's watch "doesn't tell what o'clock it is," not the White Rabbit's.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:10 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


The moral of this story is that there is truly no annoying art that an artist's statement cannot make even worse.

i shall whisper this woman's name into the stygian darkness of the next dread and eldritch summoning, all her crops shall wither and die on the stalks, her herds shall not prosper, food and drink shall be as ashes in her mouth
posted by elizardbits at 7:12 PM on April 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


"But I didn't use Swiss cheese because I wanted the color to pop.

[peering intently at the photographer.] You know what else goes pop?
posted by Pudhoho at 8:11 PM on April 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Pudding?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:31 PM on April 26, 2014


Rice Krispies?
posted by Room 641-A at 8:41 PM on April 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


What the hell is that in the madelines picture because it certainly doesn't look like tea.
posted by winna at 2:25 AM on April 27, 2014


but I always forget about those avocados.

So did I. Here's what I thought the food-image would be for The Bell Jar:

We browned hot dogs on the public grills at the beach, and by watching Jody and Mark and Cal very carefully I managed to cook my hot dog just the right amount of time and didn't burn it or drop it into the fire, the way I was afraid of doing. Then, when nobody was looking, I buried it in the sand.
posted by mississippi at 5:42 AM on April 27, 2014


As someone who's been annoyed by this project's lack of commitment every time it pops up in my Facebook feed, I'm gratified to see this thread contains so many complaints.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:26 AM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Here's what I thought the food-image would be for The Bell Jar
posted by Pudhoho at 8:11 AM on April 27, 2014


You know what else goes pop?

Oh, oh! Weasles!
posted by Room 641-A at 10:48 AM on April 27, 2014


And the clam chowder from Moby Dick appears to have been replaced with corn chowder.

I love that she randomly throws a clam onto the side, like, "There, it's fucking clam chowder, you can tell because there's a clam there, you know, like when you order chowder in New England and they just drop a clam next to your plate so you know what you're eating. totally normal. like when you get a burger and there's a hoof next to your plate. that's what happens at McDonald's. i've eaten food before."
posted by Greg Nog at 2:57 PM on April 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


It's been far too long since I've had a petite madeleine.
posted by homunculus at 5:18 PM on April 27, 2014


It's been far too long since I've had a petite madeleine.

I bet you don't even remember the last time.
posted by bystander at 5:23 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was just rereading The Tyrant's Law, which has the line "[T]he cakes seemed to be made entirely of butter and sugar with just enough flour to give them shape," which has stuck in my head for several weeks.

The photos are not super interesting to me but I love the idea of recreating book-food. I love book-food. That was the only good part of the Redwall books for me; I didn't care about anything else. She failed by not including anything from them.
posted by NoraReed at 1:30 AM on April 28, 2014


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