Fictitious Dishes

Fictitious Dishes

An Album of Literature's Most Memorable Meals

Book - 2014
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No recipes, but an assortment of photographic interpretations of culinary moments from contemporary and classic literature. Fried pairs each place setting with the text from that book that inspired its creation. She includes food facts and anecdotes about the authors, their work, and their culinary predilections.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper Design,, 2014.
ISBN: 9780062279835
Branch Call Number: 641.5 FR
Characteristics: 126 pages : color illustrations ; 16 x 22 cm


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Dec 23, 2016

This book did not live up to my expectations of it. While it's beautifully rendered, with exquisite photography, and the details of each book from which the dishes were inspired, they were almost wholly mundane.

When I saw "Fictitious Dishes," I imagined the more fantastical and surreal meals of literature, not the common meals at home or in truck stop diners or ubiquitous throughout Americana.

For what this book is, sans expectations, it's a worthy perusal. If nothing else, it might inspire one to read more of these classic pieces of literature, or at least make you hungry.

Jul 29, 2014

Really interesting concept.

ksoles Jul 17, 2014

As both an M.A. in English Literature and a former pastry chef, the concept of "Fictitious Dishes" excited me. Dinah Fried has taken fifty iconic culinary scenes from a variety of literary classics (ranging from "Little Women" to "The Bell Jar" to "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") and set them against her own photographic interpretations. Fried also includes interesting food facts and anecdotes about the authors, their work and their culinary predilections. Unfortunately, what sounds like a delicious idea turns out bland and underwhelming.

It seems the photographer had little regard for accuracy or appreciation of the actual literature. Much gets lost in translation from text to image and the food pictured often does not represent the food described. Additionally, the photos display a lack of historical research; "beans" in "To Kill A Mockingbird" would not have referred to green beans but to butter or lima beans. "Scuppernongs" are not standard green grapes, rather plump, golden ones. And Holden Caufiled would have expressed outrage at the artificiality of American Cheese!

A prime example of a poorly executed, wonderful idea that leaves the reader doubting whether the author actually read or understood any of the books.


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