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Nov 22, 2010 09:59 AM

Food and Drink Choices Inspired by Fictional Characters

I was recently laughing at myself thinking about a few food and drink choices I had made that were inspired by fictional characters. I'm quite certain I'm not the only one who has done this. I mean the Cosmopolitan explosion a decade ago must have been driven by at least a few Carrie Bradshaw fans. Personally, when I first started to drink I was already a Wild Turkey man. I don't think I had even smelled it before the first time I ordered it - undoubtedly the influence of Hunter Thompson's Raul Duke.

Then, there was the time the summer before I turned 21 when I found myself at a outdoor wedding on Long Island. It seemed like all the men were in navy blazers, white pants, and boater hats while the ladies donned Laura Ashley. It just seemed so very Gatsby. I thought I was being clever in asking the bartender for a Gin Rickey. He didn't know what it was. And, frankly, neither did I - youthful arrogance repaid with egg on the face.

So how 'bout it? Have you ever felt a bit The Dude and downed a White Russian? Required that your Martini be "shaken?" Maybe you just checked the all the bakeries on the East Side hoping to find petite madeleines? I mean, at least someone must have asked for a cheeseburger “with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57, and French fried potatoes,” right?

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  1. Tea.
    Earl Grey.

    I bet it's a heck of a lot more popular these days than it was pre-Picard.

    1 Reply
    1. Oh, my, the first thing that comes to mind is Rex Stout's fictional detective, Nero Wolfe, who was quite the gourmet (and gourmand, too). Lots of food in those books, but I particularly remember him eating bar-le-duc , a currant jelly. We drove through the city of Bar-le-Duc, and stopped at a food store, but alas, none to be found. Still waiting to try some.

      And I am sure there are many, many others I'll think of; I've loved reading about food since...well, before I could read, and just "read".

      5 Replies
      1. re: lemons

        That was my first "to-mind" as well, good old Nero. But I have to throw in a vote, not for the characters but for the creator of the characters - Barbara Pym. I can't read her stuff without becoming very, very hungry for roast lamb.

        1. re: lemons

          There is a Nero Wolfe cookbook available (Rex Stout published it in the 70's) with recipes for the dishes he ate in the novels.

          1. re: flueln

            I used to have the Cb; lost it in one of many moves when I was younger.

          2. re: lemons

            Here is a store in Bar-le-Duc which sells the groseilles online.
            I didn't know that Nero Wolfe ate this jam but it doesn't surprise me. Each tiny jar takes several hours of intensive hand labor to produce; each tiny seed must be removed using a goose feather.

            1. re: lemons

              There's a wonderful passage in a 1938 Nero Wolfe novel where he gives a lecture on American regional food. A French food snob interrupts and says something like, American food is peasant food, of interest perhaps to anthropologists but of no interest to the gourmet .Wolfe replies, I can only conclude that you have never tried... and then follows a long and surprisingly accurate, description of several obscure regional specialities including the (now not-obscure Cajun etouffee). Amazing that Rex Stout was aware of those things 70 years ago. I'd love to reproduce the passage but can't because of copyright.

            2. I first found out about Plymouth Gin from reading Travis McGee books. I loved how it was described. then felt sad when he switched to another brand, I think it was boodles, because it wasn't imported any longer. then I remember when it was brought back into the US, and I bought a bottle the first time I saw it. I consumed quite a few bottles of Plymouth after that.

              1. Not adult food so much, but there is an author who wrote a cookbook about recipes from children's books. Jane Brockman's "Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer" is a fun look at popular children's book foods including Gloriously Sticky Marmalade Roll from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.


                I'm not sure where I picked it up but I adore Pimm's Cup drinks. It could be a book .. it just be something that sounded cool and I started to drink them when I could find them. :)

                1. As a child I was very intrigued by Harriet The Spy ordering egg creams. It was many years later that I finally was able to experience one.

                  There was a scene in the book 101 Dalmatians where the parent dogs gained shelter for the evening with an old man who made toast and tea by the fire, if IRC. That got me into a tea and buttered toast or cinnamon toast kick from about 10 -12 years of age.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: meatn3

                    Ooh, Harriet the Spy made me want to make tomato sandwiches - remember they made her own mouth water just thinking about them? just white bread, mayo, and thickly cut tomatoes and s&p. I keep forgetting to do that, every summer. Plus, i always want to make it a BLT.

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      And cake and milk. I am not sure who actually eats cake and milk EVERY DAY after school, but that would have been, for a week.

                      1. re: Brianne920

                        I'd forgotten that - probably because i have no sweet tooth to speak of!

                      2. re: mariacarmen

                        I started eating tomato sandwiches because of Harriet! I've been eating them ever since and we eat them often during summer. Hellman's, salt and pepper. Absolutely delicious. All of our kids eat them now, too. All because of Harriet and Ole Golly!