Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top 10 food scenes in children's literature

Jane Brocket is the author of The Gentle Art of Domesticity and Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer.

For the Guardian, she named her top 10 food scenes in children's literature.

Her prefatory remarks and Number One from the list:
"I spent my childhood revelling and luxuriating in lovely descriptions of meals and picnics and treats, and found that it was the taste memories that lingered on long after the details of plots had faded from my mind. Children's literature contains a feast, a banquet, a menu gastronomique of treats and delicious foodstuff; this is my top 10 evocative, mouth-watering and memorable food moments from the past."

Maria's tea party in The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

There are quite a few wonderful tea parties in children's literature, but nothing can beat Maria's spectacular affair. The catering is done by Marmaduke Scarlet, the strange little cook at Moonacre who possesses almost mystical powers in the kitchen, plus the skills and artistry to conjure up all sorts of treats and delicacies at a moment's notice. A truly dedicated baker, he relishes the planning and his list what he prepares makes the reader desperate for an invitation. There's plum cake, saffron cake, meringues, Devonshire splits, almond fingers, parkin, cream horns, lemon curd sandwiches, cinnamon toast, gingerbread, eclairs and plenty more. It's a veritable litany of great British tea-time treats, and one of the most mouth-watering literary moments ever.
Read about the other nine scenes.

--Marshal Zeringue