Guest Post: Delectable Delights by Shelley Workinger

Another lovely Guest Post for all of you. I've always wondered about food in books. Haven't you? Well, today, Reads, Reviews, Recommends has the pleasure to unleashing Shelley Working on all of you. Find out more about Shelly by clicking on her name. The link will take you directly to her website.

Delectable Delights
by Shelley Workinger

You may have seen the commercial with John Besh (chef of August, Besh Steak, and Luke, among others) where he says, “In New Orleans, at breakfast we talk about what we'll have for lunch; at lunch, we talk about dinner.”

Well, I moved to NOLA at 17 and stayed until I was 25. I planned to stay there forever, but we all know how the universe enjoys having its way with us little humans and life took me to the Northeast. Even though I’ve learned to love me some Jersey, I still constantly crave the Southern food culture and mouth-watering dialogue. Theirs is a satisfying – if not addictive – way of life, so one of the ways I found to deal with my withdrawal from it was to get my food fix vicariously through books. Yes, I now read with my taste buds, pausing to ingest everything the characters are eating. Sadly, I haven’t come across any fictional food that can compare to the Crawfish Maque Choux at Commander’s or a juicy Port-of-Call burger (you know what I’m talking about – seriously undercooked, but after an inch or two of monsoon that cold red center starts to look appealing)…still, I haven’t given up the search!

But I digest…I mean digress; Foodian slip. The funny thing is, once I started putting my FoodFic thoughts together in a blog, a lot of other hungry readers started pulling their chairs up to my virtual table. Everybody knows that readers like to talk about characters – what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with – but I found that they’re also interested in the bigger question: But What Are They Eating?

Now, even if you’re not a “foodie,” once you start noticing who’s eating what and when, it can add a whole ‘nother level to a book. Recently, in “Marcelo in the Real World,” I noticed that – albeit subtly placed – there was seafood present at every shall we say “fishy” moment. Seriously! At particularly poignant or pivotal points in the story (say that 5 times fast), the characters just “happened” to be lunching on salmon, or tuna sandwiches, or freshly-caught trout.

Coincidence, you say? Added Sensory Dimension, I counter.

Whether I’ve convinced you or not, I hope I’ve given you a little “food for thought” and I bet you’ll find new flavors in your fiction from now on :)

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