When I first read The Hunger Games, I (like most readers) really enjoyed the tender, shared moments between Peeta and Katniss. One of those was centered around a meal – lamb stew, to be exact – that they shared in the arena, in a cold and dank cave, with Peeta dying and Katniss determined to save him. I still remember the way that stew was described down to the raisins in it, the way it felt on Katniss’s tongue, the feeling of it warming her half-starved belly and the quiet joy they shared in sharing that meal.
In short, that dish (which had been mentioned earlier as Katniss reveled – and felt revulsion at the excess – in the Capitol), and when that Lamb Stew appeared again, instead of a reminder of all she didn’t have, it became a meal shared with the one thing she did have: Peeta. It was a real bonding moment. I still swear I can taste that stew. And I don’t even like lamb!
In my book, Traveler, I have a similar food bonding item: Glitter Mousse. Found only in one of Jessa’s alternate realities, Finn introduces her to it and it turns out a lot of great conversations happen over a bowl of Glitter Mousse. It’s called back to near the end of the book in a way that’s almost a slap in the face, and I liked the juxtaposition of it being used in that way.
Food is a way to bridge cultures, share hospitality, and win over hearts and stomachs. It can also be a great way to create a bonding moment. Remember Shrek and Fiona, dining on flies and spider webs? Charlie and Claire eating imaginary peanutbutter? Just like that.
Is there a food scene in a book or a movie that you remember especially well?