If you’ve read Storytime 27, our latest issue, then we hope you’ve enjoyed our Japanese legend, Momotaro the Peach Boy – the tale of a heroic kid, born in a peach, who takes on some terrifying ogres (known as ‘oni’ in Japan) and wins.
Momotaro is plucky, determined and wise, and has help from three animal friends: a dog, a monkey and a pheasant. But I think the real stars of the show are the dumplings baked by Momotaro’s mum!
Throughout his journey to the ogres, Momotaro shares out his dumplings to satisfy hunger, end disagreements and bring his whole team together.
“Let’s sit down and share a dumpling and put aside our differences,” says Momotaro. And it works – dumplings save the day!
I can’t get through this story without craving gyoza or puffy char sui buns. For this reason, Momotaro’s dumplings are one of my favourite fictional foods we’ve featured in Storytime.
On that note, here are five more favourite fictional foods that have graced the pages of Storytime or will be on the menu very soon:
5 Favourite Fictional Foods
1. The Land of Sweets in The Nutcracker Look out for this in our next issue, Storytime 28. In our version, we’ve got jelly mountains and candyfloss clouds. In ETA Hoffmann’s original version, the location is Konfektburg, with rivers of lemonade and towns made of gingerbread. Who wouldn’t want to visit such a place?
2. Porridge from The Magic Porridge Pot A magic pot that delivers a constant, warm, filling supply of the breakfast of champions? Yes please! Provided it’s made with creamy milk and none of that water and salt nonsense. (See Storytime Issue 8.)
3. Stone Soup It’s not as unappetising as it sounds. A poor but wise man hoodwinks a whole community into coming together, contributing ingredients and working alongside each other to make the most warming and delicious soup ever. We could all do with a bowl of community spirit right now. (In Storytime Issue 11 – illustration above by Victoria Maderna.)
4. The Mead of Poetry from Odin’s Quest Odin endured a summer of hard labour in a field to gain access to this magical mead, and rightly so. A few glugs and he was the most eloquent, super-powered poet ever to inhabit the nine worlds. Where can we get some? (From Storytime Issue 16.)
5. Honey, mince and quince from The Owl and the Pussy-Cat There’s something decadent sounding about setting sail with a jar of honey and dining on mince (the fruity variety) and slices of quince. Very cosy and autumnal – just right for now. (There’s a great Quince and Mince Pie recipe at the Food in Literature blog). All we need now is a runcible spoon! (Owl and the Pussy-Cat featured in Storytime Issue 1.)
Of course, from Storytime’s Brilliant Books extracts there’s also Heidi’s melted cheese on bread; Alice in Wonderland’s tipple from the ‘Drink Me’ bottle, which tastes of cherry tart and hot buttered toast, among other delights; Crackpot Whistling Sweets from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; and What Katy Did’s picnic under the bower. Plus, if you’re feeling particularly heartless, you can always scoff Issue 2’s Gingerbread Man! (Nab a copy from our Back Issue Shop.)
In the world of books, there are many more favourite fictional foods. My highlight would have to be the chocolate bars Professor Lupin thrusts upon Harry Potter in his moments of need. Wouldn’t we all like a Lupin in our lives? And anything from Roald Dahl, of course.
Off to investigate the biscuit tin…
See you next time!