Tasty Reads

From ‘Moby Dick’ to ‘The Great Gatsby’: Classic Lit Dishes Brought to Life (Photos)

Not content with just reading the vivid food descriptions in her favorite novels, Photographer Dinah Fried decided to cook and style the iconic dishes, served with a side of literature.

Dinah Fried

Dinah Fried

Moby-Dick; or The Whale

There is nothing like reading a description of a meal that is so vivid you can almost taste it. For one photographer, imaging the iconic delights wasn't enough. For a design project that turned into a book, Fictitious Dishes, Dinah Fried decided to create and photograph the food described in her favorite books. After some epic cooking challenges, she landed with 50 dishes ranging from the classic to the modern. See some of the iconic food and lit pairings here. 

 

Herman Melville, 1851

 

Oh, sweet friends! Hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt. Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favorite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we dispatched it with great expedition...while plying our spoons in the bowl, thinks I to myself, I wonder now if this here has any effect on the head? What's that stultifying saying about chowder-headed people?

 

Dinah Fried

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll, 1865


The table was a large one, but the three were all croded together at one corner of it:


"No room! No room!" they cried out when they saw Alice coming.


"There's plenty of room!" said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.


"Have some wine," the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.


Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. "I don't see any wine," she remarked.


"There isn't any," said the March Hare.


"Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it," said Alice angrily.


"It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited," said the March Hare. 


Dinah Fried

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Hunter S. Thompson, 1971


"You goddamn honkies are all the same." By this time he'd opened a new bottle of tequila and was quaffing it down. Then he grabbed a grapefruit and sliced it in half with a Gerber Mini-Magnum--a stainless-steel hunting knife with a blade like a fresh-honed straight razor.


"Where'd you get that knife?" I asked.


"Room service sent it up," he said. "I wanted something to cut the limes."


"What limes?"


"They didn't have any," he said. "They don't grow out here in the desert." He sliced the grapefruit into quarters...then into eighths...then sixteenths...then he began slashing aimlessly at the residue. 


Dinah Fried

The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath, 1963


Then I tackled the avocado and crabmeat salad. Avocados are my favorite fruit. Every Sunday my grandfather used to bring me an avocado pear hidden at the bottom of his briefcase under six soiled shirts and the Sunday comics. He taught me how to eat avocados by melting grape jelly and french dressing together in a saucepan and filling the cup of the pear with the garnet sauce. I felt homesick for that sauce. The crabmeat tasted bland in comparison.


Dinah Fried

The Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger, 1951


I'm a very light eater. I really am. That's why I'm so damn skinny. I was supposed to be on this diet where you eat a lot of starches and crap to gain weight and all, but I didn't ever do it. When I'm out somewhere, I generally just eat a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk. It isn't much, but you get quite a lot of vitamins in the malted milk. H.V. Caulfield. Holden Vitamin Caulfield. 


Dinah Fried

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925


At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In th emain hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that mostof his female guests were too young to know one from another. 


Dinah Fried

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee, 1960


"We're not through yet. There'll be an appeal, you can count on that. Gracious alive, Cal, what's all this?" [Atticus] was staring at his breakfast plate.


Calpurnia said, "Tom Robinson's daddy sent you along this chicken this morning. I fixed it."


"You tell him I'm proud to get it--bet they don't have chicken for breakfast in the White House. What are these?"


"Rolls," said Calpurnia. "Estelle down at the hotel sent'em."


Atticus looked up at her, puzzled, and she said, "You better step out here and see what's in the kitchen, Mr. Finch."


We followed him. The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs. Atticus grinned when he found a jar of pickled pigs' knuckles. "Reckon Aunty'll let me eat these in the diningroom?"