The dish of the day was a splendid roast guinea fowl cooked in sea-salt, with a chickpea purée. Lola ordered it without thinking twice. Ingrid had gone for a seared steak tartare with French fries.
Dominique Sylvain, The Dark Angel.
‘Turtle, Fish, Venison of the best quality’ washed down with ‘Champagne, Hock, Burgundy, and Claret’ as well as ‘Vin de France and Hermitage drunk in copious libations.’
'There isn't any vodka,' the waiter said gruffly. 'Is that so hard to understand, comrade?'
'Bring me a bottle of cognac, then. Cognac will do nicely.'
When he'd got his plate of vobla and his cognac he took a long swig, grinned, and bit off some of the dry fish.
'Now we can order some food,' he said.
The waiter looked at him wearily.
'A bowl of selyanka to start with. For the main dish fifteen blinis, shashlik, some boiled tea sausage, salad, and a bottle of cognac.'
Instead of shashlik they got some dry chicken legs and instead of salad some potatoes fried in margarine.
After that, he feeds me. For years, I didn't know there was anything for breakfast but sugar pops. These days, I get eggs turned over easy in deep butter, slabs of juicy ham, fried mush, porkchops, buckwheat cakes, country sausage, hashbrown potatoes. What I got yesterday was cornbread fresh out of the oven with melted butter and molasses.
"You'd think you wanted to marry me," I said, and Catch said, "You'd be right."
For three whole days the bride's home became an ants' nest of relatives and neighbours coming and going with baskets full of fresh ingredients and borrowed trays on which the finished cakes were laid. The Listru sisters worked almost without a break, alternating tasks to bring miraculously to life an army of capigliette decorated with sugar lace, kilos of tiliccas swollen with saba, baskets full of aranzadas with their spicy aroma, tin boxes full of crisp little sugar dolls, and hundreds of round almond gueffus, individually wrapped like sweets in white tissue paper with its edges fringed like the battlements of the Guelph towers. There was not a room in the house with space in it for anything more, and Giulia and Regina had to move basketfuls of finished delicacies off their beds before they could fall asleep in the gentle fragrance of orange-flower water.
He brought us a litre of white wine. Then we each ordered a salad with octopus and fried whitebait as a starter, followed by spaghetti with mussels in tomato sauce, and for a main course marinated anchovies with broccoli rabe.
Riccardo poured the wine.
'To us,' he said, raising the glass.
'And sod the others,' I said.
By the time Nils Holgersson turned forty-eight, he already lived very far north, in Jokkmokk, the capital of Swedish Lapland, which could only with the utmost pretension be called a capital city, since it was no more than a small, remote village upon which, as Tacitus wrote, the sun never shone in the winter and never set in the summer. He worked as a custodian at the only local high school, which had three classes for each grade and a dormitory so that students who lived as far as 100, 200 or even 1000 kilometers away would have a place to stay. The school menu was standard for Sweden: mashed potatoes with butter and strips of bacon on Mondays, fried fish and potatoes on Tuesdays, pea soup and pancakes with jelly on Wednesdays, tuna salad on a roll on Thursdays, and noodles with ground beef on Fridays, which was the children’s favorite. He knew all this from his wife, Maria, who was the cook in the school where he worked as the custodian.From The Princess, by Alit Karp, translated from the Hebrew by Ilana Kurshan, The Guardian, February 2, 2016.
We took our leave of Sóstófürdő with a modest lunch. In the square where the pub was, a wilds how advertising Sprite. Gangsta rap over loudspeakers while Hungarian kids on skateboards slalomed in and out of giant green bottles imagining themselves black brothers. At a table nearby, the father of the family called to the waiter in Polish,"Kotlet scshabowy z fryktami! Veal cutlet with fries! Veal cutlet, dummy!" No matter how much the man raised his voice, however, the Hungarian dummy didn't understand a word.
We look, we inhale, we draw in our mouthful: we chew, we think. It is a slow process… utterly absorbing and near an ordeal — the raw tannin puckers the inside of the cheeks, rasps the throat like claws, while at the kernel one finds a notion of… what? Texture, structure, multiplicities of scents…
All through those 1926 letters, [Nabokov] remembers to tell Véra what he has eaten — it’s slightly comic, because Vladimir is not an adventurous eater, and it becomes a litany of good plain food — ‘lamb chop, and apple mousse… meatballs with carrot and asparagus, a plain brothy soup, and a little plate of perfectly ripe cherries… broth with dumplings, meat roast with asparagus and coffee and cake… chicken with rice and rhubarb compote’. The point is that Véra will be interested, because it’s her man eating his meals far away from her; we are interested because the writer evokes and specifies.