I've mentioned the excellent The Uncomfortable Dead by Subcomandante Marcos and Paco Ignacio Taibo II elsewhere, and it reminds me that one is not always faced with haute cuisine. There are times in fiction - just as in life - when the food is down-market, rustic, and possibly not all that great. Furthermore, the following just needs saying because, well, the gourmet detective is becoming such a cliché now, eh?
Although, actually, I think the Italian cook is only in the book because in mystery novels the detective usually winds up having culinary adventures. The other day, for example, I found Vittorio Francesco Augusto Luiggi (August Forbidden in our broken calendar) trying out a recipe that he said El Sup had given him. It was called Marcos's Special and he did it up just the way they told him: mince and fry one ration of beef; add a small can of Mexican salsa and cheese; mix thoroughly and serve hot.
When August Forbidden finished his concoction, I told him, "It looks like dog barf."
Then he tasted it himself and added, "It tastes the same as it looks."
But August is one of those people who believes the Zapatistas are never wrong, so he claimed the problem was that the salsa brand he used was Herdez and "El Sup actually told me it had to be La Costeña."
In any case, begging the pardon of Pepe Carvalho and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, the fare in this novel is not going to be all that good. And now that I have discussed eating, give me a second so I can go to the john.