The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

The unfortunately dormant Europolar site has a collection of essays on crime fiction and the gastronome, which should be of interest to anyone who salivates at the lavish descriptions of food and drink in the midst of murder and mayhem. (I like to complain that all that gorging stops the action, but I drool over the foodiness as well. One day I'll sort out this dichotomy in my brain.)

Among the points to note are that food is not a new entrant in fiction. Indeed, Nero Wolfe's corpulent hero wolfed down entire meals in silence, and Inspector Maigret's wife prepared wondrous dishes, lovingly limned in the books by George Simenon. It is, of course, mainly the Latin writers that prepare heady concoctions (and I include the French in that lot). For some reason, the Scandinavians do not dwell much on the gustatory, and I can't remember the last time I encountered a tasty recipe in a book by a German or a Pole. (The inestimable Paula Arvas, meanwhile, has a book in Finnish that lists recipes in crime fiction, but even she admits that the dishes are mainly from other parts of the world.) But when I do, I'll be sure to enter it here, and if any of you feels like preparing it, please be equally sure to share the final product with yours truly.


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