Lunatic Feasts and Gastronomic Heroines: An Exploration of the Narrative of Food
In recent years, chefs such as Heston Blumenthal have used the flavours, textures, and memories associated with different foods to evoke themes and emotions in a manner similar to the metaphors and imagery used by storytellers and writers to create immersive and memorable tales. This exegesis seeks to determine exactly how this ‘narrative of food’ works, and what would happen if it were to be combined with a more traditional, written story. An analysis of the narrative of food reveals that food can be used to create a whole new layer of narrative depth, both on the dining table and in the pages of a novel. Different cuisines have been used throughout history to enforce social divides and give mythic tales, such as that of the giant Roc that built its nests out of cinnamon sticks, the ring of truth. Themes of consumption and food are also inextricably tied to the archetype of the mythic Heroine, who learns and grows by metaphorically and literally devouring both her mentors and her enemies. Finally, when the narrative of food is combined with a written manuscript, it becomes apparent that the two compliment one another: the thematic and mnemonic weight of the cuisines described in the story Soup for the Moon work to enhance the emotional weight of each scene in which they are included, granting the reader a new level of insight into the story that they never would have experienced otherwise.