Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If Turkish Delight isn't your thing...

The Turkish Delight that Edmund sells out his siblings for in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is quite possibly one of the most famous specific food-related moments in fantasy and science fiction.  Growing up, I thought it seemed like the world's most wonderful food, and just like Edmund, I would have done a lot just to get a taste.

Turkish DelightThen, when I was in grad school, I had the chance to try some at an end-of-semester party in one of my classes.  It was a huge disappointment.  I think I had been imagining something like baklava (which, incidentally, I would betray almost anyone for), and it ended up being this weird, tasteless, candied jelly that was covered in dry powdered sugar.  Not awesome.  Maybe I just got a bad batch, but my dreams of a fantastic food worth turning evil to get were totally shattered.

Fortunately for me, fantasy and science fiction fans seem to be a culinarily creative bunch, and with a bit of looking, I've found quite a few food-related products with a fantasy/scifi theme...
Star Wars Cookie Cutters

The Redwall CookbookAnother favorite of mine is the Redwall cookbook.  As anyone who has read even one of Brian Jacques' books knows, his descriptions of the animals' feasts are enough to send anyone running for the kitchen.  While the cookbook is gear more toward kids, the recipes are still delicious and a lot of fun for any fan of Redwall.  Another cookbook that looks like a lot of fun, although I haven't tried it, is The Original and Strictly Unofficial Tauren Chef Cookbook, which brings the recipes from World of Warcraft to life.  I'm thinking of buying it, if only to see what Delicious Cave Mold actually tastes like!

But my absolute favorite fantasy-related food has to be the candy models of scenes from Lord of the Rings made by Dave and his friends over at the blog Miss(ed) Manners.  From what I can tell, they've recreated the Battle of Helm's Deep, the Battle of Pelennor Fields, the events in the Mines of Moria, and the Battle of Five Armies/the death of Smaug.  They are all spectacular, and the attention to detail in all of them is simply astonishing.  Perhaps the best part, though, are Dave's write-ups of the models, which are hysterical, particularly because he doesn't hesitate to point out his own genius as a LotR-candy-scale-model-creator.  The picture below is the shot showing the whole Pelennor Fields model, but there are lots of detail shots that are worth looking at (he even includes the White Tree of Gondor, for heaven's sake!), so you should head over to his blog and check them out for yourself:

The Battle of Pelennor Fields

Of course, I'm sure there are quite a few more interesting fantasy-related food products out there--since it's after lunch, why don't you post your favorites so we can wish we had eaten something more exciting than tuna salad?

Picture of Turkish Delight take by Chris Buttigieg.To start with, Matt Rasmusson clued me in to these Star Wars-themed cookie cutters and pancake molds over at Williams Sonoma.  The only thing that is currently keeping me from buying the cookie cutters is the way the character selections is skewed in favor of the Dark Side--thought it would probably be equally disturbing to eat a cookie likeness of Harrison Ford.  If science-fiction-themed cookies are your thing, check out this Foxtrot comic from last Christmas, along with some of the reader-submitted photos that it inspired!