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To my mom Your taste that has always inspired me to both cook and read, To Sylvain Montalbano and the French Department of Brown University For your help and ispiration in finding food-loving literature

Table of contents Marcel Proust: Les Madeleines de Commercy


Herman Melville: New England Clam Chowder


James Joyce: Queen of Pudding


James Franzen: Chocolate Cupcakes


with Peppermint Frosting Virginia Woolf: Boeuf en Daube Washington Irving: Slapjacks Ernest Hemingway: Oyster with Tarragon and White Wine O. Henry: Pancakes with Lemon and Sugar Jerome K. Jerome: Irish Stew

with Salmon on Guiness Bread


10 12 14 16 18


This book is a celebration of my guilty pleasure for lengthy descriptions of mouthwatering dishes in works of literature. I have picked a number of authors, whose contribution to literature is well-recognized, but whose mastery of word in recreating tastes and smells is particularly striking. There is something magic-like in the way black ink on white paper is capable of bringing out memories, and physical sensations alike, evoking the sense of nostalgia and exciting your tastebuds at the same time. Different in style and length, themes and inspirations, quotes from eight novels and one short story that are featured in this cookbook may be presented without the context of the narrative they exist in, but they manage to represent their author's style and the mood of teh scene in a short and concise way. Placed next to a straight-forward instruction of how to make the descibed dish, these food allegories turn literary word into a gastronomical creation. An idea to document the instances of food-making and the descriptions of food in literature came to me as I was reading Boris Vian's and finding the character of chef Nicolas particularly fascinating. The scenes in the kitchen, the dialogue over food preparation, intertwined with deliciosly vivid description of whimsical food has a lasting impression on me. Vian's food creations, just as his surrealist narrative might have been too absurdist to ever become real dishes, just as the world of Vian's litterature: too beautiful and delicate to exist. But these emphemeral dishes had an aftertaste. And so did Proust's Madeleines and Hemingway's oysters, being more than just black ink on white paper and serving more than just a figure of speech. These dishes have a meaning more grandiose: specimens of pure sensual delight, they identify an author and his reader with a bond stronger than the logic of narrative or an allegory. And if in Barthes's words a text isn't but a tissue of citations, the descriptions of food are strong ones, coming from the realm of senses, appealing to body and soul, killing the author and bringing him alive at the same time. These dishes have an aftertaste, and hopefully this book will too, as it strives to use black ink on white paper to appeal to the reader's visual sensibility through its typographic rendering and use of word to appeal to all of the senses.



Marcel Proust “She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called “petites madeleines,” which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me.”

In Search of Lost Time



Les Madeleines de Commercy 2 ¾ 1 ¼ 1 ½ ½ 3 2

large eggs, beaten cup sugar cup unbleached, all-purpose flour unsalted butter tablespoon flour teaspoon pure vanilla extract lemon drops of lemon juice large Madeleine pans pinch of salt

Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl and add three quarters of the eggs. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend into a heavy cream – if very stiff, add a little bit of the remaining egg, one droplet at a time. Set aside for ten minutes. Meanwhile, bring all of the butter to a boil until it begins to brown very lightly. Combine 1½ tablespoons of the butter and tablespoon of flour in a small bowl and set aside. Stir the rest of the butter over cold water until cool but still liquid. Beat the remaining bit of egg into the batter and stir in the cool butter. Stir in the salt, vanilla, grated lemon zest, lemon juice (and bergamot if using). Cover the batter, and set aside in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, paint the Madeleine cups with a light coating of the browned butter and flour mixture, wiping up any pools that form in the bottom. Set aside or refrigerate if the kitchen is warm. Preheat the oven to 375°. Using a spoon and rubber spatula, drop a rounded tablespoonful of batter into each Madeleine cup. Do not spread the batter to fill the mold. Repeat with remaining batter and mold. Set pans on the middle rack and bake for about fifteen minutes. The batter will spread on its own to fill the cups and a hump will gradually form in the middle. Unmold onto a rack, humped side up. Serve as is, or sprinkle tops with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.


Herman Melville

“But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh! sweet friends, hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuits and salted pork cut up into little flakes! the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt... we dispatched it with great expedition.�



New England Clam Chowder

1 Ÿ 2-3 2 1 2 1 ½ 1 3 6

pound canned clams cups bottled clam juice bacon slices, minced onion, diced tablespoons all-purpose flour bay leaf teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped pound potatoes, peeled, diced cups heavy cream or half and half tablespoons dry sherry, or to taste salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste tabasco sauce, to taste worcestershire sauce, to taste oyster or saltine crackers, as needed

Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid. Cook the bacon slowly in a soup pot over medium heat until lightly crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the clam juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, add more clam juice to adjust the consistency. Add the bay leaf and fresh thyme. Add the potatoes and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the clams and cream in saucepan and simmer together until the clams are cooked, about 5-8 minutes. When the potatoes are tender, add the clams and cream to the soup base. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the sherry. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Serve in bowls with the crackers on the side.


James Joyce “She would care for him with creature comforts too for Gerty was womanly wise and knew that a mere man liked that feeling of hominess. Her griddlecakes done to a goldenbrown hue and queen Ann’s pudding of delightful creaminess had won golden opinions from all because she had a lukcy hand also for lighting a fire, dredge in the fine selfraising flour and always stir in the same directions, then cream the milk and sugar and whisk well the whites of eggs though she didn’t like the eating part when there were many people that made her shy and often she wondered why you couldn’t eat something poetical like violets or roses…”



r him with creature comforts womanly wise and knew that hat feeling of hominess. Her

Queen of Pudding

1 4

pound loaf of brioche tablespoons butter

1 1 2 ¼ 5 5 ¼ ½ 1 ¼ ½

cup heavy cream cup whole milk vanilla beans cup sugar egg yolks egg whites, cold cup sugar teaspoon cream of tartar pound of cherries cup of sugar lemon

Cube the loaf of challah into small cubes. Melt butter in a saucepan and toss bread cubes to coat. Lay them out in an even layer on a sheetpan and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Once they are toasted and cooled place them at the bottom of 6 ramekins until they are about ¾ full. Put milk, cream and the seeds and pods of vanilla beans in a medium saucepan. In a separate bowl whisk eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Heat milk and cream until almost at a boil then slowly whisk in the egg yolks/ sugar mixture, whisking vigorously the whole time so the eggs don’t scramble. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, pour over even breadcrumbs in six even batches and let them sit for about 10 minutes, or until the bread has absorbed much of the liquid (it doesn’t have to absorb it all). Place ramekins in a hot water bath that reaches about half way up the sides and bake at 350º for about 20 minutes, or until almost completely set but still slightly wiggly. While the pudding is setting make your cherry compote. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until whites start to foam. Slowly add sugar and continue to whisk until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks. Once this happens, remove from mixing bowl and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe meringue onto each of the cooled puddings and place them in the oven at 350 for about 7 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until whites start to foam. Slowly add sugar and continue to whisk until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks. Once this happens, remove from mixing bowl and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe meringue onto each of the cooled puddings and place them in the oven at 350º for about 7 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Place pitted cherries, sugar and zest into a medium saucepan and let them simmer over medium-low heat until most of the juices are released and slightly thickened. Once pudding is set and cooled pour cooled cherry compote into the ramekins evenly (you may have a little bit left over, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Now prepare your meringue..


Jonathan Franzen “The cupcakes were full of butter and frosted with a butter frosting. After he’d washed his hands and opened a bottle of Chardonnay he ate four of them and put the uncooked fish in the refrigerator.…He lowered the blinds and drank the wine and ate two more cupcakes, detecting peppermint in them, a faint buttery peppermint, before he slept.”

The Corrections


Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting 1¾ 2 ¾ 2 1 1 1 17 ½ 2 1 1 1 3 2 ½

butter, for greasing the pans cups all-purpose flour cups sugar cups good cocoa powder teaspoons baking soda teaspoon baking powder teaspoon kosher salt cup buttermilk, shaken tablespoons melted butter extra-large eggs teaspoon pure vanilla extract cup freshly brewed hot coffee cup of butter cups confectioners’ sugar tablespoons whipping cream teaspoon peppermint extract

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Butter cupcake tins. Line with cupcake liners then butter and flour the liners. This is a very sticky batter, I tried just buttering my nonstick cupcake tins the first time around and they got completely stuck. The fact that I didn’t have cupcake liners and didn’t want to go get any meant I got to make my own out of parchment paper. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for about 20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add peppermint and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency. Spread onto cupcakes or pipe on with a pastry bag and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies or nonpareils.


“… they were having Mildred’s masterpiece—

Virginia Woolf

boeuf en daube. Ev-

“…they were having Mildred’s masterpiece— boeuf en daube. Everything depended upon things being served up the precise moment they were ready. The beef, bay-leaf, and the wine—all must be done to a turn. To keep it waiting was out of the question. An exquisite scent of olives and oil and juice rose from the great brown dish as Marthe, with a little flourish, took the cover off. The cook had spent three days over that dish. And she must take great care, Mrs. Ramsay thought, diving into the soft mass, to choose a specially tender piece for William Bankes. And she peered into the dish, with its shiny walls and its confusion of savoury brown and yellow meats and its bay leaves and its wine...‘It is a triumph,’ said Mr. Banks, laying his knife down for a moment. He had eaten attentively. It was rich; it was tender. It was perfectly cooked.”

To the Lighthouse


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Boeuf en Daube 4 1 3 1 3 2 1 2 1 3 1 4 ½ 1 ½ ½

sprigs fresh thyme dried bay leaf whole cloves teaspoon whole black peppercorns strips orange zest tablespoons fresh orange juice medium onion, coarsely chopped garlic cloves celery stalk medium carrots bottle (750 mL) rich red wine pounds beef chuck roast, cup extra-virgin olive oil tablespoon tomato paste cup homemade beef or chicken stock cup nicoise olives, pitted and rinsed coarse salt

Make a bouquet garni: Put thyme, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and zest on a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle. Combine onion, garlic, celery, carrots, bouquet garni, and wine in a large non-reactive bowl. Add beef, and toss to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator 24-36 hours, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 300º. Remove beef from wine mixture; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. Transfer wine mixture to a heavy pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half of the beef, turning, until deeply browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Stir tomato paste into stock; add to the skillet, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add to wine mixture. Stir in olives and beef. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover daube; transfer to oven. Cook 2 hours. Reduce oven temperature to 275º.If daube starts to boil. After 2 hours, stir in orange. Reduce oven temperature to 275º.if daube starts to boil. After 2 hours, stir in orange juice. Cook until beef is very tender, about 30 minutes more. .


Washington Irving "As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye, ever open to every symptom of culinary abundance, ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. On all sides he beheld vast stores of apples, some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees, some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market, others heaped up in rich piles for the cider press. Farther on he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from hasty pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them, turning up their fair round bellies to the sun, and giving ample prospects of the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed the fragrant buckwheat fields, breathing the odor of the beehive, and as he beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty slapjacks, well buttered and garnished with honey or treacle, by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel.�

Legend of Sleepy Hollow


Slapjacks 2 2½ 1 1 2 2 2

cups all-purpose flour teaspoons baking powder teaspoon salt cup milk tablespoons butter tablespoons honey large eggs, slightly beaten butter or margarine maple syrup

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, scraping sides. Mixture will be somewhat thick. Spoon batter onto a greased griddle heated to about 375Âş(medium-high heat), making pancake a manageable size. Flip the pancake when batter is bubbled over the entire top and the edges are slightly dry (should take about 2 to 3 minutes). Cook bottom until golden brown, about 1 minute. Serve topped with butter or margarine and maple syrup.


Ernest Hemingway “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.�

A Moveable Feast


Oyster with Tarragon and White Wine 4 ¼ 1 ¼ 24 ¼

ounces butter cup chopped green onions teaspoon dried tarragon cup dry white wine salt and pepper oysters cup chopped fresh parsley buttered toast Melt butter in skillet over medium low heat; add chopped onions and sauté until onions are just softened. Add tarragon, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Add oysters and cook just long enough to curl at edges. Shake pan from side to side to keep them bathed with buttery sauce. Serve over crispy buttered toast garnished with chopped parsley.


O.Henry “They're golden sunshine,' says he, 'honey-browned by the ambrosial fires of Epicurus. I'd give two years of my life to get the recipe for making them pancakes. That's what I went to see Miss Learight for,' says Jackson Bird, 'but I haven't been able to get it from her. It's an old recipe that's been in the family for seventy-five years. They hand it down from one generation to another, but they don't give it away to outsiders. If I could get that recipe, so I could make them pancakes for myself on my ranch, I'd be a happy man,' says Bird.�

The Pimienta Pancakes


Pancakes with Lemon and Sugar 4 2 7 3 2

oz plain flour, sifted pinch of salt eggs fl oz milk mixed fl oz water butter caster sugar lemon juice lemon wedges

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs - any sort of whisk or even a fork will do - incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so. Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake. Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife - the other side will need a few seconds only - then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate. Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest. To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.


Jerome K. Jerome “It was a great success, that Irish stew. I don’t think I ever enjoyed a meal more. There was something so fresh and piquant about it. One’s palate gets so tired of the old hackneyed things: here was a dish with a new flavour, with a taste like nothing else on earth. And it was nourishing, too. As George said, there was good stuff in it. The peas and potatoes might have been a bit softer, but we all had good teeth, so that did not matter much: and as for the gravy, it was a poem – a little too rich, perhaps, for a weak stomach, but nutritious.”

Three Men in a Boat


Irish Stew with Smoked Salmon on Guiness Bread 1 ½ 1 4 2 2 6 2

pound boneless sirloin cup flour for dredging Tbsp olive oil medium onions cups vegetable stock cups Guinness Stout carrots parsnips

3½ 1 1 2½ 1 2½ 3 2 ¾ 1

cups Whole Grain Flour cup All-purpose Flour cup Oatmeal tsp Baking Soda tsp Salt Tbsp Brown Sugar Tbsp Butter cups Skim Milk cup Molasses cup Draught Guinness Neufchâtel Cheese Smoked Salmon Dill (Fresh or Dried)

Place flour in a medium bowl. Dredge raw meat cubes in flour until coated on each side. Shake off excess flour to avoid burning. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet, and brown meat on all sides. Placed browned meat into a large stock pot or kettle, and set aside. In the same skillet (no need to wash it), heat 1 tsp olive oil. Add onions and cook until they begin to caramelize (about 5 minutes). Pour 1 cup of the vegetable or beef stock into the skillet, and scrape up the brown bits. This gives the stew a nice brown color, adding lots of flavor. Add onions/stock mixture to the beef stock pot. Pour the remaining 1 cup of stock and Guinness over the meat (you can add more Guinness, stock, or water if more liquid is desired). Heat to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. When the meat is tender, add carrots and pasnips to the stock pot (about 20 minutes after simmering meat). The stew is ready when the vegetables are tender and the stew has slightly thickened. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 9X5 inch bread pans. In a large bowl, mix butter with all dry ingredients, until dough has the consistency of bread crumbs. Add milk, molasses, and Guinness. Mix until dough is wet. Spoon dough into prepared pans. Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow bread to cool before slicing. Place a thin layer of Neufchâtel cheese on the cooled, sliced bread. Serve with a thin layer of smoked salmon and a dash of dill.




Franzen, Jonathan, The Corrrections, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001

Hemingway, Ernest. A Moveable Feast. Scribner, New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: 1986, 1964 Henry, O. "The Pimienta Pancakes" in McClure's Magazine, 1903, pp.141-147,, accessed in May 2013 Jerome. Jerome K., Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889. Project gutenberg Ebook. Transcribed from the 1889 J. W. Arrowsmith edition by David Price, second proof by Margaret Price.,, last updated on October 19, 2010. Joyce, James. Ulysses. 1922. Project guttenberg Ebook. Produced by Col Choat, and David Widger., last updated on January 9, 2013. Irving, Washington. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Project Gutenberg Ebook, produced by Ilana M. (Kingsley) Newby and Greg Newby, files/41/41-h/41-h.htm, last updated on November 26, 2012. Melville, Herman. Moby Dick; or the Whale. 1851. A Gutenberg Project Ebook. Produced by Daniel Lazarus, Jonesey, and David Widger, files/2701/2701-h/2701-h.htm, last updated on January 9, 2013. Proust, Marcel. In Search of Lost Time, Volume I, "Swann's Way"1922, translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff. A Project Gutenberg Australia Ebook, ebooks03/0300511.txt, last update in March 2003. Woolf, Virginia, To the Lighthouse, Ebooks@Adelaida, Rendered into HTML by Steve Thomas,, last updated on February 7, 2013


Child, Julia. ªMadeleleines de Commercyª,, August 6, 2010, accessed in May 2013 Humes, Lindsay. ªIrish Stew with Salmon on Guiness Breadª, http://www.thegardenapt. com/2013/03/irish-stew-with-smoked-salmon-on.html, March 28, 2013, accessed in May 2013 Nicoletti, Cara. ªMoby Dick Clam Chowderª,, July 29, 2010, accessed in May 2013 Nicoletti, Cara. ªQueen of Puddingª,, June 15, 2012, accessed in May 2013 Nicoletti, Cara. ªThe Corrections Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting",, June 13, 2010, accessed in May 2013 Nicoletti, Cara. ªTo the Lighthouse Boeuf en Daubeª, to-the-lighthouse-boeuf-en-daube/, August 15, 2012, accessed in May 2013 Rattray, Diana, ªOysters with Tarragon and White Wineª, oysters/a/bl30102q.htm, accessed in May 2013 Smith, Delia. ªBasic Pancakes with lemon and Sugarª, basicpancakeswithsuga_66226, accessed in May 2013


Wenger, Shaunda Kennedy & Janet Kay Jensen, ªBehold! Ichabod's Slapkacksª in , Ballantine Books, New York: 2003, pp. 5-6.

This book has been designed and printed by Polina Godz for a Typography II class at Rhode Island School Of Design, under the instruction of Franz Werner in May 2013. Polina Godz is a student at Brown University, studying Modern Culture and Media, and Rhode Island School of Design, studying Graphic Design.


Literary Gastronomy  
Literary Gastronomy  

A book that combines mouthwatering descriptions of food in great literature with the recipes and instructions of how to make them.