If you’re looking for something to read, these fifteen food-themed short stories will quench your appetite. From jianbing and hijiki salad, to a man who slips into a coma after eating the wrong plant like furaffinity shinies in a dream, these stories will be sure to pique your interest. Whether you’re looking for an easy read or something with a little more substance, this list includes all types of literature. Have fun!
1. “The Food of Love,” Tom Robbins
This short story is published in Robbins’ collection, Another Roadside Attraction. The story is about a young chef who worries that he may be in love with his food. His lack of love for food definitely shows when his companion takes him to another restaurant, where the food “opened itself like a blossom.” The chef’s companion reveals that the chef could never make fried chicken like this because he does not love the chicken enough. He does not entirely understand what she means, but leaves with a new perspective on loving his job and life. How do you feel about this statement?
2. “The Man Who Ate Himself,” Lawrence Durrell
Durrell’s short story is about a man who eats an entire aquarium. He turns into a fish, and everyone around him can tell the difference. The reason he eats himself is because he thinks that eating himself will help him get back to being human again. Although this story is kind of depressing, it is also very interesting and well-written. How do you feel about the protagonist?
3. “It’s All About Food,” Mario Puzo
This short story by Puzo was originally published in the New York Times Magazine, then as part of his book The Fortunate Pilgrim – A Novel of Life in America under Federico Fellini’s influence. It is a story about a boy named Vito who wants to be like his father. Everyone in the neighborhood knows that Vito’s family has fresh tomatoes for sale every day, so he goes shopping for food. What kind of food do you think he wanted?
4. “The Most Boring Restaurant in the World,” Ian Sansom
This short story from Sansom’s collection, The Comforts of Madness, has been published in over thirteen countries and has garnered countless international awards. It is about a man who becomes a waiter at what might just be the most boring restaurant in the world: the local council canteen. The food is as bland as the surroundings, but the man has grown fond of his (boring) surroundings, which he considers peaceful. However, his orders become more and more “spicy” until he finally adds a controversial comment to his customer’s meal. Which do you think was the most controversial comment?
5. “The Story of a Dish,” Mai Cutler
Cutler’s story was originally published in BBC Good Food magazine, then reprinted in her collection of short stories called The Miniature Wife and Other Stories. The story is about a man who goes for lunch at an Indian restaurant with his girlfriend and her family. The restaurant boasts of a five-course meal and the man goes ahead with ordering, but his girlfriend and her family do not eat. However, the food comes to life and tells the man a story. What kind of story does it tell?
6. “Eating Out of a Paper Bag,” Michael Crumlish
This short story is published in Crumlish’s book, Food Lovers’ Cookbook, which was written to teach people about good healthy eating. The story is about a man who eats half an apple every day for three weeks in order to lose weight, then orders pizza from his favorite place every night after work. What does the author mean when he says “the greatest thing about eating a big slice of pizza is that it’s the only food left to eat” and “they all knew that this was not a fast-food place”?
7. “The Man Who Ate His Way Out of the World,” Patrick Leigh Fermor
This short story is published in Leigh Fermor’s book The Traveller’s Tree, which is composed of 35 short stories. In this story, a young man and his girlfriend decide to go on a hike with their dog and go on to eat berries until they fall asleep. However, in the middle of the night, their dog wakes up and leaves them. In order to find their dog, the couple have to eat berries in order to get from berry bush to berry bush. The man in question is a slow eater who enjoys eating slowly. Have you ever gone on a hike and then ended up shoving food into your mouth because you were hungry?
8. “On the Road,” Jack Kerouac
Published in one of Kerouac’s most famous books, On the Road , this short story is about a group of friends who travel across America. The group goes from town to town, eating at diners and staying with friends. The author uses language such as “he ate and ate” because he wants to capture the image of this character as a gluttonous fool.