Famous Recipes and Their Diffusion

By Isabella De Palma and Lauren Demaree
In today’s society, food has become less of a survival necessity and more of a cultural expression. We form connections over a good meal and a glass of wine. We pass on familial recipes to keep traditions alive, or even meals based in literature. Kate Young, award winning food writer and critic, takes meals from some of the most famous and influential books in history and adapts them to form her own recipes. Based on an excerpt from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Young created a Fried Chicken and Roll Breakfast recipe. On her blog, she includes the passage from the book and walks the reader through the recipe in an insightful and creative way – one that leaves the reader wanting to run to the kitchen and whip up the delicious meal.
She takes an even more creative approach by adapting a recipe that has been in her family for generations, and putting a “magical” spin on it. She takes a scene from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in which the characters are feasting on a flaming Christmas Pudding. Even though it was an old familial tradition to have Christmas pudding, Young’s inspiration stirred based upon her reading of this book.
Lastly, she explains how she has been inspired by the writings of End Blyton, especially Five on a Treasure Island which showcases a fan favorite, Sticky Ginger Cake. The passage from the book reads, “Aunt Fanny had … made a ginger cake with black treacle. It was dark brown and sticky to eat,” (Blyton). Young goes on to explain how this sweet treat, inspired by literature, is a perfect one for a picnic. Overall, inspiration for cooking recipes can come from anywhere and the creativity should be embraced.