Fictitious Dishes: Literature’s Most Memorable Meals

In keeping with the conceit of Marcel Proust, that the sensory overload of a particular dish can have in evoking involuntary memory – in his case the Madeline – New York based graphic designer Dinah Fried has created a compendium of photographs titled Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals – documenting the fictional dishes from some of literature’s most famous works.

Encapsulating her unique view that the social engagement offered by both reading and eating as “natural companions”, Dinah’s study of the great works of fiction from the last 200 years has been personally interpreted into her own literary vision – via meticulous cooking, art-direction and photography. The run of images features a selection of what are considered ‘classics’ ranging from Dickens’ Oliver Twist to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and more contemporaneous works like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Originally a passion project from her university days in which Friend’s “most vivid memories from books are of the meals the characters eat”, each image filled page of the book looks to conjure similar emotions from the reader, accompanied by the passage in which the dish appears as well as facts about the author, narrative or cuisine.

Although on the surface of it, the book looks to be something of a gimmicky art project – the themes drawn from the series of photographs offer clear comparisons between the media’s relationship with food and the emotional connections we as consumers have as a result. With each of the dishes utilised as key plot drivers for the individual narratives of each work depicted within the series, similar techniques are arguably employed to a lesser and often more literal extent among some of the most popular mass market foodie based print and broadcast media offerings on the market today.

Regardless how far you decide to read into it, or not, the images and segments of prose are left to speak for themselves.

Fictitious Dishes: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

[Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland]


[Oliver Twist]


[The Bell Jar]


[The Catcher in the Rye]


[On the Road]




[To Kill a Mockingbird]


[To Kill a Mockingbird]


[In Search of Lost Time]


[Moby Dick]


[The Metamorphosis]


[Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas]


Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals is available to buy on Amazon.