Journal of Writing & Environment

Fiction for Foodies Web Rove

By Adam Blake Wright

I recently suited up, smoked out bees, carved combs, and bottled 40 pounds of honey with ISU’s very own Bluff Creek Bee Club. It was easily my favorite day since moving to Iowa, and yet it made me desperately miss my hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, which is one of the country’s premiere “foodie” capitals. The city has more breweries per capita than any other place in America, and several local chefs recently received James Beard Award nominations for their outstanding culinary work. In celebration (and gentle mockery) of the honey-coated, beer-bloated, quinoa-obsessed foodie culture, here are several pieces that will tantalize the taste buds and tickle the funny bones:

Surviving Whole Foods” by Kelly MacLean (The Huffington Post)

Comedian Kelly MacLean’s parody of a Whole Foods shopping experience is hilarious and relentlessly unforgiving. It quickly reminded me of the traffic gridlock that was created last week when a Trader Joe’s opened in Asheville, only two blocks from a long-standing Whole Foods. Let the upscale grocery store battle begin!

The Ultimate Small Plates Tasting Menu” by Kate Hahn (McSweeney’s)

Ah, the joys of paying $27 for a bacon-wrapped grape… Kate Hahn’s fictional menu perfectly satirizes the small plate phenomenon that is a growing fixture of the culinary world. During this tasting, particles of sugar are presented under a microscope and sprayed (literally) into a guest’s open mouth. Bon appétit!

Mario’s Shoes” by Natalie Parker-Lawrence (Alimentum)

I love Alimentum, an excellent literary journal that publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry exclusively about food. In this piece, the author clearly has a crush on Mario Batali, the famous Croc-wearing Italian chef and current host of ABC’s The Chew. It’s a delightful read that investigates the sexual and religious undertones that permeate in our age of “food porn.”