Alice’s Adventures in Food Land

I’ve always been fascinated by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s absurd in the best way, like a Douglas Adams book. My favorite part about it was the food. Food played such a huge role in the story. In my opinion, it was the best use of fantasy food.

However, the bottle was not marked “poison,” so Alice ventured to taste it, and, finding it very nice (it had in fact, a sort of mixed flavor of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffy, and hot buttered toast), she very soon finished it off.

-Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I imagined (despite the illustrations in my book) a beautiful, blue-tinted apothecary bottle and beautiful calligraphy on the label. And I wondered if I would be enticed to drink from it if I had nothing else to do. Imagine my surprise when she became ten inches tall and a perfect fit for the tiny door that led to the garden.

Why aren’t there more fantasy stories with food used in this way? Food that can make you small enough to roam a flower bed at petal height or tall enough to scare the locals. It elevates a meal to magic.

alice in wonderland drawing

Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words “EAT ME” were beautifully marked in currants…
…she was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size. To be sure, this what generally happens when one eats; but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go in the common way.

-Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I quite agree! When I finished reading about Alice and her time in Wonderland, I wondered if eating back home was a disappointment or a relief. Either way, it inspired my own writing when began my world-building for Canto

A vine with oblong fruit hung from a trailing trellis. A wooden circular banquette enclosed a tree with black bark that wept crystallized tears. Stalks as tall as me bore small green oval fruit that smelled like pine and strawberry cream when I brushed against it.

-A Smuggler’s Path

Do any of your favorite stories that use food for fantasy?

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