Eat and Love – Food in Romance

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What is your favorite fruit dish? Can you share a recipe for it? Do you include food in your stories? While we're talking about food, pumpkin, yea or nay?

It is a cruel irony for me to get this question right after I embraced low-carb eating.

I made the shift after seeing some troubling lab results, talking with my doctor and consulting a nutritionist about the impact of things like fruit on my health. With the exception of berries, I should limit the amount of fruit I eat drastically. Little fruit is a hard thing for a junkie like me. Fortunately, I have experienced improved health by restricting how much of them I eat. But that’s for another post some time.

I always preferred to eat whole fruit over eating them in dishes. Crunching into a crisp apple or popping a piece of banana in my mouth has always been more stratifying. Dang! I miss apples!

All right, Snow White, I get it. No apples for Lyndell. At least my characters get to eat whatever they want.

Food in Fiction

Food remains crucial to feeding our bodies and essential to individual, communal and social cultural context. In my characters’ world, food is equally important. For example, including descriptions of halal food in books like Queen of the Castle demonstrates the cultural significance of eating according to faith protocols for some Muslim characters.

Halal food also shows exchange between Muslim and non-Muslim characters in stories like Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit. Non-Muslims, Marcus, Simon and Quinn eat at a halal restaurant with their Muslim friend Faisal, but he is not the only one who prefers the Muslim meat. Marcus often selects to eat halal.

I often use what they eat to set up their environment and culture and show connections between love and food as a way to exhibit affection.

In My Way to You, eggs represent Simon and Regina’s emerging romance and the fragility of their relationship due to threats coming from the outside world. At one point, Simon has to learn to make eggs a specific way to feed Regina when she is at her most vulnerable.

Eating can be a foundational part of how a couple connects. In Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit, Marcus is a big meat eater, who likes biting into a juicy burger from his favorite halal spot. His wife, Toni prefers high-end restaurants with smaller portions that Marcus finds stressful, but he sacrifices gratifying his gut to make his woman happy. Toni will grab a cheeseburger and fries when she wants to soften her lawyer husband’s austere exterior and reach his gooey insides—the way to a person’s heart and all that.

Some scientists assert a connection between food and love.

The dopamine system becomes active in people when they look at someone they love or a favorite food, Allen says. So in our brains, at least, food really is connected to love and a sense of well-being.

NPR

People often use food to woo objects of their affection. In Building on Broken Dreams, Adam prepares a special brew for Maryam, the woman he wants to marry and fellow coffee lover. Readers will see how they connect through a cup of Joe.

Food can be essential for many romance authors because of the relationship between what we eat, live and love.

Pumpkin Time

I have yet to include pumpkin in any of my plots, but you never know.

I do enjoy pumpkin as part of the shift into Autumn. As soon as I noticed the surge of pumpkin products hitting the markets, I searched for carb-friendly pumpkin recipes. I found quite a few, and happily hit the print button so I don’t have to sacrifice some of my pumpkin-packed favorites like pumpkin bread and cheesecake.

Click here for a pretty good pumpkin cheesecake recipe for the low-carb eater.

No, I do not eat pumpkin pie. A girl has her limits.

Eat and read well!

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