What is it with food and the Otherworld?

When I first read THE BRIDE OF DUSK AND GLASS’s blurb on Publishers Marketplace, my immediate thought was: “oooh! Hades and Persephone! Man, I could go for a pomegranate right now…”

That got me thinking about all the food (mostly fruit) that gets a bad rep in fairytales and myths.

Pomegranates. Snow White’s¬†poisoned apple. Or, my all time nightmare-inducer, those beautiful grapes that Ofelia eats at the Pale Man’s feast.

Food is the trigger.

Pan’s Labyrinth: Two grapes later and Pale Man is chasing Ofelia down the passageways of his horrible home. I hate, HATE, his discombobulated walk. Mostly because it’s not a run. He’s just “looming.” And looming is terrifying.

Snow White: One bite of the apple (“taste it, my pretty!” *dry cackle*) and Snow White is waiting for the prince with a casual case of necrophilia to kiss her.

Hades and Persephone: Poor Persephone was probably jonesing for some food (what can you expect when her mom’s the goddess of a bountiful harvest?) and Hades offers her a couple measly pomegranate seeds (I think pizza would’ve worked better, but then we’d have winter all the time…is it possible for one to stop at only *six* pepperoni slices? “SIX PEPPERONI PIECES = SIX MONTHS DAMNED IN THE UNDERWORLD!!”) and *boom* she’s stuck.

My point is, food links us to the Otherworld in a beautiful way. I love the age old warning in fairytales not “to eat their food.” It’s creepy. It’s a reminder to remain apart and share nothing with them. To me, there’s something poetic and visceral about imbibing or consuming a part of that magical realm. It may mean that we have assimilated some part of its magic into our own being, or that we’ve now shared in something we shouldn’t have, thus we must pay the price.

My great temptations below:

From the Mercat de la Boqueria in Spain.

From the Mercat de la Boqueria in Spain.

Dragon fruit. Was obsessed with these for years. Then I ate one. EONS OF DISAPPOINTMENT. Tastes like curdled kiwi water.

Dragon fruit. Was obsessed with these for years. Then I ate one. EONS OF DISAPPOINTMENT. Tastes like curdled kiwi water.

Mmm coconut-y treats in silver foil...

Mmm coconut-y treats in silver foil…

ICING COOKIES

ICING COOKIES

dainty bird nests of spun sugar and candied cashews

dainty bird nests of spun sugar and candied cashews

the best pork rolls this side of the Mason Dixon.

the best pork rolls this side of the Mason Dixon.

 

What tempts you the most?

 

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