A couple of posts ago, I lauded intimate scenes in romance novels, and (https://www.miasivan.com/post/why-do-we-need-sex-scenes) argued they serve an even more important function than fight scenes in action novels.
Now I want to talk to you about food in romance novels.
I love reading about food in other writers’ books, and it is great fun writing it. I don’t aim to portray ‘traditional’ Israeli or Middle Eastern food, like falafel or hummus. I don’t particularly like hummus, plus you really don’t want to be in the same room with me after I’ve had some…
Rather, I try to use food to convey an ambience or send a message. In my book “Crunching her Numbers”, Slava is hopelessly in love with Kelly, an older, wealthier woman. He bakes her beer bread, so when she comes in and smells it, her place will feel like home — their home.
In a (real- life) Farsi restaurant, in Tel Aviv’s Levinsky market, Kelly shares a stuffed vegetable platter with her boss. He tells her about an investigation being carried by the Israel Securities Authority - an investigation she was secretly told about and asked to assist in, a short while before. She can hardly keep from spewing rice all over him.
In my upcoming novel (out in early 2023), the heroine, Tamar, usually eats fast food. It’s cheaper and this way she gets to use the rest of her lunch money to buy groceries. When she is invited by the hero’s mother to a fancy restaurant (I’ve based this restaurant’s menu on a real Tel Aviv gourmet restaurant), she balks at the prices.
Tamar much prefers it when she and her best friend eat Arayes, fried quarter pittas stuffed with meat, which you can top with tomato salad and tahini.
I hope I didn't make you too hungry.
see you next blog.