food + fiction

When we travel, we always pack a great book and emergency chocolate.

Hawaiian Spam Musubi Inspired by Michael Crichton's Adventure-Thriller 'Micro'
Hawaiian Spam Musubi Inspired by Michael Crichton's Adventure-Thriller 'Micro'
The star of a Hawaiian luau is kalua pork, and that is 100% justified. But when you're heading to the beach or feeling peckish, you need Spam musubi, a portable snack that's salty-sweet-crispy-chewy and irresistible.
South African Chakalaka Inspired by Damon Galgut's Novel 'The Promise'
South African Chakalaka Inspired by Damon Galgut's Novel 'The Promise'
The application of flames to meat is one of humanity's greatest inventions. In South Africa, the barbecue tradition known as braai is a celebration of multicultural flavors and the delicious power of a wood fire.
Sweet and Savory Banana Pudding Inspired by the 'She Walks These Hills'
Sweet and Savory Banana Pudding Inspired by the 'She Walks These Hills'
Creamy, sweet, and cold from the fridge, banana pudding is just the thing to sweeten an already happy occasion or smooth the edges when life's sorrows come calling. This recipe makes the old favorite even better.
Reykjavik Salmon Salad Inspired by 'The Tricking of Freya'
Reykjavik Salmon Salad Inspired by 'The Tricking of Freya'
The flavors of Iceland reflect its terrain: tangy skyr, silky smoked salmon, grassy herbs; everything is fresh, vibrant, and local. Inspired by Icelandic breakfast, this dish brings a taste of Iceland to your table.
Indian Stuffed Peppers with Butter-Curry Sauce Inspired by 'The Widows of Malabar Hill'
Indian Stuffed Peppers with Butter-Curry Sauce Inspired by 'The Widows of Malabar Hill'
Stuffed peppers are old-school comfort food, but they're way more fun when you spice 'em up. And thanks to a velvety curry sauce that tastes like cardamon-cumin clouds, these stuffed peppers are a little bit fancy.
Greek Meatballs and Lemon Potatoes Inspired by 'This Rough Magic'
Greek Meatballs and Lemon Potatoes Inspired by 'This Rough Magic'
The phrase meat-and-potatoes is basically code for comfort food. Add a touch of sunshine (a.k.a., lemon) and Greek herbs to the mix, and you've got an instant trip to the Greek islands embarking from your kitchen.
Sugared Cranberries Inspired by the Charming Christmas Mystery 'The Dead of Winter'
Sugared Cranberries Inspired by the Charming Christmas Mystery 'The Dead of Winter'
Nothing says 'holiday revelry' like the tangy flavor of cranberries and a little bit of murder under the Christmas tree. Snuggle up with this charming homage to golden-age crime novels and berry delicious recipe.
Forest Mushroom Soup Inspired by the Novel 'The Bear and the Nightingale'
Forest Mushroom Soup Inspired by the Novel 'The Bear and the Nightingale'
You don't have to be tucked inside a fairy tale house in a dark forest to enjoy this hearty, garlicky mushroom soup — but it's fun to pretend. Let the snow fall. Let the ghosts romp. Just sip your soup and enjoy.
Sweet and Salty Grain-Free Granola Inspired by 'The True Story of Hansel and Gretel'
Sweet and Salty Grain-Free Granola Inspired by 'The True Story of Hansel and Gretel'
Yes, you could forage for nuts and berries in the woods. Or, instead, you might whip up a batch of this homemade granola and take that on your next hike. It's sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, and eminently shareable.
Egyptian Ful Medames Inspired by the Novel 'The Last Watchman of Old Cairo'
Egyptian Ful Medames Inspired by the Novel 'The Last Watchman of Old Cairo'
Shake up your breakfast routine with this savory, comforting recipe from ancient Egypt. Tender fava beans are simmered with fragrant cumin, then dressed up with colorful additions and warm, yeasty pita on the side.
Egyptian Koshari Inspired by the Novel 'A Pure Heart' by Rajia Hassib
Egyptian Koshari Inspired by the Novel 'A Pure Heart' by Rajia Hassib
Street food is the best food; we won't be convinced otherwise. With this recipe, you can bring koshari — a.k.a., amazing Egyptian street food, into your kitchen. Carby goodness, spicy tomato sauce, fried onions... YES.
Easy Five-Ingredient Stovetop Naan Inspired by 'The Dressmaker of Khair Khana'
Easy Five-Ingredient Stovetop Naan Inspired by 'The Dressmaker of Khair Khana'
Bread is often more than food. Yes, it's physical sustenance. But it can also be a symbol of comfort, prosperity, or warm hospitality — we literally break bread with others to connect and form bonds of friendship.
Shepherd's Breakfast Bake Inspired by the Gothic Classic 'Frankenstein'
Shepherd's Breakfast Bake Inspired by the Gothic Classic 'Frankenstein'
Poor Frankenstein! (The 'monster,' not the doctor.) The poor creature deserves kindness and a hot breakfast to start the day. Like this savory bread pudding from 'A Gothic Cookbook.' It's monstrously delicious.
Arctic Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce Inspired by Polar Bears and Sunsets
Arctic Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce Inspired by Polar Bears and Sunsets
This post has everything good: Arctic adventure, polar bears, Arctic hares, tundra-inspired cuisine, and comfy accommodations. We encourage you to browse the stunning photos and bake this cake as soon as possible.
Easy Baked Cake Donuts to Honor the Hardworking People in Newsrooms Everywhere
Easy Baked Cake Donuts to Honor the Hardworking People in Newsrooms Everywhere
Snacks are the fuel that helps hard work get done. And while we know that fruits and veggies are an essential part of every day, there's always room in life for an easy, delicious, homemade, 'you can do it' donut.
Costa Rican Ceviche Inspired by the Memoir 'Wide-Open World'
Costa Rican Ceviche Inspired by the Memoir 'Wide-Open World'
Bright lime juice, fresh fish, and a surprising secret ingredient combine in this simple recipe that will instantly transport you to a beach in Costa Rica. Fresh and flavorful, it's a tropical vacation in a bowl.
Pan-Fried Plantains & Lizard Sauce Inspired by Short Stories from Costa Rica
Pan-Fried Plantains & Lizard Sauce Inspired by Short Stories from Costa Rica
Costa Rican meals are usually a rainbow of fruits and veggies with rice and black beans making an appearance on almost every plate. This comfort food is gussied up with the ubiquitous elixir known as Salsa Lizano.
Hollywood Classic Cobb Salad Inspired by the Glamorous Mystery 'Valentino Will Die'
Hollywood Classic Cobb Salad Inspired by the Glamorous Mystery 'Valentino Will Die'
The smell of power and starlets' perfume wafted through the dining of The Brown Derby during the '30s and '40s. Everyone who was anyone ate there and brokered deals. And one night, they invented a timeless recipe.
Irish Boxty (Potato Pancakes) Inspired by Timothy Egan's 'The Immortal Irishman'
Irish Boxty (Potato Pancakes) Inspired by Timothy Egan's 'The Immortal Irishman'
It's a well-known fact around the world that you can't really go wrong with potatoes and butter. These Irish boxties are a simple, hearty riff on that adage: tender-crisp pancakes that taste of rebellion and love.
Traditional Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread Inspired by 'That Old Country Music'
Traditional Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread Inspired by 'That Old Country Music'
We've got the makings of a cozy evening for you: a collection of atmospheric stories to transport you to western Ireland, a comforting bowl of Irish Stew, and a hot-from-the-oven slab of Irish Soda Bread with butter.
Pennsylvania Dutch Whoopie Pies Inspired by the memoir 'An American Childhood'
Pennsylvania Dutch Whoopie Pies Inspired by the memoir 'An American Childhood'
Is it a cookie? Is it a cake? A whoopie pie is two large, soft chocolate cookies held together with a luscious buttercream filling. Its origin may be in dispute, but we can all agree that it's a truly American treat.
sharing is caring!

Wanna help us spread the word? If you like this page, please share with your friends.

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2022 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.