So back when I first started this blog I wrote a blog on Food and Sensuality that I feel I need to revisit. At the time, it focused on the use of food to heighten tension and sensuality in a scene, but now I want to highlight something a bit different. Food and sex.
There are two writers I've been reading recently, side by side almost, who have used food - in one way or another - in a book of theirs. Eden Bradley's Forbidden Fruit and Jenny Colgan's Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe.
Bradley specialises in erotica. We're talking explicit sex scenes and Forbidden Fruit looks at the use of food within sex and the idea of a food fetish. It's wonderfully drawn, with 3D characters and is essentially such fun that I've persuaded my book club to take it as our next novel. Interestingly though, despite the cherries on the front cover, nothing gave away the book's exploration of this fetish in the blurb. (Apologies if I've spoiled the surprise, but you pick up on it fairly quickly). Plus, such inventive uses or wine and syrup... NB. Be careful, it turns out that syrup is just as sticky as you thought it - and is a complete bugger to clean up after.
But just as sex sells, so does food. Jenny Colgan, recent winner of the RNA's Romantic Novel of the Year award, seems to have tapped into this. I literally fell over myself to buy more of her books after devouring the Romantic Novel of the Year in question (Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams) on Sunday. Since then, I've also read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and just downloaded The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris. Again, though more romanticised than sexualised, food ends up playing a central role in characters' relationships. In MMatCC, chapters open with a recipe, linked pertinently to the narrative, and though not sexually explicit, they provide an enchanting escapist fantasy of their own.
I am not, however, trying to pit one style against the other. It's more that I think I was a little reductive when first writing on this topic and kind of wanted to put that to rights. I'm half-Italian; I'm born to love food. I'm just lucky that there are some damn good writers who explore its many different facets in their writing.