I conducted a study to understand the significance of on-screen food experiences and its attachment to nostalgia. In an online survey I asked participants ‘Is there a meal or food from a fictional story you've always wanted to try- or have distinct memories of?” providing examples such as, Sam-I-am's Green Eggs and Ham, Harry Potters Chocolate Frog, Homer Simpsons Pink Sprinkled Donut, Oliver Twists Gruel, Alice in Wonderlands Tea Party, Mulan's Congee, Great Gatsby's Elaborate Buffets, Grand Budapest Hotel's Courtesan au Chocolat, SpongeBobs Krabby Patty. The survey asked participants to share with me the name of the Book/TV Show/Film/Game - and describe the memorable food or meal.
The array of responses showcases the significance of individuals' memories of food in fiction, and how stories and fiction can evoke vicarious hunger for flavours and textures we have yet to experience in the real world.
Using the answers from this survey, I recreated a selection of the food memories, to understand the significance and value in recreation.
Fictional Food is a vital part for worldbuilding in fantasy, it has many roles, from providing a sense of time and place, to understanding characters' personalities. But most significantly it can depict a sensation that we can own within our imaginations, which can form nostalgic memories.