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Many different types of food and drink are mentioned throughout the Chronicles of Narnia. For the most part, Narnians appear to eat very well: Long lists of delicacies are seen throughout the series, and descriptions of meals, both simple and elaborate, are common features as well.

As a plot device

Aside from adding imagery to the stories, these extensive descriptions of food and drink sometimes serve another purpose; they help to contextualize the scene in which they appear. The specific types of foods mentioned, their quality and quantity, which characters consume them, and even how they are presented and served often reflect some aspect of the larger picture:

Displaying diversity of creatures

The many creatures and species of Narnia favored different types of foods according to their nature. For example, the tree people consumed numerous varieties of earth and soil, as opposed to foods favored by the more "humanoid" types of creatures.[1] Centaurs, meanwhile, had to consume foods that satisfied both their man-stomachs (porridge, cooked meats, and toasted bread) and their horse-stomach (grass, raw oats, and sugar).[2]

Highlighting differences between regions

Shasta's experiences in and around Tashbaan showcased the richness and variety of Calormene cuisine, featuring a host of exotic foods rarely seen in other regions of the world (lobsters, melons, rice, and unique desserts).[3][4]

At Aslan's Table on the Island of Ramandu, some of the more unique delicacies included turkeys, salmon, pineapples, and tomatoes.[5]

Reflecting circumstances and situations

When characters were in the middle of difficult situations, or in the presence of evil, the food in these scenes tended to be spartan and/or low in quality: When Edmund is at the White Witch's castle, he expected Turkish Delight, but was served only water and dry bread[6]; when Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum were taken hostage by the gnomes in Underland, they were fed bland, tasteless cakes[7]; and when Jill and Eustace first took refugee with King Tirian, the only food available was porridge made from crumbled biscuits.[8]

By contrast, when a victory had been achieved or a mission had been completed, the food served afterwards was typically delicious. After defeating the Telmarines, the Old Narnians were treated to an especially lavish feast, which included meats, fruits, and many different kinds of wine.[1]

Notable food moments

The Magician's Nephew

  • While on a mission for Aslan, Diggory Kirke and Polly Plummer buried a piece of toffee in the ground.[9] Since the newly-created world of Narnia was seething with life energy, the piece of candy grew into a tree, which bore fruits similar in appearance to dates but with a taste that reminded the children of toffee.[10]

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

  • Upon meeting the White Witch for the first time, Edmund was served a "hot drink" that tasted "sweet and foamy and creamy", along with an entire box of Turkish Delight, all conjured by magic.[11]
  • In their house atop the damn, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver prepared a hearty home-cooked meal for the Pevensie children: fried fish, boiled potatoes, bread, milk, beer (only for Mr. Beaver), marmalade roll, and tea.[12]

The Horse and His Boy

  • After escaping from his cruel, adoptive father Arsheesh on the talking horse named Bree, Shasta found the best breakfast he had ever eaten in Bree's saddlebags: a meat pasty, dried figs, green cheese, and a flask of wine.[13]
  • While in Tashbann, Shasta was mistaken for Prince Corin of Archenland and brought back to the lodgings of the Narnian diplomatic mission, where he enjoyed the finest food Calormen had to offer: lobsters; salad; snipe stuffed with alomonds and truffles; a rice dish made with chicken livers, raisins, and nuts; melons, mullberry and gooseberry fools, many dishes made with ice, and a flagon of white wine.[3]

Prince Caspian

  • While sheltering in the ruins of Cair Paravel, the Pevensies sustained themselves primarily on apples from the overgrown orchard. These also become their main food supplies as they journeyed into the heart of Narnia.
    • After scaring off two Telmarine soldiers and rescuing Trumpkin the dwarf, they were able to use the soldiers' abandoned rowboat and fishing implements to catch Pavenders, a rainbow-colored fish, and roasted them over an open fire.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 PC XV
  2. SC XVI
  3. 3.0 3.1 HHB V
  4. HHB VI
  5. VDT XIII
  6. LWW XI
  7. SC X
  8. LB V
  9. MN XII
  10. MN XIII
  11. LWW IV
  12. LWW VII
  13. HHB II

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