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American food in the novel

Updated on June 11, 2019
Cornbread
Cornbread
Beef stew
Beef stew
Lamb
Lamb
Red potatoes
Red potatoes
Beans
Beans
Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin pie
Peccan pie
Peccan pie

Food is the zest of life. When I think of American food, me and a lot of many around the world I'd imagine, think of lots of hamburgers, fries and pizza's.

But this is not true as expounded upon by John Grisham's Last Juror, one of his earlier and countless books he writes. In the Last Juror we really get a delicious treat of American food that leaves the reader salivating and forgetting about the murder, courtroom drama and life in the post-trial period.

In The Last Juror there are pages upon pages in the narrative about southern cuisine as made by one black (sorry, African-American) lady who turns out to be the pride of the black community.

The journalist, who is the story-teller, is fed continually and introduced to all sorts of cuisine from the garden alongside pork chips, roast beef and lamb stew alongside butter beans, okra, eggplants, cabbage, new red potatoes and so on.

The description is so rich it is melodious leaving the reader in a state of wonderment about food and more luscious food with plenty of helpings. The lady knew who to make people comfortable and stuff them to the hilts in different varieties.

In some cases, the black lady Miss Callie talks about the way she makes such food going into rich melange that makes the reader want to follow and make as the case with beef rump roast were vegetables, salt and pepper and water. She adds such a recipe takes five hours.

Because of his global popularity as an author, Grisham's narrative becomes very appealing allowing people the world-over to sit up and listen to the 'voice' of the text, as if someone is talking to you about different varieties of food.

All of a sudden as well, the hamburgers, fries hotdogs and pizzas take a back seat, and is replaced by more succulent dishes and excellent varieties

Then we get a taste of deserts and pecan pies, pumpkin pies, coconut pies, strawberry cakes, and the list goes on. We droll and drivel in the text, and certainly become hungry.

After a while the reader starts wondering. Is it the trial he is following, the journalist, religious aspect of the community, or is it the great food being made by a lovely black lady, no patronizing?

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    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      9 years ago from Iowa

      It's been a long time since I read the "Last Juror" and I had forgotten the focus on food in that story. I recently started reading the "Help," which is another story in which descriptions of food and Southern cooking are woven into the story line.

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      9 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Unfortunately America itself is being stereotyped.

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 

      9 years ago from United States

      You know America is known for the greasy fast foods as our food but there are many more foods from the heart of America that as you say are home style cooked and truly

      American. The foods enjoyed in America are as melting pot as the people themselves. As far as " the black lady " being patronizing, I don't think so. That is just the way it was.

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      10 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      I was surprised as well, but the way Grisham describe it, these dishes are mouthwatering

    • profile image

      Nizar 

      10 years ago

      I'm so taken by they way you and the author as you said describe it but I'm still not convinced about the American food at all I prefer the Arabian+Turkish and I love the Italian food :)

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      10 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Thanks for your comments. To get a writer like Grisham to talk about food in his book(s)surely does the world of good to the American way of life despite the story line

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      10 years ago

      Pizza and burgers may always be "kid" favorites - throwing in a milkshake too, but you are right - the cuisine in the south is delicious. Cabbage, butter beans, and okra are some of my favorite vegetables. And cooked in bacon grease -- heavenly!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      10 years ago

      Food descriptions are an important part of the vicarious thrills of reading a book! :)

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