They're the first in a new series of literature-meets-cookbook mashups.
If there's anything that comes close to being as satisfying as a good meal, it's a good story. When you combine the two, whether chatting with friends at a dinner party or settling in for a long read with a bowl of homemade soup, the experience becomes greater than the sum of its parts. So it makes sense that Penguin Young Readers is re-releasing classic novels accompanied by recipes as part of its new Puffin Plated series, according to the Associated Press. Two titles have been announced so far, with a slew of culinary superstars supplying the recipe portions.
First, there's Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, the classic holiday-season tale of spirits and self-improvement, which is such a massive cultural touchstone it requires the input of a team of cooking icons. Providing the recipes are Giada De Laurentiis, Ina Garten, Martha Stewart, and Trisha Yearwood, with dishes set to include "succulent baked ham, smashed root vegetables, fruitcake cookies, pecan pie, and more," according to a statement from Penguin Random House.
Then there's Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the witty, rural England-set, love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, which is getting a fittingly posh treatment thanks to the addition of modern teatime treats from Martha Stewart. They include petite fours, sugar and spice cake, Linzer tarts, and French almond macaroons.
The books will feature illustrations and photographs and be printed in full color to appeal to younger eyes. But that doesn't mean adults who love these revered titles won't be equally as charmed by the chance to re-read them with a fresh, food-centric approach. Both books will retail for $25 and are due out on October 16. From the looks of things, more Puffin Plated titles are to come.
If you can't wait that long, take a look at these novels that focus on food and falling in love (sometimes with said food), or Food & Wine staff writer Elisabeth Sherman's list of books that helped fuel her passion for food. And if you'd rather have food as your protagonist, check out this list of six cookbooks that read like literature.