The Second Bakery Attack by Haruki Murakami

The_Dough_Room_-_Aldershot_Command_Bakery_Art.IWMARTLD3523

Murikami’s short story dances with deep hungers as it circles nonchalantly around a normal, everyday bakery.

I’m still not sure I made the right choice when I told my wife about the bakery attack. But then, it might not have been a question of right and wrong. Which is to say that wrong choices can produce right results, and vice versa. I myself have adopted the position that, in fact, we never choose anything at all. Things happen. Or not.

If you look at it this way, it just so happens that I told my wife about the bakery attack. I hadn’t been planning to bring it up–I had forgotten all about it–but it wasn’t one of those now-that-you-mention-it kind of things, either.

What reminded me of the bakery attack was an unbearable hunger. It hit just before two o’clock in the morning. We had eaten a light supper at six, crawled into bed at nine-thirty, and gone to sleep. For some reason, we woke up at exactly the same moment. A few minutes later, the pangs struck with the force of the tornado in The Wizard of Oz. These were tremendous, overpowering hunger pangs.

Our refrigerator contained not a single item that could be technically categorized as food. We had a bottle of French dressing, six cans of beer, two shriveled onions, a stick of butter, and a box of refrigerator deodorizer. With only two weeks of married life behind us, we had yet to establish a precise conjugal understanding with regard to the rules of dietary behavior. Let alone anything else.

 

Continue reading this story here at MIT.edu.

The Garlic War by Annie Proulx

Édouard_Manet_-_Nature_morte_au_cabas_et_à_l'ail,“It is not really an exaggeration to say that peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking.” This is Marcel Boulestin’s claim. We’ll see about that – in this early story by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Annie Proulx.

Sometime back in the early ’30s my uncle Hubert finished his internship at one of the smaller hospitals in Poughkeepsie, New York, took a pretty young wife, Sophia, and set up practice in his mother-in-law’s rambling house on Garvin Street. His mother-in-law, whom everybody called Auntie Bella, was a formidable woman. She was, in the first place, large—not merely plump, not fat only, but tall, large-boned, and heavy-fleshed. She had a booming bass voice with which she sounded all her opinions to anyone who would listen. If no one would, she told her marvelous tales of the evil eye and of the time her cousin Giuseppe was robbed by bandits to the four cats who were constantly stalking in and out of the kitchen. The cats were swollen with pride and with tasty tidbits that Auntie Bella was always feeding them—a little dab of chicken cooked in a red sauce, for instance. “Here, cat … good, no?” And the cat would purr, gobble down the last shred, and stare greedily into the empty dish.

Continue reading ‘The Garlic War’ in Gourmet Magazine, 1964.

The Wine Doctor by Frederick Adolph Paola

Gerard van Honthorst - The Happy Violinist with a Glass of Wine, 1624
Gerard van Honthorst – The Happy Violinist with a Glass of Wine, 1624

 

Have you ever thought that *just* the right glass of wine could fix all your troubles? This story’s for you! The author doesn’t usually write on the topic of ‘food’, but I’m sure many readers would place this story in the genre of ‘foodwriting’.

It was a late afternoon in August in the year of our Lord 1930, in year VIII of the Era Fascista.  Dottore Cotrolaò, just back in his second-floor office after a meal of morzeddu washed down with an exceptional local wine from the Savuto Valley, did a double take when he saw who had entered his office as his first patient of the evening. 

It was Ezio Delli Castelli, the wine doctor of Nocera Terinese. A chemist who had made his living chiefly as an oenologist, a specialist in wine making,  he was also a part-time oenopath, a practitioner of the unique healing art of oenopathy. Patients came to him with ailments of various sorts, and he prescribed a course of treatment with this particular wine or that.

 
To read more of this story go to Bellevue Literary Review.