Is making a cookbook inspired by a story about a serious lack of food a bit of a stretch? Probably, but The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook is a fun if not quite practical treat for a ravenous fan of the novels. While many of the recipes allow you to replicate the rich, sumptuous dishes from Capitol banquet scenes (“Super Sweet Potato Rolls”), others require ingredients you’d have to kill in the woods with your own bow and arrow. Any dish that evokes Peeta’s near-magical baking skills sounds promising (“Peeta’s Cinnamon Bakery Bread”), but most of the concoctions inspired by food from the Districts (“District 4’s Seaweed Bread”) or gamey survivalist meals you’d have to make do with in the Arena (“Wild Squirrel & Sausage Gumbo” and “Wild Raccoon Sautéed in Bacon Drippings”) are only for the brave.
Each of the recipes comes with an explanation of the textual origins of the dish, and it’s amazing to see just how many significant or weird food references the Hunger Games trilogy contains. Although not quite as exciting as tasting real Butterbeer, this cookbook teaches you how to prepare an imitation of fictional Panem poultry groosling, which is basically a “small wild turkey.” It’s fun to note that certain characters are closely associated with certain ingredients: Katniss and her favorite lamb stew; Prim and cheese from her pet goat Lady; wedding cake for Finnick and Annie. And do you want to know what Gale’s kiss tastes like? Look no further than page 190.
So Tributes, bite or flight? Do you have an appetite for edible Panem delights (and oddities), or does your fandom only go so far?