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A Feast of Ice and Fire – The Best Kinds of Fan Tributes Involve Food

Working at my local library, I stumble across some pretty great books from time to time. I used to come home with 4-8 books a night after a shift, not knowing exactly when they would all get read. Some, like a Bob Ross painting, are just Happy Accidents. Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta and Unwind, by Neal Shusterman are two books I knew nothing about before seeing them on the shelf. Both have changed my life in weird and wonderful ways. But I digress.

I have a confession: I’d never even heard of “The Game of Thrones”  until two years ago when a friend mentioned that “A Dance of Dragons” was finally being published. I had no clue why she was so elated, no clue about the lengthy waits between books and also, no clue of George R.R. Martin’s penchant for killing off favorite characters. I cleared my ‘light reading’ schedule to make way for what was soon to be a year long quest to read all five published books and learn as much as I could about the world of Westeros.

“A Feast of Ice and Fire” by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer with George R.R. Martin (2012), while not in the official canon of ASOIAF, is a worthy companion to the seris.  “Feast” came about by way of the “Inn at the Crossroads”, a blog dedicated to the food and brews mentioned in the entire ASOIAF series. This is the only officially endorsed Game of Thrones cookbook out there. In my opinion, the HBO series does little justice to the exquisitely described meals, snacks, banquets, wedding feasts, wines and meads that George so lovingly describes in the books. Cream Swans! Yeah, they made ’em!

This, my friends, is the true heart of a Nerd Glaze taken a step further. An obsession with a world resulting in a fun, practical, and delicious result. Or as I like to call it: Fandom done right.

Companion books can be and exciting and visceral way for fans to get more out of reading when they’ve blazed through a series and are hungry for more. Take a few hours and peruse “Inn at the Crossroads”. The section on meals that even they couldn’t make is worth it. Peacock served in all its plumage would have made an interesting visual … and dog sausage? No. I’m glad they didn’t attempt that one. I realize in other cultures that eating dog is normal, but for me, I can’t separate the notion that dogs are friends, not food.

Recipe books dedicated to a popular series is nothing new, thankfully. See also Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels, Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook, and The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to Groosling.

What about you? Have you ever tried a recipe from your favorite show or book?