What is Your Character’s Favourite Food?

Biscuits and Cranberry Jam
Homemade cranberry jam on my homemade biscuits.

I read an article last week about character flaws and quirks. Every one should have them unless it’s a nameless character there for one line.

This got me thinking about my characters and their quirks. I love quirks because we all have them, and they make us unique. My characters also have their favourite unique food they like that might not be liked by the average individual. I think everyone has this, too, so it goes well in a story.

I love cranberries, and I’ve eaten cranberry sandwiches for as long as I can remember. All through school—all 13 years—I’ve eaten these sandwiches for lunch. While many classmates in high school bought their lunch at the cafeteria, I brought a bagged lunch with, you guessed it, cranberry sandwiches. It was my thing. When I started working, the main item in my lunch was that sandwich. (PS: I’ve never had a urinary tract infection.)

We picked our own berries from the fields around our home and made the spread, so we knew exactly what went into it. I still make the jam with berries picked along the Eastern Shore.

I gave this food quirk to one of my main characters: Bronwyn Darrow. Fenberries is another name for cranberries, so when you read about Bronwyn eating fenberry sandwiches, that’s cranberries, and that comes from me.

Bacon egg tomatoes sausage breakfastI didn’t intentionally give Bronwyn this food fetish. It happened naturally because characters eat and, of course, they’re going to pick their favourites and turn down what they don’t like.

Farlan Burkenshaw, eats pumpkin seeds. Isla of Maura loves biscuits even when they have raisins. McGuigan likes biscuits but hates raisins.  He prefers jelly mint candies and when he sees a candy store, he always visits. When Isla goes with him, she buys cherry-filled chocolates; her favourite. Kiefer, on the other hand, will eat the biscuits with raisins.

When they break the fast, Isla always orders bacon while McGuigan orders sausages. He likes them spicy, but will eat just about any kind.

Do your characters have favourite foods? Are there foods, such as raisins, they simply won’t eat?

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14 thoughts on “What is Your Character’s Favourite Food?

  1. I read all the way through this entry (even the comments) to see if there was going to be a recipe appear = for the cranberry jam. Sigh.

    • Oh. I never thought about that. I make it very simply. About four cups of berries with 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup water. Simmer on low until the berries pop. For me, that takes about 30 to 45 minutes. I don’t watch the clock. I stir occasionally and judge by the eye if the berries are broken enough. If you like more jam-like and less distinct berries, simmer longer. If you like it sweeter or thinner, add more sugar or water. I don’t measure; I just dump/pour. Now for the biscuits, my mom’s recipe is posted here: https://dianelynnmcgyver.com/2012/06/07/fantasy-biscuits-for-the-trail/

  2. I have my character, Amanda Ross, try the foods from the place she is visiting. She likes trying different food and often gets a recipe and makes it for her parents when she returns home to Calgary. That way the readers can learn about foods from other lands like paella in Spain, humous in the United Arab Emirates and apple strudel in Austria. I do tend to include the foods I like in those places!

    • That’s a great way to introduce readers to new foods, Darlene. And the recipes are a bonus. I find when my characters are eating foods I love, I start to crave them. More than once I had to make a pan of biscuits after have my characters eat them.

  3. Monsters and vinyl albums…all I can picture is a One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater. Strange, right?

    Dana Lawson, the MC of my book loves her Fish ‘n Chips, especially if it served in a cone of newspaper.

    • I know that song! I love fish and chips, too, but lately I’ve been eating pan-fried haddock. I love haddock tips, too. Maybe I just love haddock regardless of how it’s cooked. I used to eat it like chocolate bars (in hand, biting it off) when I used to prep it for the restaurant I worked at.

  4. Something to think about! I like to write about aliens, monsters, and other non-human thingies, and coming up with what they eat means so much about them as characters as well as species! Nice article!

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