I haven’t yet been to Forks, WA, though that’s a trip that I want to take soon. Just so that I don’t offend anyone from that real town, please remember that all of the following comments are related to Forks as described by Stephenie Meyer in the “Twilight” series.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s rant!
I get it that the Cullens and Hales are “vegetarian” and that the blood of animals isn’t quite as satisfying. (Though I’ve personally struggled with that particular Twilight analogy for some time. What is the problem with vegetarian food, anyway? When it’s good, it can be very good. If you‘re not enjoying it, perhaps you should scan the non-Twilight pages of weirdcombinations to get some creative ideas. Even the most diehard meat eaters have to admit that desserts, cheeses and alcoholic beverages, which are all vegi, are pretty darn good!)
The werewolves seem to do pretty well for themselves at Emily’s place. Actually her muffins sound marvelous. Though she is clearly a home cook outside of Forks so for all intents and purposes, irrelevant here. Esme eventually starts cooking for the Jacob-led wolves, though with less success. Leah can’t take the vampire stench of the stuff and insists on hunting Cullen-style in the woods. Overall, I would say that it’s not a triumph in the kitchen.
Bella seems to enjoy omelets and human blood during her pregnancy with Renesme, though I don’t think that that means much. Pregnant women eat crazy stuff. Everyone knows that!
But really, do you think that Bella would have rushed to become a vampire quite so quickly if she’d ever eaten well?
What do we learn about her dietary practices? She makes lasagna a lot; also she seems to enjoy baking potatoes and broiling steak for Charlie. Once she made enchiladas when she wanted to spend extra time cooking to distract herself from her pathetic love life. Her dad seemed worried about eating this particular creation until he took a bite and didn’t actually keel over dead. I do wonder about the mushroom ravioli that she enjoyed that time in Port Angeles, but hey, that’s not Forks so not part of this. They seemed to eat spaghetti at the Swan’s a fair amount, though it sounds like mostly with pre-prepared tomato sauce, so sort of dull. There’s the famous book cover shot that was re-created in the first movie with Edward catching an apple at the school cafeteria. Fruit is always a healthy choice, but personally I find apples very boring and much prefer Brazilian bananas, mangosteens or maybe even heirloom tomatoes (yes, they’re fruit).
In that same lunchroom, Bella challenges Edward to take a bite of the school pizza. He does it, but then makes some unflattering remark about “eating dirt” and goes on to suggest that he’ll have to puke it up later. Not the best ad for Forks High cuisine. Bella herself sheepishly admits that she has eaten dirt once on a bet. But do you see my point? This is a girl who will eat dirt! What does she know about food?!? Actually I think that Edward may be onto something. I bet that the Forks H.S. food does taste like dirt, or maybe cardboard, like the stuff that was served to me in my high school.
Perhaps it’s too harsh to criticize the girl for her lack of culinary sophistication? After all, she does mention that her mother, Renee, was into food experimentation. We all know that that can be a disaster for all involved sometimes.
I think that if Bella had dined on sushi at Sanraku or maybe tried the cheese course at Jardiniere, she might have waited a bit more before “changing.” Do you think that she ever had a home cooked Indian feast or tried pesto American-style?
And what about wine? I do get it that she’s too young to drink in America, but Edward is a rich bon vivant. Couldn’t he have considerately taken her to France and let her sample some wines from Bordeaux, the Rhone or even Burgundy? There her age wouldn’t have been a problem and I feel sure that she would have enjoyed herself. He had the perfect opportunity that time in Italy to try some rustic Tuscan fava dish with a bottle of 2006 chianti classico! What happened? Perhaps if all that international travel is a drag, why not just a simple pinot noir home tasting or something? Really what is the man-boy afraid of, anyway?
Don’t be a Bella, ignoring the wonders to be found in food and drink! Get out there and try things! Cook something amazing at home occasionally! We all only live once.