Saturday, April 09, 2011

Weekend Cooking: What DO you give a vampire for dinner?

Nothing in my culinary experience had taught me what to feed a vampire when he came for dinner.

In the library I spent most of the day on the Internet looking for recipes that involved raw foods, my manuscripts forgotten on the desk. Matthew said he was omnivorous, but that couldn't be true. A vampire must be more likely to tolerate uncooked food when he was used to a diet of blood. But he was so civilized he would no doubt eat whatever I put in front of him.

So here's the scenario. You've met a very nice vampire, he's coming to your place for dinner tomorrow night. You already know he's not going to eat much actual food but you still know that you want to make an effort for him.

What DO you serve a vampire for dinner?

This question is asked based on the assumption that the host doesn't want to be dinner!

It will depend on the mythology in your world I guess. Do they eat anything at all or does he have a liquid only diet? For example, if this was a vampire from the Sookie Stackhouse novels, would a couple of bottles of True Blood suffice? Is he content to just watch you savour the food that has been prepared, in which case, maybe you just prepare all your own favourite dishes. Red wine or white? Do vampires eat dairy or yummy breads?

This week I was reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, and she asks exactly this. First off, her vampire, Matthew Clairmont, is very charming and sophisticated and is used to the best of everything. He's hundreds of years old and has managed to accumulate many precious items over the years including amazing bottles of wine, and has had some pretty amazing meals over the years so what could you serve him, especially considering "wine tastes wonderful. Food tastes wrong to a vampire once it's been cooked to death".

Once I started making dinner, it became clear that cooking for a vampire doesn't take much time. You don't actually cook much of anything.

Diana (the main female character who happens to be a witch)  serves the following dishes:

  • Smoked salmon with fresh dill sprinkled on top and a small pile of capers and gherkins arranged artistically on the side, where they could be construed as garnish if vampires didn't eat greens.
  • Neatly arranged slices of raw venison so thin that the butcher insisted you could read the Oxford Mail through them, with beets in the center of each plate and shaved Parmesan on top.

  • A bizarre biscuit like thing made from ground chestnuts, with seared rabbit

  • Cheese, berries and roasted chestnuts.

  • French and German wines (very expensive!) - the German being riesling

I would have thought you could have steak tartar, or maybe black pudding, chased by a Bloody Mary cocktail. Anything as long as it wasn't my O+ blood!

What would you serve up for dinner to a vampire, or while we are at it, some other creature?

 Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.

*All quotes and menu items come from Chapter 12 of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


  1. I cannot wait to read this -- It's been in my house for months now. I love the author's blog and the book trailer, so I am convinced I'll love the novel.

    And this is such a great post. What would you serve a vampire? Actually, I wasn't sure they could eat or drink. I know the author has a wine blog, so I'm not surprised to see the wine suggestions.

  2. I was immediately going to suggest a bottle of Tru Blood when I read the first few sentences of your post, ;). No idea what else I would come up with but in my mind vampires don't eat. They MIGHT drink some wine - oh, so sophisticated - but anything else is out of the question.
    What a great weekend cooking post.

  3. Very clever Weekend Cooking/book review post. Lots of fun to read.

  4. Serve a vampire for dinner? A good helping of nicely turned English oak right through the heart followed by a good dose of early mornin' sunshine.

    Praise Jesus and long live the Fellowship of the Sun.

  5. Beef Carpachio would be just right. I love the idea of the bloody mary as well. This book sounds delightful!

  6. LOL, that is too funny, a writer actually thinking about food a vampire would consume ;) They ARE fancy creatures, aren't they? I wonder why they like cheese though?

  7. Chinoiseries, I think the cheese was the girl! He was more the nuts and berries.

    Peaceful Reader, carpachio would be perfect wouldn't it!

    Sean, LOL, and I am not just saying that. I really did LOL!

    Margot, it was a lot of fun putting it together. I am glad you enjoyed it!

    Rikki, it really does depend on the rules of the world. There are plenty of series I am reading where they couldn't eat anything.

    Beth F, the authors interest in wine was clear in the book. Read it, read it! It was an awesome book! I must go and look for the book trailer. I haven't seen it yet.

  8. Hmm -- is it strange that the salmon and capers, in particular, really appeals to me?! I'm all about fresh foods... fun post!

  9. It's been a long time since a blog post title intrigued me as much as yours did! :-) I think I'd serve steak tartare too. Can't wait to read this book, I'll make sure to get it for the summer!