What kind of food would a romance author be…

Sarah’s Gmail quote of the day was: “I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.” – Stephen King.

That started us thinking: What does that say about romance authors? What’s their food item literary equivalent? Well, fear not, readers! Trust the Smart Bitches to come up with the perfect food counterpart for your favorite authors.

Nora Roberts: Ice-cream. You can always have ice-cream. Sometimes it’s a little bland or frosty, and sometimes it’s just what you needed when it’s hot as hell outside. Ice-cream is rarely, if ever, bad.

Cassie Edwards: Potted Meat Food product. It’s marketed as food, and it tries very, very hard to be food, but ultimately, it’s Food Product. Frighteningly ubiquitous, and therefore even more terrifying.

Laura Kinsale: Saffron. Rare and exclusive, but packs a huge wallop when used.

Laurell K. Hamilton: Cilantro. Some people LOVE her to the point of OMG obsession, and some people cannot stand her and think she tastes like soap.

Jennifer Crusie: Obvious choice: cherry pie.

Loretta Chase: Coconut milk. Looks like cow’s milk, but most decidedly is not cow’s milk, and adds incredible richness and flavor to any dish.

Julia Quinn: Trifle. Light, happy, not too maudlin, not too filling to be an after-dinner treat.

Catherine Coulter: Deep fried Twinkies. Once upon a time, it was a good junk food. Now? Not good at all, despite the potential.

Lisa Kleypas: A basic chocolate layer cake. Sometimes absolutely spectacular, sometimes pretty bland and chewy with frosting that’s too sweet, but dude, it’s still chocolate cake, so we’re having a piece.

Anne Stuart: Dark, dark chocolate with random habaneros hidden inside.

Sharon and Tom Curtis aka Laura London aka Robin James: An incredibly intricate, arcane cake that looks glazed and normal on the outside, then you cut a piece and holy crap there’s fondant and buttercream with fruit and about 18 layers of 1/2” thick rich cake in between, all sliced so thin it looked like someone used a razor.

Barbara Samuel: A really, really high-quality brownie. Deceptively simple ingredients, but incredibly dense and delicious.

Patricia Gaffney: A big bowl of hearty stew that’ll warm you to your toes and make you feel good. Unless it’s the older bodice ripper novels she wrote for Leisure, in which case, she’s cheese. Perhaps Swiss, for the plot holes. (We’re not necessarily knocking them, mind you. Candy owns almost all of them, and loves them all.)

Dara Joy: American Cheese. Cheesy, yet weirdly plastic, completely unearthly, not quite a food—yet a total guilty pleasure, should you choose to debase your palate so.

Connie Mason: Casu marzu. Cheese so bad, it can actually make you go BLIND.

Sharon Shinn: Sour cream blueberry muffins. People think she’s a quickbread, but really, they’re giant cupcakes without frosting that people justify to themselves as Not Cake because they eat them for breakfast and get them two tables over from the cupcakes. Some Bujold and Asaro novels qualify, too.

Judith McNaught: Grocery-store cupcakes. Sometimes, you just crave them, so you buy a box and eat, like, a dozen in a row. And you suddenly realize that you feel a bit boofy because they’re way too sweet and greasy, and not only that, they have the same basic taste, even though they claim to have different flavors and frostings. See also: Jude Deveraux and Johanna Lindsey.

Kathleen Woodiwiss: Chinese American food. Sometimes it hits the spot, but too often it panders to what people *think* Chinese food should be, so it’s way too salty, way too greasy, and WHY IN THE SHIT IS SOY SAUCE IN EVERYTHING? Just because it’s Chinese food doesn’t mean you slather soy sauce on all of it, you goddamn infidels.

Doughnut: JR Ward. Jhelli philled dhoughnutz, phull of ahngzt, pain and sadism—oops, sorry, zsadism, all skull-shaped with frosting fangs and tiny candy shitkicker boots, trying really hard to look hardcore and scary, but DUDE. It’s a DOUGHNUT. Sure, it’s tasty. It may be a Voodoo Doughtnut, even, and God knows Candy’s fond of those things—in fact, she loves them so much, she got married in the store. But c’mon. They’re DOUGHNUTS, PEOPLE. GET A GRIP.

Bertrice Small: Tex Mex. When done right, it can be yummy, but when mass-produced, contains way too much sour cream sauce and a lot of heat that’s weirdly flavorless.

Harlequin Presents: Cup O’ Noodles ramen. They’re highly standardized, they’re everywhere, they’re cheap, they aren’t especially filling, and nutritionally, they’re about the equivalent of a bag of rocks (actually, the bag of rocks might beat the ramen, because the dirt clinging to the rocks might provide a little B12), but they work if you need calories, and some of the variations can be pretty tasty.

Danielle Steel: Cheez doodles.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips:  Tortilla chips. Delicious and addictive, but: Blue corn? White? Yellow? Low salt? Tequila salt? Extra salt? Pretty much about the same.

Diana Palmer: Biscuits. Made by virgins. Who are mistaken for whores by hard-faced Texan cowboys with women issues the size of, uh, Texas.

Stephanie Laurens’ Cynster series: Pocky. There’s Men’s Pocky, Almond Pocky, Strawberry Pocky, Green Tea Pocky, Coconut Pocky, Milk Pocky, Honey Pocky, Grape Pocky—Pocky Pocky Pocky. All variations of “sweet crap coating a pretzel stick.” And really, if “sweet crap coating a pretzel stick” doesn’t accurately describe all the humpings-on in a Laurens novel, we don’t know what does.

Edited to add:

Oops! Forgot to include this author in the entry:

Linda Howard: Foot-long hot dog with bullet-flavored relish and a lot of mustard. Can’t quite wrap your lips around that monster? TRY HARDER. RELAX. You’ll love it even as it hurts you. Really.


Random Musings

Comments are Closed

  1. >>Doughnut: JR Ward. Jhelli philled dhoughnutz, phull of ahngzt, pain and sadism—oops, sorry, zsadism<<

    God, you people are brilliant. I bow in your general direction.

  2. Sarah Frantz says:

    Suzanne Brockmann?  An MRE?  Fulfilling all your basic nutrition needs in one handy package, sometimes actually really good, sometimes godawful, sometimes, if you’re lucky, with M&Ms a la Sam Starrett.

  3. snarkhunter says:

    Casu marzu.

    Oh my God. People actually *eat* that? And I read about during *breakfast*?

    Perfect categorization, though. My dear departed grandmother once gave me a Connie Mason novel. I was traumatized enough by her telling me it was “really steamy.” When I realized what it was about, I wanted to resurrect Grandma just to ask her what the HELL she was thinking when she paid money for it.

  4. Kerry Allen says:

    I feel cilantro has been unfairly maligned in its comparison. Can we substitute parsley, which is almost completely tasteless?

  5. sartorias says:

    Kinsale: saffron, yes.  (And for me at least—and I know many fine people who flat disagree) a little is nice, but more than a little is wayyyyyyy too much.)

  6. Catherine J. says:

    Great comparisons, but I always thought that LKH would be more like anchovies. Some people love them, and some people hate them with a fiery passion.

    Cassie Edwards: dead-on. *shudder*

  7. Rosemary says:

    Oh, so many things to say.

    1.  Ow!  Stop!  My stomach hurts from laughing!  Sweet crap coating a pretzel stick.  I’m dying here!
    2.  Why in the hell do you know about Casa Marzu?  I would like to remove that information from my brain now, please.
    3.  Really?  You got married in a doughnut shop? 
      a.  How big is the Tex-Ass doughnut?
      b.  Is the Memphis Mafia one as delightful as it sounds?
    4.  Awwww, why you gotta pick on Cilantro that way?
    5.  I’m hungry.

  8. Stephanie says:

    You can get married in a doughnut shop?
    Candy, you’re my hero. That is all.

  9. Tara Marie says:

    OMG—that was perfect, thank you for putting me in a good mood as a finish cleaning the house.

  10. Victoria Dahl says:

    Oh, the rotten cheese! Why did you do that to me? It’s not just the cheese. It’s the fact that there are people in the world who will happily eat food that, oh by the way, might cause fly larvae to eat holes in your intestines! Mm. It’s tangy and lesiony!

  11. shaunee says:

    Re LKH and cilantro (and anchovies for that matter):  My feeling is she’s more like a jar of sliced pickles.  The first few are good (though not as fab as the deadly serious pickles one can get at a Kosher deli).  The next few are just kinda salty, which is okay if you are pms-ing.  The texture of the bunch after that, which is the same somewhat rubbery texture of the first two bunches, only becomes apparent after you gorged yourself and makes you close the jar and put it in the back of the fridge next to the Tupperware container that’s been in the back of the fridge since forever.

  12. Najida says:

    I mean wow….brilliant.  Granted, food is my life and I’m notorious for drinking Raspberry Koolaid for supper, but anyhow, it was perfect.

    As for Casu Marzu, I’m printing out a copy for our next Infection Control meeting.  With a header of “You think WE have food borne illness issues!?!?!”

  13. Candy says:

    Damn, I just realized I forgot to add Linda Howard to the list. Check the updated entry, y’all.

    And to answer some questions:

    Yes, the Very Tall Husband and I got married in a doughnut shop. It was rad. We bowed down to the velvet painting of Isaac Hayes that hangs over the doorway before the ceremony, and people threw Froot Loops at us after the ceremony instead of rice.

    My parents were very, very confused.

    The Tex-Ass doughnut is about the size of your head. No kidding. And I haven’t had a chance to try the mafia doughnut yet because I’m so hung up on the triple chocolate penetration—must do that the next time I’m there.

    Also, I think I learned about casu marzu from Kate Rothwell’s blog, so blame HER.

  14. Ines says:

    Just thinking: why in English you call some novels cheesy?? Cheese is actually salty not sweet. In Spain we may call them “empalagoso” as in too much sweet.
    Just an excuse to read your newest post *grin*

  15. Diane says:

    You are fricking brilliant – I can’t stop laughing because your comments are so right-on.  Now my only problem may be the laughter that bubbles up when I’m at the grocery store passing some of the food in question.  Thanks bitches for making my day brighter!

  16. Kalen Hughes says:

    Because “cheesy” doesn’t mean anything like “sweet” in this context. “Cheesy” means “tacky” or “bad” or “stupid” or some combination there of.

  17. Kerry Allen says:

    I just ate an Oreo (okay, four) and forced a likeness to Lynn Viehl: compact, dark, and filled with creamy goodness.

    And Candy – Froot Loops? That almost makes me want to get married…

  18. Najida says:

    I think cheesy in terms of that stuff that sticks to the paper of your cheeseburger.  Its icky, not totally food, but you still scrape it off and eat it.

  19. Grace Draven says:

    Now I’m craving donuts and habanero dark chocolate cake for lunch.

    Oh yeah! on the Anne Stuart stuff.  Perfect description.

    And Cassie Edwards’ stuff would be great fodder for Steve Don’t Eat It! Wait—he did a post on potted meat.  I wonder he read a CE book prior to that.

  20. *grin*

    You forgot one.  Somewhere out there there HAS to be an author you can compare to vegemite.  You know:  it comes in the normal-looking jar, but then you open it up and say “What in the FUCK is this stuff?  I’m supposed to EAT this????” and you can’t understand how any such thing is actually marketed.

    Surely there’s an author out there that matches that…and don’t say me.


  21. Oops.  my apologies to vegemite fans…although I don’t personally know any, I’m sure that there must be some.


  22. Ellie M. says:

    Who’s beans?  Surely somebody’s beans.  You know, with the…. aftereffects?

  23. Sarah Frantz says:

    Hey, I like Marmite, Vegemite’s British cousin.  It’s good!  But then so is anchovy paste, a South African delicacy.  You spread both on toast!  But not together.  Ew.

  24. --E says:

    I think LKH might be beans. Seems good at first, smoky and sweet, but then later you regret you ever started reading them…

    I was gonna compare her to Brie cheese, actually. The first one’s a little raw, then they mature nicely, but eventually they go ammonia-y. Still, they have their adherents who prefer the ammonia version.

    Or maybe sushi. Cool, tasty, interesting texture, unlike anything you’ve ever had before, and then suddenly WHAM the wasabi hits and you’re not sure if you like it or not.

    I am thinking about this waaaaay too much. I think I’m just horrified by the maggot-cheese.

    wordver: deal69. heh heh heh. [/Beavis and Butthead]

  25. Kerry Allen says:

    I’m trying to think of somebody for asparagus.

    “She makes your pee smell funny for days, but you read her anyway.”

  26. shuzluva says:

    Hilarious. Must run out for lunch now.

  27. Najida says:

    Jaid Black could be Solomon Gundy (a smokey, spicey, fishy paste you spread on crackers).

    Something you do alone and feel guilty about later.

  28. iffygenia says:

    Cilantro, anchovies, pickles are all valid but….

    LKH is like salt.  Some people get hooked and need it all the time, in every dish, an uninterrupted diet.  Some go a long time before realizing it’s bad for them.  Some find in the struggle to give it up, their blood pressure rises dangerously.  Some try “healthful” alternatives like Mrs Dash, or herbs.  Those who do kick the habit tend to proselytize.

  29. Teddy Pig says:

    Carol Lynne: Vegemite

    For some, it is a sandwich spread mentioned in a catchy pop song for others it is revolting and stinks much like the one hit wonder that sang about it.

  30. Arethusa says:

    Man I thought J.R. Ward had the best entry, THEN you made a smack down with the Linda Howard. I actually put my hands on my head as I laughed. Best. description. ever. And I love Linda Howard’s older stuff, I’m almost sorry to say.

  31. This is totally freaking awesome! Well-done ladies.

  32. shaina says:

    y’all rock my socks.
    except, Nora would be more like dark chocolate for me. it’s good for you! so you can have it aaaaany time you want!

    there are so many authors though, that i want to see what you could come up with…like, JD Robb. Or Katie MacAlister (for some reason, Pop-Tarts come to mind….) or Barbara Taylor Bradford (very old wine?). or Elizabeth Lowell.
    go to it, bitches! make me laugh some more…

  33. Ann Bruce says:

    Or maybe sushi. Cool, tasty, interesting texture, unlike anything you’ve ever had before, and then suddenly WHAM the wasabi hits and you’re not sure if you like it or not.

    I’m taking exception to this. I love sushi and wasabi is the best part!  (Actually, it’s really the roe they sometimes roll it in.)

    Getting back on track…

    I will always love sushi!  Not so much LKH…

  34. Little Miss Spy says:

    I wanna know what Beatrice Small would be? dog food disguised as steak?

  35. iffygenia says:

    Kathleen Woodiwiss is like Kool-Aid:

    Many drank the Kool-Aid because they don’t know they had a choice.

  36. Flo says:

    *tears up*

    Leave the cilantro alone!  Hamilton is more of a mislabeled desert.  You THINK you’re getting a sweet creamy filling but instead it’s packed with spam. 🙁

  37. shaunee says:

    What about Julie Garwood or Jennifer Blake?

    Eloisa James?
    Diana Gabaldon?
    Mary Balogh?

  38. God, now I want to know what I am, yet I’m slightly afraid to find out.  Okay, screw that, I’m gorram TERRIFIED after the maggot cheese. 

    Listen, Bitches, I can forgive you for Tubgirl.  I can forgive you for Hoff with innocent puppies on his groin.  I can forgive a lot, but motherfucking rancid cheese sold with live maggots that can jump half a foot and attack your EYES?!?!?!  Food that leads to maggot infestations that gnaw holes in your guts?!?!?!  I draw the line at food that tries to EAT YOU BACK.  Sweet Christ, I never thought I’d say this and mean it, but YOU BITCHES HAVE GONE TOO FAR.

    Pardon me while I go puke up my toenails.  Oh, wait, I don’t have toenails.  Damn it all, even the sweet relief of purging is denied me!

  39. iffygenia says:

    I swear to bbq I read this as:

    You THINK you’re getting a sweet creamy filling but instead it’s packed with sperm. 🙁

    Apparently my LKH recovery is not complete.

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