7 Food Writing Prompts

Food writing, focusing on the personal experience of food — combining memoirs, recipes, technical information, and history in a literary or journalistic text, is a relatively recent genre, popularized in the 20th century in the USA by the incomparable MFK Fisher — although there have been some notable precursors, such as Marcel Proust. In turn, it has given rise to one of the most creative and remunerative forms of blogging today.  A quick glance at Instagram or Twitter feeds will show that we are obsessed with our food and with what other people are eating and cooking. That should be no surprise: a great deal of human history has focused on food.

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Etruscan cook preparing food for a banquet

 

From a psychological point of view, food is our connection with our mothers, with our most archaic identity as a newborn for whom the very first physical sensation as an independent being is hunger. Food and hunger define who we are.

To write about food is to write about our evolution, our feelings, and our deepest identity, or as some might say, our soul.

Below are seven food writing prompts to investigate your food memories.

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1. Set a scene in a kitchen from long ago evoking a meal you cooked, shared, or tasted. (Florence, 1972)
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2. Write about a a visit to a market you find irresistible. Describe colors, sounds, flavors, texture, people, atmosphere, and the art of choosing produce. (Paris market, Rue Mouffetard)

 

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3. Tonight you may dine anywhere in the world and eat anything you wish. Where will you go, with whom, and what will you eat? Describe the food, setting, atmosphere, and company of your ideal dinner out.(Ikaria, GR)
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4. Recall the flavor of a food freshly picked, baked, or caught, and eaten on the spot. Use concrete sense details in your description.
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5. Write about preparing and eating a food you love but that not everyone does. Include a recipe and say why it appeals to you so much.
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6.Write about a laborious dish you prepare only for special occasions.
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7. Write about tasting wine in a special place. Describe the atmosphere, company, and flavor of the wine.  (Methoni, GR)

 

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For more food and travel writing prompts, please see my craft of writing book: The Soul of Place – A Creative Writing Workbook
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