On The Chronicles of Narnia
Eating in Narnia
Or, Don't Bother Bringing the Sandwiches
By Diane Duane
One thing a traveler among universes quickly discovers is that, in many of them, the food’s terrible.
This is at least partly a situational problem–a matter of perception. Normally, when people from Earth pass through other fictional universes, they’re not there for a pleasure cruise. Normally there’s a quest involved, so that they usually wind up running away from something (Orcs, unfriendly armies, assassins, eldritch monsters), hiding from something (ditto), or otherwise getting too preoccupied with local events to care much about the catering. While this is entirely understandable, it’s still unfortunate. Unless a given universe’s creator is kind to you, you will never have a chance to sit down and appreciate the local cuisine. Among the less kind (or lazier) creators, you’re likely to wind up eating nothing but the fantasy version of fast food: waybread. No matter what kind of valuable life lessons you might learn from such a place, the one that’s most likely to stick with you after you get back to earth is straightforward: Don’t go back to that world again without a packed lunch.
It’s a relief, then, for those of us who wander among literary universes, to know that when you need a really good lunch, or a dinner that will stand out in your mind, Narnia is the place to be. It’s not that there aren’t other universes where food is very important. But even among them, Narnia stands out. Narnia is one of the few universes around from which you’d want to bring …