We decided to pair two things we love: great food and great literature. This collection features stories centered around food. You wish you could reach right in to the story and share it with the characters! We offer four menus: Yummy Stories for Children, Foodie Stories for Students & Adults, Drink Poems, and Foodie Books & Wartime Recipes
Readers may also enjoy 50 Great Feel-Good Stories and 75 Short Short Stories
For kids, Feel-Good Children's Stories and Children's Poems
- Hansel and Gretel by The Brothers Grimm
"Nibble, nibble, gnaw, Who is nibbling at my little house?"
- Cousin Tribulation's Story by Louisa May Alcott
You can just taste the comfort in the bowl of delicious, hot oatmeal, and the girl's pangs for giving away her own breakfast to a family in-need in this heartwarming story about an oatmeal parade and "angel-children."
- The Great Feast by Laura E. Richards
Who would have thought one small cookie could be the source of such an imaginative celebration?
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Remember when Peter was sent off to bed without supper for being bad? Milk and blackberries are only for good little bunnies.
- The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan by Beatrix Potter
A Pussy-cat invites a little dog to tea. "We will have something so very nice. I am baking it in a pie-dish--a pie-dish with a pink rim. You never tasted anything so good! And YOU shall eat it all!"
- The Chicken Who Wouldn't Eat Gravel by Clara Dillingham Pierson
"You have a strong stomach, and if you eat gravel this stomach or gizzard will rub and press the tiny stones against the grain until it is well broken up and ready to make into fat and strength for your body."
- Turkeys Turning the Tables by William Dean Howells
A word of caution: after reading, your children might want to set free, rather than eat, their turkey dinner!
- Ann Mary; Her Two Thanksgivings by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
"'You goin' to put that crust on that pie now, grandma?' 'Yes, I be. Why?' 'You haven't put one bit of sugar in.' 'For the land sakes!'"
- Uncle Richard's New Year Dinner by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Nothing melts an old family feud like a home cooked dinner from the heart to start the new year off right. Author of Anne of Green Gables
- Springtime a la Carte by O. Henry
"Sarah's fingers danced like midgets above a summer stream. Down through the courses she worked, giving each item its position according to its length with an accurate eye. Just above the desserts came the list of vegetables. Carrots and peas, asparagus on toast, the perennial tomatoes and corn and succotash, lima beans, cabbage--and then--"
- A Piece of Steak by Jack London
Reminiscent of Jake Lamotta in the film Raging Bull, London's story is about youth being served. "It was hard for an old man to go into a fight without enough to eat. And a piece of steak was such a little thing, a few pennies at best; yet it meant thirty quid to him."
- A Country Cottage by Anton Chekhov
"What have you got for our supper to-night? 'Chicken and salad...It's a chicken just big enough for two...Then there is the salmon and sardines that were sent from town.'"
- Gooseberries by Anton Chekhov
To this timid clerk, owning property and growing gooseberries was his cherished dream. 'Ah, how delicious! Do taste them!' They were sour and unripe, creating an oppressive feeling in his brother.
- About Love by Anton Chekhov
This story about love and missed opportunity gets your mouth watering from the start: "At lunch next day there were very nice pies, crayfish, and mutton cutlets; and while we were eating, Nikanor, the cook, came up to ask what the visitors would like for dinner."
- The Best Sauce by P.G. Wodehouse
"They are an acquired taste, I expect. Perhaps I am, too. Perhaps I am the human parsnip, and you will have to learn to love me."
- The New Food by Stephen Leacock
What? All the nutrients you need in one little pill? Leacock's story provides one scenario for why this invention failed miserably.
- Aristocracy Versus Hash by O. Henry
Who cares about your family tree. Nothing beats an irish stew, cornbread, and a beer!
No, you cannot live on kisses,
Though honeymoon is sweet,
Harken, brides, a true word this is,--
Even lovers have to eat.
-- Weaver & LeCron
- A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband by Weaver & LeCron
A tongue-in-cheek addition to our offerings, enjoy Bettina's narrative ("Home at last!") and her increasingly daring recipes to please her man. You might get inspired to whip up creamed tuna on toast strips, pea and celery salad, and strawberry shortcake!
- Science in the Kitchen by Mrs. E.E. Kellogg
A surprisingly interesting scientific treatise on food substances and their dietetic properties, how to encourage proper digestion, and advice on healthful cookery. Quite prescient for its time, well before foodies.
- Foods that Will Win the War and How to Cook Them by Houston & Goudiss
A fascinating historical account of how precious food was during World War I. Recipes to reduce wheat, meat, fats, and sugars, so we'd have more for our troops overseas.
- Cooking by Troops, for Camp and Hospital by Florence Nightingale
Commissioned by the Virginia Army during the American Civil War, Nightingale offers wartime recipes, such as suet dumplings, soyer's stew and coffee for one hundred men (add 3 lbs. of coffee to 12 gallons water in a suitable vessel), as well as advice about the best foods and broths to heal soldiers in battle field hospitals.
Do you have a favorite foodie story that's in the public domain? Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready for more great stories? Enjoy our collections of 100 Great Short Stories
Children love rhymes; try our whimsical collection of Children's Poems
Return to American Literature Home Page