I ate so much terrible British food during the two years I studied in England – I can’t think of my Oxford college’s rendition of moussaka without shuddering – that I’ve never had much hankering to eat like Jane Austen.
But this recent article by Pen Vogler, the author of a new Austen-themed cookbook, Dinner with Mr. Darcy, inclines me to change my mind. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is in the air, but all the talk of roast venison, scalloped oysters, dried cherries and apple pies got my mouth watering.
Vogler’s book is by no means the first effort at bringing the all-powerful Austen brand to the lucrative foodie market. I’m aware of three others – The Jane Austen Cookbook, by Maggie Black & Deirdre LeFaye; Cooking with Jane Austen, by Kirstin Olsen; and Tea with Jane Austen, by Kim Wilson – and there may well be more. None graces the cookbook shelf in my kitchen, but perhaps I should expand my horizons.
After all, none of them is likely to include a moussaka recipe.