Fi, fie, fo, yum: make some magical recipes inspired by fairy tale food!
We're cooking up the tastiest food from fairy tales, including stone soup and gingerbread houses.
Food plays a magical role in lots of fairy tales—and what an enchanting way to discover new tastes to try together! Learn about some of our favourite foodie fairy tales as we take you through a feast of stories and then taste-test a recipe or two.
In the story Sweet Porridge, a little girl owns a magic porridge pot that produces endless porridge. Too bad her mother can’t remember how to tell it to stop! The little girl saves the day, but not before her village is flooded with tasty porridge. This story might remind you of the picture book Strega Nona (we’ve talked about that book here), and the conclusion is a good lesson in what to do whenever you make too much of a good thing: get your neighbours to help eat everything up! Invite everyone over for brunch with an oatmeal buffet. Or, if you have a family that’s more like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, taste test these three different kinds of porridge—a chocolate quinoa bowl, a savory oatmeal version, and a berry baked oatmeal.
If you're hoping to cast a spell that will encourage everyone to try new greens, you're in luck—fairy tales are full of vegetables. For example, a single pea is the star of the story The Princess and the Pea. While you read, snack on this fresh pea salad, or a shrimp and pea risotto. And the tale of Jack and The Beanstalk hinges on a trade for magic beans—if your children don’t try to grow a beanstalk with them first, get them to help you make this magically tasty savory sausage and white bean stew, or chicken, tomato and green bean curry. Then, try turnip puff while you read the Russian fairy tale The Gigantic Turnip. In this story, a long list of characters work together to try to uproot a very stubborn turnip, including a farmer, his wife, and all of their animals. At the end, they manage to pull it up with the help of a tiny mouse (hey, every little bit counts!). In the modern fairy tale Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins, Herschel outwits a greedy goblin with the help of a delicious homemade pickle—be sure to have a jar of your own pickles ready to crunch on while you read this one. For a story that makes a satisfying meal, Stone Soup is a based on a village unwittingly contributing all of their vegetables to make a delicious soup for everyone—here’s how to involve your kids in making a stone soup of your own! Of course, to cap off the vegetable tales, you can't miss Cinderella's enchanted pumpkin: here are 10 great pumpkin projects that are sure to delight your kids.
Some fairy tales feature food that’s hard to come by now, although it was common hundreds of years ago. In older versions of the fairy tale Rapunzel, the beautiful girl with long hair is named after a garden plant her mother loves called rampion. Rampion was historically grown in Europe for its spinach-like leaves, radish-like roots and pretty blue flowers, although it’s hard to find in North America these days. We think Rapunzel’s family would happily eat radishes as a substitute—try cinnamon sugar radish chips or crispy roasted radishes, if you don’t gobble them all up in a delicious salad first. And in the Japanese folk tale Momotaro, about a heroic boy who saves a village from Oni (demons), Momotaro and his animal friends get super strength from kibi dango, an old fashioned millet dumpling. While it’s tricky to find kibi dango outside of Okayama, it’s very easy to make dango, a basic dessert dumpling! Enjoy a few, and then read more about Oni here—the one thing that frightens them more than anything is roasted soybeans, so be sure to include a few in your snacks.
Many beloved fairy tales feature baking at the heart of the story. As you read about Little Red Riding Hood taking bread and cake to her grandmother, bake up some of these tasty recipes for your own bread basket—an Irish soda bread, gluten free foccacia or sweet Finnish pulla. The story of the Gingerbread Man will inspire everyone to make their own gingerbread folk, and if you’re looking for a more ambitious family project that will house your gingerpeople, the gingerbread house from Hansel and Gretel is a great weekend project—and maybe the most iconic food you can make inspired by a fairy tale! In the Grimm brothers' version of the tale, Hansel and Gretel feast on pancakes and milk after they’re done nibbling on the house, so enjoy a few of these spiced pancakes while you admire your efforts.
We love a good story, especially when it gets everyone inspired to cook! Check out a whole library of options for hungry readers: magical meals from children’s books; our favourite after-dinner reads; the best cook books for kids; and delicious graphic novels for kids. For more, follow us on Facebook and Instagram!