‘Well,’ he said, looking at the waiter and giving him a sly wink, ‘all I can tell you is that I think it was pig’s meat.’
‘You mean you’re not sure?’
‘One can never be sure.’
A man is tortured by the lurking fear that he lives among a society of cannibals. Visitors to the hottest restaurant in town discover the arcane origins of its sublime soup. A groom’s obsession with the teeth of his betrothed prompts a sickening end to a Gothic romance.
The significance of food and eating in storytelling traditions dates back to fairy tales, folklore and beyond, with the capacity for the edible to transform or to cause otherworldly effects sometimes inspiring wonder, but often touching on a deep-rooted fear.
Exploring themes of body horror, consumption and myriad forms of strange eating, this new collection includes a feast of bitesize tales from masters of the macabre such as Shirley Jackson and Roald Dahl – alongside lesser-known oddities from the British Library’s collections – to digest the significance of the uncanny gastronomic.