DBS_Blog_DTOP_Belowtitle_336x280

16 Sentences That Will Make You Want Dinner!

The opening lines of a great literary work bring us into a new world. They make us hungry for nostalgia, hungry for adventure, hungry for… breakfast? We’ve compiled our favorite opening lines of great literary works that begin the stories we love, with a culinary twist!

Read carefully or you might miss your favorite book!


“Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of P—-, in Kentucky.”

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

“If music be the food of love, play on;     

Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,          

The appetite may sicken, and so die.”

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare


“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”

          –Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez


“Less Bread! More Taxes!”

          –Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll

“What about the teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me.”

          –Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer


“This book was born as I was hungry.”

          –Life of Pi by Yann Martel


“One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.”

          –The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

“Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening Hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen.”

          –Northern Lights by Philip Pullman


“As summer wheat came ripe,
so did I,
born at home, on the kitchen floor.”

          –Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse


“In the last years of the seventeenth century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and sting-taut with similes stretched to the snapping point.”

          –The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth

“Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat.”

          –Paradise Lost by John Milton


“Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he stayed up all night, was seated at the breakfast table.”

          –The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle


“When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.”

          –The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

“When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant–a combined gardener and cook–had seen in at least ten years.”

–”A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner


“Barry Fairbrother did not want to go out to dinner.”

          –The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling


“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon.”

          –The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James


What is your favorite culinary quote?

Share in the comments!

Medianet DBS
Will S. is a left-handed bibliophile who now owns a cherry-red Schwinn Traveler III. On summer afternoons you can almost see his vermilion shadow passing you at great speeds.