Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: 'Love at First Bite' for Tom Magazine.

For Tom Magazine. This is possible the most tentatively-linked Twilight merch available.

Title: Love at First Bite  -  The Unoffical Twilight Cookbook
By: Gina Myers

Publisher: iUniverse

Reviewed by: Anna Angel
Like oversized boom boxes and most hipster fashion, Love at First Bite: The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook straddles the line between ironic statement and practical use. I can’t speculate whether the Twilight merchandise industry (I think they’ve formed their own union) based on Stephanie Meyer’s saga, is too oversaturated for this cookbook to appeal to its target market. It is, however, quite amusing in a ‘coffee table collection of Lolcat pictures’, kind of way. Author Gina Meyers attempts to take the reader through a culinary exploration of every food ever mentioned in the series, plus some basic recipes renamed to sound vampiric.

A disappointing omission is the food choice of the Cullen family, which would have helped determine that this is indeed meant as a smart satire on the ridiculous list of unofficial Twilight goodies available. After the dismal failure of the new Vampires Suck movie in the US, maybe this is what we’ve all been craving? At the back of the cookbook, a list of cast members for all three Twilight movies and a guide to having your own Twilight party are included. Are they merely fighting for the bucks of Aunt Glenda who knows nothing about her preteen nieces except that they heart Taylor Lautner, thus gifting them the one related thing they won’t already have? What of the large list of cocktails, with names like ‘Bella Loves Edward Punch’, the highly alcoholic, ‘Never Die’, and ‘Charlie Swan Sergeant Drink’?

I’m seriously confused by the marketing of this book, and a little confronted by the poor quality black and white photography that makes every recipe look inedible. In the name of fair reviewing, however, I have to try a meal or two, as I can’t be bothered following their instructions for a raging New Moon themed party, complete with astronaut helmet dinner table centrepiece. Yes, really. Vegetarian options are lacking, and when you look past the punny names (how many times can Meyers play on the fact that forks are not only eating utensils but also the setting for the Twilight franchise?) it’s mostly All-American cuisine - meat and mash, pizza, waffles.

The boyfriend and I decide to use up the last of our vodka supply, and try their version of a ‘Lemon Drop’, and a ‘Little Red Chevvy Truck’  -  a sweet concoction of vodka, 7UP and lime juice, that I am sure would be popular at any post-semi-formal gathering. That’s not just my mind jumping to conclusions either, this book also hosts a guide to preparing for the perfect formal a la Bella Swan. I was excited about making the ‘Love at First Bite Cupcakes’, only to find it tells you to prepare cupcakes "according to package direction on cake mix", before you draw a "vampire expression" on each. I try the simple sugar cookie recipe, which is delicious and easy to substitute ingredients for picky eaters like myself, consider making a main meal, but get too caught up giggling at some of the inane suggestions. ‘Tuna Sandwich’, ‘Charlie’s Fried Eggs’ (read: everyone’s fried eggs), ‘I Dare you to Eat Pizza, Edward’ pizzas, and my personal favourite, ‘Jacob Black’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich’. I think I finally get the point of this book.

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