James Bond and food

James Bond's favorite meal: scrambled eggs

The eating habits of James Bond fixes him in most people’s minds as a “gourmet.” Real foodies (and real Bond fans) understand that that’s not technically accurate; Raymond Benson in particular has correctly pointed out that Bond is a gourmand, and not a gourmet. “Gourmand” being defined as a person who likes and appreciates good food; a “gourmet” is more likely a person who will stick any old goddam thing in their mouth.

The popular men’s magazine Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research published, in its June 2009, issue a more in-depth rebuttal to this popular misunderstanding. In “Bond Was Not a Gourmet”: An Archaeology of James Bond’s Diet, author Edward Biddulph brings a scholarly eye to the tucker of 007.

The article’s abstract reads as:

In the course of his novels, lan Fleming describes in some detail seventy meals that James Bond consumes or considers eating. This article examines Bond’s diet. Treating the food as artifacts and using the analytical methods of archaeology, it attempts to provide better understanding of its composition, and place it in social context. Three conclusions are drawn from the study. Bond’s diet is nutritionally unbalanced when compared with recommended healthy-eating diets of the 1950s and modern times. However, there is order in Bond’s food choices, in that particular foods are associated with specific meals. Finally, Bond’s diet is near-identical to Fleming’s, whose financially and socially-rich lifestyle—with at least two months each year spent in Jamaica—gave him access to a range of foods that, while normal to him, was far from the everyday experience for the book-buying public.

The entire article is available for download from the Ingenta Connect website. It’ll run you $32.99 (plus tax).

2 Responses

  1. As I pointed out on FaceBook , one shouldn’t also forget that – as he did with cars , wines or even scenery – Fleming considerably embellished Food in his novels .
    Or ,rather than ‘ embellished ‘ , has actually the reader thinking ‘ Wow , this must surely cost an arm and must be delicious ‘ ( while Beluga Caviar is not that expensive , and neither is lobster these days… ) .
    Two friends of mine actually wrote a book , simply called ‘ Bon appetit , Mr Bond ‘ , published in France in 2008 to coincide with the release of QofS .
    It is a Cook book ( based on the Films & Novels ) as well as some rather interesting in depths view of Mr Bond ‘s stomach content…

  2. Without any prior knowledge of the French cookbook, my husband has written a James Bond cookbook, too! It’s called Licence to Cook and is available online from Lulu.

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