top of page

The Ultimate Love Language: Food


We love it. We cook it. We savor every delicious, warm, and comforting bite. Humans are obsessed with food, both in real life and in movies and television. But what about in books? And we aren’t just talking about cookbooks. 

No, we are talking about #Fiction


Food in literature can be a powerful tool. It can set a scene, create intimacy, and help transition the characters. Food tantalizes the senses for the reader, evoking taste and smell responses to your words, and opening a whole new tasty world. 


Today we are going to hear from Brittany Johnston, the author of The Daughter of the Veil, a Dark Romantasy releasing in December 2024. Brittany is going to share with us how she worked food into her novel and why food and literature go hand in hand.

Thanks for the intro, S.E.! 

Well, you’ve probably heard the phrase “you are what you eat” thousands of times throughout your life. While no one intended for this to be taken as writing advice, that’s exactly what it is. Consuming food is natural and necessary for survival. It impacts all areas of our lives, as food can either humanize and level the playing field or create power dynamics and red-flag situations. 


Writers can underestimate the power of including food and drink in their novels. Not only can food help invoke several of the senses—taste, touch, smell, and even hearing—but it can also expand on world-building to create cultural identity, develop societal norms, and build characterization. And that’s exactly how I used food in my upcoming release, The Daughter of the Veil

For the main characters, Erissa and Rhazien, their reactions to food tell the reader a lot about their backstories, character arcs, and budding relationship. At the start of the novel, Erissa lives in captivity with no knowledge of the world. Food is a weaponized luxury, and when she does eat, she eats alone with limited options. Rhazien is the exact opposite. Food is part of his cultural identity and something to be enjoyed with a large community. Eating isn’t about fueling your body—it’s about connecting with others and enjoying your time in their company. Eating is an act of self-care and appreciation, and food is often presented as a gift of honor. As Rhazien pulls Erissa further and further away from the weaponization of food, her world expands as she tries new smells, textures, and flavors, discovering much about herself and others within these intimate moments.


Several of my favorite foods appear in Erissa and Rhazien’s story. From stew and oranges to manakish and other Middle Eastern-inspired foods, The Daughter of the Veil has a rich world where food is an everyday part of life and intimacy.

So, the next time you sit down to write, think about how you can incorporate food. Go beyond simply having food on the table. Create an inviting and relevant experience that pulls all the senses together so your reader wants nothing more than to dive head first into that meal! 


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page