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Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Get a cup or pot of mint tea at Firehouse Tea & Coffee Café.

Feeding your ‘Hunger’

Fill plate with food that brings to mind hit novel, new film

Lionsgate
Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) carries a loaf of bread in “The Hunger Games,” which opens Friday.

You wouldn’t expect a book about starvation to inspire hundreds of new recipes. But fans of the young-adult novel “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins, have filled websites and bookshelves with dishes based on the food mentioned in the book.

At Fictional Foods (FictionalFoods.net), “Hunger Games” fans can find recipes for roasted pig (complete with an apple in its mouth), goose liver and grain drop biscuits. And although the websites pass on bark and mouse meat soup with pig entrails, the recipes are as authentic to the book as possible. The District 12 Ration Grain Drop Biscuits, for instance, are made using a hand-operated grain mill and rye berries.

At the Allen County Public Library, “The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to ‘Groosling,’ ” by Emily Ansara Baines, features more than 150 recipes inspired by the “Hunger Games” trilogy. Both the cookbook and all of the copies of the novel are currently checked out, and there are long waiting lists for copies.

“The books were popular before word that the movie was coming out,” says Katie Jacobs, a young-adult librarian at the library. “But as soon as the movie was out we had to buy many, many, many more copies. It’s interesting to see a book get so popular and inspire so many trends.”

The movie version of the “The Hunger Games” starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, hits theaters Friday.

To coincide with the event, here are dishes mentioned in “The Hunger Games” and where you can find them locally.

Mint tea

“For three days, we’d had nothing but boiled water with some old dried mint leaves I’d found in the back of a cupboard.”

The Firehouse Tea & Coffee Café, 1245 E. State Blvd., offers four varieties of mint tea: peppermint, sweet mint, maghreb and Moroccan. Prices range from $1.80 for a small iced tea to $2.50 for a pot of hot tea.

Fancy cakes with flowers

He means the ones they display in the windows. Fancy cakes with flowers and pretty things painted in frosting. They’re for birthdays and New Year’s Day. When we’re in the square, Prim always drags me over to admire them, although we’d never be able to afford one. There’s little enough beauty in District 12, though, so I can hardly deny her this.”

For Goodness Cakes, 6017 N. Clinton St., offers different cupcakes – dotted with sprinkles, flowers and cherries – every week. During March, the bakery will also offer flavors such as pistachio, almond joy, key lime, Lucky Charm, lemon raspberry and mint chocolate chip. Cupcakes cost $2 each or $22 for a dozen.

Raw fish

“The cool water has an invigorating effect on my body, my spirits. I shoot two fish, easy pickings in this slow-moving stream and go ahead and eat one raw.”

Koto Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi, 301 E. Washington Center Road, serves assorted sashimi (raw fish), which can include tuna, salmon, squid and mackerel. The Love Boat – which comes with 15 pieces of sashimi, 10 pieces of sushi, one California roll, one tuna roll and one shrimp tempura – costs $49.95.

Raisin nut bread

“I stared at the loaves in disbelief. They were fine, perfect really, except for the burned areas. By the time I reached home, the loaves had cooled somewhat, but the insides were still warm. When I dropped them on the table, Prim’s hands reached to tear off a chunk, but I made her sit, forced my mother to join us at the table, and poured warm tea. I scraped off the black stuff and sliced the bread. We ate an entire loaf, slice by slice. It was good hearty bread, filled with raisins and nuts.”

Pembroke Bakery, 300 E. Main St., specializes in artisan breads, both traditional yeast bread and the gluten-free variety. Among its more than 20 offerings are whole wheat walnut levain bread, makos es dios kalacz (Hungarian poppy seed and walnut) and walnut basil focaccia.

Goat cheese wrapped in basil leaves

“Gale spreads the bread slices with the soft goat cheese, carefully placing a basil leaf on each while I strip the bushes of their berries. We settle back in the nook in the rocks … . The food’s wonderful, with the cheese seeping into the warm bread and the berries bursting in our mouths.”

For a Capitol-style take on Gale and Katniss’s humble lunch, order the bruschetta appetizer at BakerStreet, 4820 N. Clinton St. The dish features ciabatta bread, smeared with goat and cream cheese, topped with chopped tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. Cost is $9.

Carrot Ginger Soup

“The supper comes in courses. A thick carrot soup, green salad, lamb chops and mashed potatoes, cheese and fruit, a chocolate cake. Throughout the meal, Effie Trinket keeps reminding us to save space because there’s more to come.”

Carrot and ginger soup, courtesy of Leonard Easterly, owner and chef at Lemongrass, 2805 E. State Blvd. You can find this soup on the restaurant’s menu once a week.

4 pounds carrots

1/2 cup chopped ginger

3 to 4 gloves garlic

1 cup diced onion

4 (32-ounce) boxes of organic vegetable stock

Sauté onions, garlic and ginger in a pan for three minutes. Add carrots and sauté for 7 minutes or until soft. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Purée the mixture with a hand blender. Makes one gallon

edowns@jg.net

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