Why say ‘great’ when you could say ‘phizz-whizzing’? Why eat children when you could eat snozzcumbers? Why live in the real world when you could live in a fantastical chocolate factory? Everyone should be more Roald, we say. Okay, so he wasn’t the one living in the chocolate factory, but this mind was full of these brilliantly imaginative ideas.
From The Twits to Willy Wonka and from Miss Trunchbull to The BFG, Roald Dahl created some of the most captivating children’s characters of all time. He also gave us some of the most memorable fictional food moments ever, including Bruce Bogtrotter’s infamous chocolate cake, Wonka bars, and magical gum with the flavour of a three-course meal.
Thursday September 13th marks the annual Roald Dahl Day event, which sees the author’s wonderful inventions and ideas celebrated across the world. To get into the spirit of the occasion, take inspiration from Dahl’s fabulous foodie ideas and whizz up some phizz-whizzing recipes for yourself.
Snozzcumbers may not be real (sorry), but they’re pretty similar to cucumbers, except for the fact that they can grow to sizes of between nine and 12 feet long. So, to make a snozzcumber salad, you’d need a whole lot of cucumbers.
Fishy Twits' spaghetti
That refreshing snozzcumber salad would be a lovely accompaniment to a pasta dish, but not just any pasta dish – if it’s Roald Dahl-inspired, it’s got to be a smelly, fishy spaghetti dish with enough tomato sauce to get caught in your beard in the style of the grotty Mr Twit.
The Twits – who probably wouldn’t be the first couple on your dinner party invite list – regularly tuck into a wormy spaghetti dish. We’re not saying you should do the same, but you could try to emulate their dinner slightly with this tuna, anchovy and caper spaghetti dish from Crumbs on the Table. Remember to clean your beard thoroughly afterwards.
Danny's 'champion' pheasant pie
Danny and his dad from Danny, the Champion of the World are pheasant poachers, so we reckon that this game-heavy rabbit and pheasant pie from Vikalinka would be right up their street – or service station, which is where they live.
This rich, meaty pie is perfect autumn comfort food, with plenty of chicken stock, white wine, onion, rosemary and pepper seasoning flavouring it beautifully.
This would be another dish that would be great served alongside that snozzcumber salad to add something light to this gamey pastry concoction.
Bruce Bogtrotter's chocolate cake
In Matilda, Bruce Bogtrotter steals a slice of cake and is punished by being forced to eat an entire chocolate cake in front of his entire school while all of his fellow students stay late to watch. In the age of GBBO where we love watching people tuck into cake, this sounds like no kind of punishment at all, in our opinion.
When asked about his crime, Bruce pretends to know nothing about it, saying it’s hard for him to remember specific cakes. While it certainly can be, we guarantee that you will struggle to forget this ultimate Bruce Bogtrotter-esque chocolate cake from Eat Little Bird.
It’s a double-layered chocolate cake featuring real chocolate and cocoa powder, topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate chips. Is that enough chocolate for you? Just maybe don’t be a bogtrotter and eat the whole thing to yourself.
Try-not-to-turn-purple blueberry pie
Willy Wonka ambitiously tried to invent a chewing gum that tasted like a three-course meal; tomato soup for starters, roast beef and baked potato for main, and blueberry pie and ice cream for dessert. Of course, the confectioner’s gum isn’t quite finished and greedy Violet Beauregarde gets to the third course before being turned into a giant blueberry and having to be taken away for juicing.
While you won’t want to find yourself in this troublesome situation, blueberry pie and ice cream does sound too good to pass up. This recipe from Once Upon a Food Blog for a traditional homemade blueberry pie is lovely, and would be especially beautiful alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Mmm.
George's marvellous freakshake
George of George’s Marvellous Medicine creates an absolutely crazy concoction to get revenge on his grandmother for her constant abuse, which features everything from floor polish to mustard powder and from shaving soap to hair remover.
Of course, we are not suggesting that you eat any of these – except mustard powder, if you like. However, we imagine that George’s marvellous medicine would resemble a freakshake somewhat. Actually, if freakshakes had been a thing while Roald Dahl was around, he’d be all over them, we imagine.
With candyfloss, pastel colours, foam and sprinkles, these unicorn freakshakes from Amanda’s Cookin’ are kind of what we’d picture that medicine to look like, but a whole lot tastier, naturally, thanks to their fruity ice cream flavours and soft, sweet, sugary decorations. Marvellous indeed.