Food in Fanworks
Fanworks featuring food as a key theme or element are popular in many fandoms.
Food for plot or characterization, placing the characters in settings where they make food, either professionally (Coffeeshop AU, Chef AU, Bakery AU, etc) or for their personal pleasure (Baking AU, etc.)
Some fanworks take the form of recipes or feature recipes within the text.
Food as a way to show romance in fanworks: characters cooking their love interests favorite meal. Dates including food at fancy restaurants or something homemade. Fanworks can use food for intimacy with characters touching during cooking lessons. Romantic gifts of the character's favorite comfort foods is a popular thematic element.
Hurt/Comfort trope in fanworks can have characters bringing an injured/sick character food. Common thematic elements are cooking the hurt character healthy meals as a form of comfort.
In the crackfic genre, it can have one or more of the characters as food.
Food in fanworks used as a framework for showcasing canon character traits. When a character has a canon stance on certain food/drinks, fanworks can include food/drinks items for maintaining canon character traits. Alternatively, characters liking or hating certain foods to show Out of Character.
Popular thematic elements in fanworks involving food include characters being excellent chefs or horrible chefs. Another popular thematic element is a character only eating take out.
Example Fanworks featuring Food
- Stove Stories, a collection of "fannish works featuring food as a vehicle of social interaction" on the AO3
- Catholic!Frank and Artist!Gerard Not!Fic by sena. Chef AU: Frank works with Gabe in their vegan kosher restaurant.
- The Cruelty-Free Sausagefests of Pleathermouth Vegan Cafe by jedusaur. Gerard gets a job at Frank's vegan cafe, but he has a dirty secret. One podfic by crazybutsound, one by TheOneCalledEli
- A Nerd's Guide to Flirting by Saysi. Bakugou Katsuki asks Midoriya Izuku for help with learning how to flirt. Some of the advice includes home cooking.
- these hands are only human by SaraJaye. Post-Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Silque/Faye fic where Faye prepares a hearty and comforting soup for her overworked girlfriend.
- Homecooked, At Last by nyoggets. A Three Houses modern AU fic where Felix learns to cook after tiring of his friends' terrible eating habits. Contains Felix/Dimitri in addition to focusing on other friendships.
- Belong, a part of the Cicatrix Cycle by ivyblossom. Harry/Draco fic in which Draco becomes an excellent cook.
- Theft of Assets, Destruction of Property by Helen. Draco/Neville, marriage-of-convenience fic in which de-magicked Draco becomes a perfect housewife who cooks a lot.
- Peeta Mellark's Five Favorite Things to Bake by aimmyarrowshigh. A Peeta Mellark character study with ingredient lists.
- Cori Falls was well-known for adding at least two meal scenes to her stories, and describing in great detail what the characters ordered or prepared.
- A Symphony of Chemical Reactions by what_alchemy. Sherlock applies his talent to cookery; recipes included
- Forbidden Fruit by cupidsbow. McShep fic in which watching John eat fruit makes Rodney unexpectedly happy. In his pants.
- Recipes from Pegasus by anyanka_eg. Fic vignettes of life on Atlantis interspersed with recipes.
- Battle Potato by fiercelydreamed. gen fic in which to help heal Teyla, Rodney cooks for her with John's help.
- If I Knew You Were Coming by Kass. McShep fic in which John obtains a chocolate cake for Rodney, who doesn't really get it at first (neither does John).
- The Hard Sel by aesc. McShep AU fic in which Rodney is asellerr.
- The Epic Tale of John & Rodney, Two Girl Scout Cookies In Love by bitter crimson. Fandom classic crackfic AU in which John and Rodney are Girl Scout Cookies. In love.
- Kisses Sweeter Than Wine by topaz. J2 AU fic in which journalist Jensen has to interview celebrity chef Jared for Saveur magazine.
- Aphrodisiac by aimmyarrowshigh. A Chef AU in which Louis is a waiter who knows nothing about cooking and Harry teaches him.
- Space Bakes: A Love Story by ThatScottishShipper. Sheith AU fic in which Keith is an assistant at Hunk's bakery and develops a relationship with librarian Shiro.
Coffee is a beverage used as a mild stimulant for thought and creativity. Given the ubiquitous nature of coffee and its strong association with creators, it is probably not surprising that many canonical works as well as fannish works include the consumption of coffee, tea or equivalent beverages. There are currently ~5500 works on the Archive of Our Own tagged with Coffee (sourced 10 September 2020).
The Coffee Shop AU became a very popular alternate universe fanfiction trope in the opening decades of the 21st century, and can be found across a wide range of fandoms. Among other things, it draws on the social aspects of coffee shops.
Example Fanworks featuring Coffee
- Coffee Time, a gen Sentinel vid by Sally
- The Tragic Ballad of an Under-Caffeinated Hawkeye by sara_holmes (The Avengers MCU). Steve and Tony are idiots, Pepper and Phil are 110% done with everyone and Clint just wants a cup of damn coffee. ...
- hazelnut, strawberry, and mint by jollypuppet (Teen Wolf). In which Stiles is cheeky, Derek likes dogs, and coffee is gourmet as hell.
- Espresso fanzine that features stories about relationships with oomph - the sort that gives the readers a caffeine jolt - double espresso style - whether they are sexual (straight, slash or less-well-defined), or explore characters who are 'just' friends or bitter enemies. (Coffee used as a metaphor for the desired effects of fanworks.)