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H.P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Foods
I’m not, however, a heavy eater—take only 2 meals per day, since my digestion raises hell if I try to eat oftener than once in 7 hours. In winter, when it’s too cold for me to go out much, I subsist largely on canned stuff. I always get my own breakfasts, anyway—doughnuts and cheese. I have financial economy in eating worked out to a fine art, and know the self-service lunch rooms where I can get the best bargains. I never spend more than $3.00 per week on food, and often not even nearly that.
H.P. Lovecraft to Robert E. Howard, 7 November 1932

Speaking of industrio-economic matters—let me assure you that a 2-or-3-dollar-a-week dietary programme need not involve even a particle of malnutrition of unpalatability if one but knew what to get and where to get it. The tin can and delicatessen conceal marvellous possibilities! Porridge? Mehercule! On the contrary, my tastes call for the most blisteringly high-seasoned materials conceivable, and for desserts as close to 100% C12H22O11 as possible. Indeed, of this latter commodity I never employ less than four teaspoons in an average cup of coffee. Favourite dinners—Italian spaghetti, chili con carne, Hungarian goulash (save when I can get white meat of turkey with highly-seasoned dressing).
H.P. Lovecraft to Mrs. Fritz Leiber, 20 December 1936


“Incidentally—not many doors away, on the other side of Willoughby St., I found a restaurant which specialises in home-baked beans. It was closed on Sunday, but I shall try it some time soon. Beans, fifteen cents, with pork, twenty cents. With Frankfort sausages, twenty-five cents. Yes—here is a place which will repay investigation!” (to Mrs. F.C. Clark, 20 May 1925)

“...in New England we are very fond of baked yellow-eye beans...” (to J. Vernon Shea, 10 November 1931)


“How can anybody dislike cheese? And yet Little Belknap hates it as badly as you do! I don’t suppose you would like spaghetti if you don’t like cheese, for the two rather go together.” (to J. Vernon Shea, 30 October 1931)

“...preferably of the common hard variety, medium strength. I hate Roquefort, dislike cottage cheese, just tolerate Camembert and Brie, and am neutral about Limburger—which latter I’ve tasted only once, at Whitehead’s a year ago last spring...” (to Robert E. Howard, 7 November 1932)


“Hershey’s sweet chocolate is one of my favourite nibbles.” (to J. Vernon Shea, 9 December 1931)

“...in nearly any form—cake, frosting, sweet milk chocolate, etc....” (to Robert E. Howard, 7 November 1932)


“I like coffee exceedingly, but relish its imitation Postum just as much.” (to J. Vernon Shea, 10 November 1931)

French Fried Potatoes

“I, too, am an enthusiastic potato-ite’—& guess I like the fried form best of all. Shake!” (to J. Vernon Shea, 30 October 1931)

Ice Cream

“But I more often take ice cream, of which my favourite flavours are vanilla & coffee (the latter hard to get outside New England) & my least relished common flavour is strawberry.” (to J. Vernon Shea, 10 November 1931)

“...preferably vanilla or coffee—the latter being a popular New England flavour, though largely unknown elsewhere...” (to Robert E. Howard, 7 November 1932)

Jams and Jellies

“But as for jam or jelly—I am your utter opposite, for I like it so well that I pile on amounts thicker than the bread which sustains them!” (to J. Vernon Shea, 10 November 1931)


“Of meats, I fancy I rather prefer beef for all-around consumption, but like most others pretty well. Fond of sausage—especially the old fashioned baked or fried sort. Like fowl—but white meat only. Can’t bear dark meat. My really favourite meal is the regular old New England turkey dinner, with highly seasoned dressing, cranberry sauce, onions, etc., and mince pie for dessert.” (to Robert E. Howard, 7 November 1932)


“Pie is my favourite dessert, and blueberry (for summer) and mince (for winter) are my preferred kinds—with apple as a good all-year-round third. Like to take vanilla ice cream with apple and blueberry pie.” (to Robert E. Howard, 7 November 1932)


“Like Italian cooking very much—especially spaghetti with meat-and-tomato sauce, utterly engulfed in a snowbank of grated Parmesan cheese.” (to Robert E. Howard, 7 November 1932)


“Of other vegetables I like peas & onions, can tolerate cabbage & turnips, am neutral toward cauliflower, have no deep enmity toward carrots, prefer to dodge parsnips & asparagus, shun string beans & brussel sprouts & abominate spinach. I like rhubarb—& am also really fond of baked beans prepared in the ancient New England way...” (to J. Vernon Shea, 30 October 1931)

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