Food Issue

Cover Art by Aya Ghanameh

“If food be the music of love, compose a short story about dumplings” isn’t on anyone’s maxim list, but the underlying sentiment is one reason we started our food-writing flash fiction competition—and also because we like stories that mention food, celebrate food, or even cast food in a devilish new light. We ran the contest from September 1 to Halloween, and the results were delicious, toothsome, savory in every way—okay, we’ll stop, but not because we’ve run out of ways to categorize the feast we read through, just that it’s time to proceed to the main course.

In this special issue are three prize winners and five runners-up, guaranteed to appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes. Here’s what we’re serving:

         You may never look at a pickle the same way again.

         Prime rib is what we hold dear as our family falls apart.

         The humble smelt has an unforgettable odor when cooked.

         Cooking can be a marital—or is it martial?—art.

         Carbs show love but aren’t great for your glycemic intake.

         Making soup is an act of revenge when two cooks are after the same man.

         The question “What’s eating you?” isn’t always a metaphor.

         People judge what you eat on the campaign trail.

It’s all here, laid out on a plate for you, in a special issue with a gorgeous cover by Aya Ghanameh. And even if it weren’t almost Thanksgiving, we’d still give thanks to all those who sent in material, without whom and without which we’d have no magazine. We’d also like to thank our talented and hardworking staff and the contest judge, Mark Rotella, who showed both acumen and good taste in their selections.

David Galef
Vestal Review


First Place
Memory Jar of Pickles by Tamara Haque

Second Place
Parts of a Cow by Claudia Monpere

Third Place
Tried and Tested Recipes for a Successful Marriage by Amy O’Neil


Tiny Ferocious Things by Pauline Holdsworth

Seven-Step Guide to Eating Smelts by Joan Leotta

Soup’s On by Laurie Miller

Love by Arya Naidu

What Thalaivar Ate by Vijayalakshmi Sridhar