Who is Brenna?
A) A Southern grandma who runs Jane’s quilting circle.
B) An upwardly-mobile, urban gym-addict who’s ashamed of her rural roots.
C) A disorganized, free-spirited artist who rarely remembers to eat.
|image from blog.zealousgood.com|
If you guessed B, then you know that what’s in a character’s fridge tells you a lot about her. Specifically, it can tell you about the following:
relationship to food
Does she love to cook and have lots of interesting ingredients on hand? Does she eat only out of necessity and give little thought to food?
level of tidiness and ability to plan
Is her fridge dirty or sparkling? Is it bare or full enough to feed an army at a moment’s notice? Are foods in logical places? Do oddball items find their way inside?
Is she a raw-foods vegan? A junk-food junkie? All organic? Cares only if the food is quick and tasty?
level of sophistication
Does she eat only plain, all-American foods or does she try cuisines from all over the world?
socioeconomic status (or strivings)
Is her food pricey foreign imports, middle-America name brands or cheap generics?
willingness to indulge herself
Does she allow herself a tiny pint of Ben and Jerry’s or a freezer full of it? Does she have a freezer-burned 5-gallon vat of generic vanilla ice cream because it’s a “good value”?
Does she skimp on one food category to spend more on another? Is eating organic more important than, say, having cable TV? Does she stick to only WIC-covered items?
ethnic or socioeconomic background
Does she keep specialized ingredients on hand from a particular culture? What are her childhood comfort foods she hides?
place on the traditional to trendy spectrum
Does she have Tupperware containers of leftover tuna-noodle casserole or cartons of takeout from the hip Vietnamese place? Ranch dip or hummus? String beans or edamame?
What's in your character's fridge? What ways have you used food to help build your characterization?