FICTION

Meal

DELLIQUANTI, Blue with . illus. by Blue Delliquanti. 150p. Iron Circus Comics. Oct. 2018. pap. $15. ISBN 9781945820304.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—Yarrow McMurray is obsessed with entomophagy, or insect eating. She raises and eats her own mealworms and has moved across the country in hopes of working at a new restaurant, Casa Chicanita, to make her mark in the burgeoning insect-eating food scene. But steely head chef and owner Chanda Flores thinks that Yarrow is simply chasing the latest fad. For Flores, eating insects is a way of life and a tribute to her Cambodian Mexican heritage. Challenged by Flores to make a meal worthy of her new restaurant, Yarrow whips herself into a fury, making mealworm curries, cricket tacos, and fried tarantulas, otherwise known as a-ping. Meanwhile, Yarrow takes time for romance with Milani, a muralist who understands Yarrow's drive and encourages her passion for unfamiliar food. The creators infuse the sophisticated narrative with knowledge of restaurant politics, food history, and cultural views about insect-eating around the world. The bright-eyed energy of Delliquanti's clean, solidly inked cartoons engages the senses. Snapshots of chopped vegetables and simmering sauces will remind readers of their own powerful experiences discovering new flavors and foods. The final result is a delicious feast steeped in a rich combination of a diverse cast, queer romance, and culinary delight. Recipes are appended for inspired foodies wishing to enter the exciting world of insect-eating.
VERDICT A unique addition to collections serving older teens where Grace Ellis, John Allison, and Noelle Stevenson are popular.

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