Although enjoying Beluga caviar served with chilled vodka, James Bond claims to prefer “the ordinary plain food of the country” when abroad.
However, the definitive James Bond meal is scrambled eggs with bacon and/or sausages. James Bond will eat them any time, day or night, with vodka and tonic or Champagne.
In the story 007 in New York published in the US version of Fleming’s non-fiction travelogue Thrilling Cities and added to recent editions of Octopussy and The Living Daylights, Ian Fleming gives a recipe for “Scrambled eggs James Bond”.
When in London, Bond maintains a simple routine. Sitting down to The Times, he breakfasts on two large cups of “very strong coffee, from De Bry in New Oxford Street” brewed in a Chemex coffee maker and an egg served in a dark blue egg cup with a gold ring round the top, boiled for three and a third minutes.
There is also wholewheat toast, Jersey butter and a choice of Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberry jam, Cooper’s Vintage Oxford marmalade and Norwegian Heather Honey from Fortnum and Mason, served on blue Minton china. Breakfast is prepared by May, his Scottish housekeeper, whose friend supplies the speckled brown eggs from French Marans hens.
However, Bond’s diet can vary according to where he is in the world. Although a typical hotel breakfast would normally consist of coffee and eggs, Bond’s first breakfast in Istanbul in From Russia, With Love is quite different: “The yoghourt, in a blue china bowl, was deep yellow and with the consistency of thick cream. The green figs, ready peeled, were bursting with ripeness, and the Turkish coffee was jet black and with the burned taste that showed it had been freshly ground”.
While at headquarters Bond routinely eats in the staff canteen. However, he sometimes goes to “Scott’s” with best friend in the service, Chief of Staff, Bill Tanner, or with his secretary, Mary Goodnight.
Located in Coventry Street when the books were written, he typically orders dressed crab and Black Velvet or roast grouse and pink Champagne. Scott’s moved to Mount Street in Mayfair in the 1970s and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2001.
Once again in Istanbul, Bond has lunch with the Head of Station T, Kerim Bey. For a starter Kerim recommends a sardine dish that to Bond “tasted like any other fried sardines”, followed by a choice that demonstrates that anyone can eat like 007; the Doner Kebab is described to him as “very young lamb broiled over charcoal with savoury rice. Lots of onions in it”.
James Bond’s staple diet seems to consist of grilled sole, veal, steak and French fries or cold roast beef with potato salad. In Moonraker we find Bond dining in London with M at his private club, Blades.
Bond starts with asparagus and hollandaise sauce, followed by Scottish lamb cutlets with buttered peas and new potatoes and finishes with a slice of pineapple.
On assignment James Bond will eat langouste in France, tagliatelle verdi in Italy or stone crabs and melted butter in the US, but contemptuous of the cream and wine sauces of French cuisine which are designed to hide the poor quality of the meat.
In Live And Let Die he visits Harlem with Felix Leiter, dining on Little Neck Clams and Fried Chicken Maryland at Ma Frazier’s on Seventh Avenue. Diamonds Are Forever sees 007 back in New York and making the most of the food; lunch at Sardi’s after meeting Leiter, where he has Brizzola, dinner at the 21 Club with Tiffany Case, where they eat caviar followed by cutlets with asparagus and mousseline sauce, and the following night Bond dines alone at Voisin’s for “two Vodka Martinis, Oeufs Benedict and strawberries”.
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