Feast Your Eyes on Harry Potter's World of Food

In honor of the wizard's birthday, we salivate through his descriptions of knickerbocker glory ice cream and the occasional moldy haggis.


Cornish pasties, which are hand pies filled with meat, potatoes, or turnips, frequently make an appearance in the Potter books.

Harry Potter’s birthday falls on Sunday (just like author J.K. Rowling’s) and Muggle fans around the world celebrate it annually with book and movie marathons, Quidditch matches, and, of course, food.

All seven of the Harry Potter books are awash in references to food, starting with Dudley Dursley’s birthday Knickerbocker Glory, an ice-cream treat that Harry got the tail end of, since Dudley complained that it didn’t have enough ice cream on top.

The Knickerbocker Glory seems to have started off as an American soda-fountain treat, but was adopted by ice cream fans in Britain, where it continues to be adored. It’s served in a tall glass and consists of alternating scoops of vanilla and strawberry ice cream, fresh fruit, strawberry, peach, or chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry. It sounds like a yummy pick for a Potter birthday.

On the opposite end of the Potter food scale is the dreadful buffet laid out for the deathday party of Nearly Headless Nick, one of Hogwarts School’s resident ghosts, which featured rotten fish, moldy cheese, a gray cake shaped like a tombstone, and maggoty haggis. (Get the real scoop on haggis here.) Almost as awful is the food concocted by Hagrid, Hogwarts’s gigantic groundskeeper: rock-hard rock cakes, stoat sandwiches, and suspicious casseroles containing the odd talon.

Much of the food in the Potter canon, however, comes straight from classic British cooking. Harry and his classmates breakfast on sausages, kippers, porridge, fried tomatoes, and toast with marmalade, and dine on roast...

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