Eat Your Words: Verisimilitude and Baste
Devouring books and crafting meals is great—but sounding smart while you do it is even better. That’s why we’re teaching you to eat your words. In this weekly guide, we introduce one literary device (PAPER) and one culinary term (PLATES) everyone should know.
Verisimilitude (noun): the appearance of reality, such that the literature acquires a level of truthfulness
Example: Frequently, this term is used to refer to works that require the reader to suspend disbelief, such as fantasy and scifi. However, verisimilitude also refers to regular fiction, so long as the writing depicts behaviors that seem natural and plausible. In my recommendation this week, Americanah, I found the character of Ifemelu to be entirely believable. She was flawed, personality-driven and very human in her actions and especially interactions. Accepting that her story could be true was easy because of the verisimilitude given her character by the author.
Baste (verb): to flavor and moisten a food by brushing it with a seasoned liquid
Example: Grilled peaches may be sweet and delicious on their own, but to baste them with honey prior to cooking them adds an extra level of flavor. The basting technique is often used when cooking meat—such as Thanksgiving turkey—for the sake of adding moisture and flavor. It is most commonly employed in the process of grilling, rotisserie and roasting.