Ian Fleming’s most famous creation, James Bond, was famously keen on lightly-scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, orange juice and espresso coffee. He also dabbled with grilled sole, foie gras, crawfish, asparagus with Béarnaise sauce, and caviar. But could he really be thought of as a gourmet?
According to Edward Biddulph, tutor and Senior Project Manager at Oxford Archaeology South, the answer is no: as explained in his essay – “Bond Was Not a Gourmet”: An Archaeology of James Bond’s Diet – in the June 2009 issue of the journal Food Culture and Society.
Using the analytical methods of archaeology, and by cataloguing food artifacts mentioned in the Bond book-series, the author is able to show not only that Bond was far from a gourmet, but also
“Bond’s diet is nutritionally unbalanced when compared with recommended healthy-eating diets of the 1950s and modern times.”
The agent’s choice of food was sadly unsound, but there are security implications too – particularly with regard to his ‘obsession for scrambled eggs’:
“It would take any half-observant SMERSH tail barely a week to identify what Bond eats and when he eats it. And if that information were traded, then the consequences would be fatal”
In summation, the essay reveals one very enlightening pointer towards Bond’s preferences – perhaps even explaining all his alimentary foibles: “Bond’s diet is near-identical to Fleming’s“.