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Meal

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  670 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Yarrow is a young chef determined to make her mark on the cutting edge of cookery with her insect-based creations. Though her enthusiasm is infectious, it rubs some of her fellow cooks the wrong way, especially Chanda Flores, Yarrow's personal hero and executive chef of an exciting new restaurant. Her people have been eating bugs for centuries, and she's deeply suspicious ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published January 4th 2019 by Iron Circus Comics
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  670 ratings  ·  197 reviews


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Chad
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, edelweiss
Yarrow is passionate about food, particularly with insects as an ingredient. She's so passionate she's moved from California to Minnesota to work at a restaurant that specializes in insect dishes. The writer does a very good job of infusing their story with a passion for cooking. Not enough to get me to pour some meal worms into my next taco, but I appreciate the passion. The book can be preachy at times though. There's a sweet little LGBT romance as well. I like that the author drew characters ...more
Emma
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review. 

This graphic novel is very original. It's a nice introduction to entomophagy for anyone who might want to know more. I did not have a clue about insect cuisine and I'm happy to report that now I at least know something. Here in Europe it's not very common to eat insects but it was very nice to learn that in some parts of the world it's totally normal and it's part of the culture. This boo
...more
Vicki Crosson
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-physical
This is such a lovely book, bringing a heart to entomophagy in a way that was completely surprising to me (but utterly necessary in retrospect). I really appreciated the back matter, with recipes and even an essay about why eating insects is important and needs be treated with respect. I look forward to discovering this new cuisine in a way that I never imagined I would.
Rod Brown
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am not a foodie. I tend to cook and eat the same dozen bland meals over and over. I don't watch cooking shows. I actively dislike going to restaurants.

And yet some of my favorite manga right now are about cooking: Food Wars!, Vol. 1, Delicious in Dungeon, Vol. 1, Silver Spoon, Vol. 1. And now I can add this book, which centers on the cooking of insects of all things.

Yarrow wants to be part of a new insect-themed restaurant so badly she moves across country just to apply. Her enthusiasm is cont
...more
Etienne
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Original subject, entomophagy, which is eating insect. Not something we talk or hear a lot about. So in term of introducing an intriguing and interesting subject, this book does it well. Was it that well done in term of literacy/artworks, not so much. The art didn’t please me much and the story isn’t really good either. If you want to introduce yourself to entomophagy that might be an easy way in, but other than that…

Laura
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Fantastic! A beautiful story on every level. Charming, delightful, educational, and diverse, this book is a wonderful read. Clean, expressive, thoughtful art.
Ed Erwin
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Nice story about cooking with bugs. It has points it wants to make about cultural appropriation and such, but the points do not get in the way of the story, which is ultimately character-driven. Plus recipes! If you can find the bugs.
Kate (GirlReading)
Unique, thought provoking and adorably wholesome. A brilliant exploration of food, culture and the intense connection between the two. Loved it!
Crystal
This graphic novel was such a delight to read. Not just for the story itself, which is solid, or for the expressive, attractive art, or even just for learning more about entomophagy, but also for the seemingly effortless diversity of the the cast of characters. women and non binary, Latinx, Asian, African American, Indigenous American, LGBTQ, and people of all different size and body shapes. I loved that all these existed in the story, JUST LIKE IN REAL LIFE, but the story didn't feel the need t ...more
Genesee Rickel
This graphic novel was everything I was hoping and expected it to be. Is super queer (my favorite), showing all different types of relationships (friendship, family, dating, etc.). Queerness was just part of the world, completely infused without a fight. I want more stories like this! Milani is so sweet and her vulnerability, both around her art and her feelings for Yarrow warmed my heart.

There was also a lot of educational/nonfiction content about different cultural practices of eating bugs (r
...more
Emilia P
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SOLEIL HO. (food writer, podcaster, and maker of my alma mater, once my secret santa my personal connection to famousness.)
IRON CIRCUS.
EATING BUGS.
MINNEAPOLIS ST PAUL.

What else do you need in a book? NOT MUCH.
I was predisposed to want to like this, but I did really like it, it was a clear but sweet narrative, with some good, fresh thoughts about cultural food expectations that were well-integrated into a satisfying story. And also see all the above. Seriously, I really liked it.
Laura
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Have you ever eaten bugs? Not by accident, but on purpose? Bug eating, as this graphic novel points out, is practiced all over the world.

And while this is really a story about Yarrow who wants to cook with bugs, it is also about how to cook with bugs, and wht can be done with them, and how to prepare them.

And it is also a love story of Yarrow who is falling in love with her artist neighbor, Milani.

And it is a story bout how to open a restaurant.

food or mean or something

And once you read this charming graphic novel, th
...more
Amy
Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this comic!

Rating: 3 stars
Rep: POC, LGBTQ+ and plus size rep.

The premise of this comic sounded too intriguing for me to pass up, it's all about a chef who uses insects in their cooking and the absolute dedication and ambition she is to achieve her goals. Overall, it was a fun read, but it wasn't really for me, I was just a little bored and confused throughout.

The artwork was really lovely, but I definitely missed the use of colour.
...more
Kathleen
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this! Also, I kind of want to try the tacos de chapulines, now. I never knew insects were such an integral part of world cuisine.
Laura
This was really interesting and I especially like how it discussed how insects have been a part of cultures and cuisine forever. Also a really sweet friends-to-lovers element with Yarrow and Milani. All around a really cute, interesting foodie story. Plus I always love Blue’s art style!
Ashur
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sequential-art, food
Cute and educational. Also: 1st book completed in 2019. Timely too, I'd just started listening to Racist Sandwich recently without knowing of Soleil Ho's involvement with this book.
Cy
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, comics, food
a really sweet story, and super informative--especially the essay and recipes in the back!! all the characters were so fun and fully-realized (i have a crush on milani). they had a really nice found-family vibe, which I always enjoy. i felt like i waited ages for this to come in for me at the library. i was so excited when it arrived, and i was not disappointed!!
Wayne McCoy
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
'Meal' by Blue Delliquanti and Soleil Ho is a graphic novel about diversity in life and food. I found the story to be charming and informative.

Yarrow moves to a new town to work for a new restaurant that specializes in the cuisine of entomophagy. Entomophagy is insect-based cuising, and Yarrow has experience by growing her own mealworms. Her first experience with the chef/owner is a bit abrupt and she is sent off to make a simple dish. She wants to do her best but keeps overcomplicating things u
...more
George K. Ilsley
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic, fiction, glbt
This is a sweet earnest effort, and a quick read. The main character Yarrow comes across as being on the spectrum or perhaps a little OCD about bugs (my novel ManBug embraces such a character).
A good story can be subtly educational. This one consistently veered towards hammering the reader with information. Who has never compared shrimp and grasshoppers? Thai workers in the Middle East during a locust bloom called them “air shrimp” and stir fried them into tasty meals.
I was waiting for the shri
...more
Sandy
Very interesting and well-drawn book about a woman who wants to work as a cook at a restaurant that serves insect-based cuisine. Culturally literate story; the authors obviously went to pains to get it right. I like the body-size diversity and multiple people of color. The characters are mostly women, with a few men and a non-binary character.

I have a personal squick involving stories where employers yell at their employees , and everything works out ok in the end in this story, but the main ch
...more
eHawk
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Exciting food, diverse characters, exotic ingredients, sharing culture, and wall art. I loved it. SO good.
Carmen
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy from Letter Better Publishing Services through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Yarrow is a young and passionate chef who wants to bring her love for insect-based food into people’s lives. Excited about a new insect-based restaurant’s opening, Yarrow is determined to land herself a job there. However, things take an unexpected turn when she irritates the owner, Chandra, rather than wowing her. Issued with a challenge that will make or break her chances at the restaura
...more
Vinny —.:* Film & Fiction
I requested this ARC because the premise sounds super interesting and original (and because I love food, but aren't we all?). I love the detailed explanation about Yarrow's backstory along with the recipes itself. The relationship between her and Milani was also really cute. Unfortunately, the detailed explanation quickly turns into a massive info dumps and overly-technical and as someone who's not familiar with this particular subject, I just couldn't keep up. I had to push myself to finish it ...more
Václav
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: digital, x2019
The Meal is decent comics about a young culinary enthusiast who wants to be a chef in one special cuisine - insects. It's a nice story with classic tropes with generic monochromatic art, so there is nothing special about it. I actually like the story, the topic is interesting, but it is nothing for me. The most interesting characters here are the side ones (which are way interesting than the main ones). But there is a bigger issue for me on that. There is the thing I hate for example on US Maste ...more
Erin Cataldi
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
A short quick graphic novel that explores a young foodie wanting share her love of insect based foods with the world. Yarrow moves to a new town where she hears a insect based restaurant will be opening soon. She interviews with the head chef, but the chef is wary that Yarrow doesn't fully appreciate their food traditions and just wants to exploit it or turn it into a fad. Not only does Yarrow have to win over the chef, she has to win over one of her new neighbors and friends. She's pretty sure ...more
Stef
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strangely enough, this book reminded me of how a Magic School Bus book is written. Just the writing style was very familiar and because it’s a pseudo-educational book, I think it makes sense. But it was also definitely for teens/adults so it was Magic School Bus... written for teens/adults!
It is weird though and kind of funny how they talk so nonchalantly about eating bugs, nbd. But I guess that’s also because they actually are trying to break a stigma. I think this could actually be a really g
...more
Rebecca
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
A weird little book indeed. Loved the representation in terms of cultural identity and LGBTQ identity. Wasn’t big on the opening-a-new-restaurant plot line, though the kind of restaurant certainly made it less cliched. I learned a ton about entomophagy, which was fascinating (although, if I’m honest, I couldn’t get past my gag reflex, which may have influenced my overall rating of the book). I just wanted a bit more of a compelling story and character development.
hizatul
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
** thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me the digital ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review **

actual rating: 3.8/5

this is the first time i've ever read about entomology in a fiction book. but it still doesn't make me wanting to eat them insects all of sudden (sorry!)

however, after i read this book, i learned it's important to learn about the culture no matter how bizarre it might sound like before we simply jump into insulting them.

also, my favourite part of this boo
...more
Emily (Obsessed Reader)
I loved the diversity in this novel, with characters of different races and ethnicities and the LGBTQ+ representation. This story explores eating insects, which sounds pretty weird and I’m not sure it’s something I’ll ever personally be on board with, but it was interesting to learn about. I thought it was pretty cool that there were some actual recipes included at the end. Overall it was interesting and had a cute love story. The art style wasn’t my favorite but it was okay.
Abby Johnson
So. I am completely down for a book about a young chef making her way in the world and finding unexpected love. I do love that the othering of cultures that consume insects as regular parts of their diet is a huge theme in this book - it's something that had never occured to me and I think it's addressed with grace here. But I still found the idea of eating so many insects a little hard to swallow. [wide eyes emoji]
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Blue Delliquanti is a comic artist and writer based in Minneapolis, MN.

Since 2012 Blue has drawn and serialized the Prism Award-winning science fiction comic O Human Starat ohumanstar.com. Blue is also the co-creator of the graphic novel Meal (with Soleil Ho), published through Iron Circus Comics, and The ‘Stan (with David Axe and Kevin Knodell), published through Dead Reckoning. Blue is represent
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