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World Book Day: Between the crumbly layers of Shakespeare’s First Filo

World Book Day: Between the crumbly layers of Shakespeare’s First Filo

by Izzy Burton 05 March 2015

In honour of World Book Day, Izzy regales us with some eggcellent Shakespeare food puns. Sit, back, relax and prepare to be amazed... because she knows just how you dice it.

Plenty more cakes and ale – it’s Shakespeare’s forgotten food plays. As World Book Day is upon us, we have compiled a list of the best for your delectation. Have we missed out any of your favourites?

Romeo and Julienne

A timeless classic, this tragic tale of star crossed lovers was first performed in the late sixteenth century, starring Richard Burbage as Romeo and a thinly sliced bit of carrot as his Julienne.

Measure for Measure

After 2 star chef Vincentio flies to New York to oversee the opening of a new restaurant, sous-chef Angelo seizes the opportunity to convert the kitchen's recipes from metric back to imperial in his absence, for no reason other than he can.

Merchant of Venison

Shylock, a traditional butcher from Belsize Park, suffers persecution from his community for refusing to rebrand as ‘artisan’. He eventually succumbs and invests in an order for 450g of Wagyu steaks, but his supplier, Bassanio, never makes the delivery.

Swisschard the Third

A bitter battle of two retirees. While his brother is practicing his tin whistle, Richard has plans to take over their shared allotment plot and replace all of the spinach seedlings for chard without him noticing.

Much Yuzu About Nothing

The title of this play, which bears no relation to the plot, supposedly came about after Christopher Marlowe told Shakespeare about a citrus fruit from Asia that would be ‘bigger than oranges in two years’. The fruit subsequently failed to catch on.


Desdemona's love affair with the nutritious breakfast dish is cut short when Iago forgets to leave his pan in the sink to soak and blames the dried-on porridge on her. Despite Cassio having a go at it with a Brillo pad, Brabantio imposes a state wide ban on the preparation of porridge oats.


Through a series of incredibly lengthy soliloquies, Hamlet wrestles with the true meaning behind expiration dates after his father, Old Hamlet, is unceremoniously chucked out two days before the stamp said he should be.

Honourable mentions: The Merry Wines of Windsor, Macbroth, Troilus and Micro-cressida, A Midsummer Night’s Bream, As 'Nduja Like It, The Flambéing of the Shrew.

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World Book Day: Between the crumbly layers of Shakespeare’s First Filo


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