Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: Book and Recipe Review

Fried Green Tomatoes book and recipe review.


Beatrice Shen, Staff Writer

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a historical fiction novel that immerses readers into two plot lines at once. The first, that of one of the novel’s protagonists, Evelyn Couch, a 48-year old woman of the 1980s facing a menopausal era of mid-life crisis. When she accompanies her husband to the Rose Terrace Nursing Home in which her mother-in-law is residing, she meets another inhabitant of the home, Ninny Threadgoode. Mrs. Threadgoode is a good-hearted woman who speaks her mind openly, and often reminisces over her home-town, Whistle Stop, Alabama. From here, Flagg incorporates the second story line of the early 1900s, that of the late town of Whistle Stop that Evelyn, along with readers, will soon grow to love. Mrs. Threadgoode focuses her recounts on one member of the town in particular, her sister-in-law, Idgie Threadgoode. Idgie is unconventionally outspoken and strong-willed for a woman, and the vicarious memory of her that Ninny has instilled in Evelyn causes Evelyn to make a change in her currently dispirited way of life. In the setting of the cafe, which Idgie owns, she practices her own actions of morality while defying societal gender, economic, romantic, and racial norms of her time, drawing to it people of all walks of life. And of course, the quests always appreciated that the cafe served the best meals in town.

Food is a significant motif in the novel, oftentimes used to parallel tones of nostalgia, so Flagg includes some of the recipes used at the Whistle Stop Cafe in the back of her novel, allowing readers to further step into the story, and reminisce alongside the characters. Here is a delicious, simple recipe for fried green tomatoes:


2 large sliced green tomatoes

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Vegetable oil

Whisk together everything but the tomatoes to make the batter, then heat the oil on a pan while covering the slices of green tomatoes in the batter. Fry each tomato until golden brown. It’s okay if the whole tomato isn’t covered by the batter.

With a mix of politically charged exigence, a splash of romance, and a dash of murder mystery, this book is perfect for anyone who enjoys a heart-warming historical fiction. And of course, it can be enjoyed with a perfectly paired plate of homemade fried green tomatoes.