What Enid Blyton Ate: Mr. Galliano’s Circus

I’ve been devouring Enid Blyton books since I was six years old.

Reading her books always made me hungry, even though I didn’t have the foggiest idea what most of the food she described actually was (ginger beer and potted meat and humbugs – say WHAT). But her books still made me dream of picnics and adventures, midnight feasts and boarding school pranks, magical creatures and enchanted lands.

Image courtesy here
Image courtesy here

What Enid Blyton Ate will be a new feature on my blog that celebrates food in her book by listing all the scrumptiousness a particular book describes.

Let’s begin with Mr. Galliano’s Circus, a book I first read and loved in primary school, and subsequently rediscovered in a bookstore in Bangalore last year.


  • They all had their dinner sitting outside the caravan. The sausages were lovely and so were the potatoes cooked in their jackets and eaten with butter and salt. Jimmy thought he had never had such a lovely dinner in his life. Afterwards there were oranges and chocolate to eat.
  • Breakfast was on the table! There was porridge, bread and marmalade, and hot cocoa. It looked good to Jimmy.
  • “Now, Lotta, if you like to go and make yourself really clean and tidy, you can come and have a meal with us. I’ve got some sardines and a new ginger cake.”
  • Jimmy thought that herrings had never tasted so nice before! It was getting dark now and the fire they were sitting around glowed red and yellow. There were two herrings for everyone, and hot cocoa and bread and butter.
  • Jimmy put on his things and scampered down to the brook. Oooh! The water was cold! He ran back to the caravan as hungry as a hunter, brushed his hair, and squatted down on the grass to eat a piece of bacon and a brown sausage.
  • Mrs. Galliano bought tins of fruit-salad for everyone and the biggest jug of cream that Jimmy had ever seen. It was fun eating fruit-salad and cream in the field for dinner next day. You never knew what was going to happen in a circus!
  • Jimmy ran off. His mother gave him a basket and put into it some sandwiches and a piece of chocolate cake, for Jimmy had not had any breakfast.
  • Sammy (Ed: who was a chimpanzee) was frightened of their shouts. He did not go after them, but he ran up to their bags. He smelt something good inside – the men’s dinner! It was ham sandwiches, buns, and apples. Sammy picked up the food, ran to the hedge and crouched there. He ate everything in the bags, and most of all he liked the apples.
  • “I suppose you’ll soon be getting too grand to play with me any more, Jimmy,” Lotta said one day, as they sat together on the steps of her caravan, eating buttered buns.
  • Mrs. Galliano opened the caravan door and Jimmy went in. It really was a lovely caravan, roomy and comfortable – much, much better than Jimmy’s own. Mr Galliano was sitting at the table eating a plum-pie with cream. He cut Jimmy a big slice, poured cream over it, and pushed it towards the surprised boy. “Eat,” he said.