The official launch of filming of the next James Bond film returned Ian Fleming’s master spy to his birthplace at Goldeneye, formerly Ian Fleming’s Jamaican retreat where the Bond novels were written. It happened to be morning on the island and, creating the impression that the thousands of fans tuning into the event broadcast via social media were dropping in on breakfast, a bowl of fruit had been placed on the table in front of producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
The bowl appeared to contain a selection of tropical fruit, probably mango, papaya (or pawpaw) with perhaps a banana or two.
Seeing the fruit, I thought of the breakfast that James Bond enjoys in the morning after his arrival in Jamaica in the novel of Live and Let Die (1954): pawpaw with a slice of green lime, red bananas, purple star-apples and tangerines, as well as the obligatory scrambled eggs and marmalade. Bond considers the breakfast a wonderful moment of consolation in the darkness and danger of his profession.
And if I remember aright, there is also a bowl of fruit on the breakfast table at the hotel at which Bond and Rosie Carver are staying in the 1973 film of the novel (the island in that case doubled for the fictional San Monique).
Ian Fleming himself was rather partial to fresh fruit in the mornings at Goldeneye. Ann Fleming records breakfasts of pawpaw, blue mountain coffee, scrambled eggs and bacon.
The bowl of fruit at the Bond 25 launch was a small, but nice touch. Does it herald the appearance of food in the forthcoming film and another Jamaican breakfast for James Bond? I hope so!
And, yes, as I was writing this, I did have the words of ‘Under the Mango Tree’ from Dr No swirling around in my head:
‘Mango, banana and tangerine,
Sugar and ackee and cocoa bean.’