More than the drama of the arena riveted fans of Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" books. The culinary descriptions were fabulous as well.
As anticipation began to build for Friday's release of the movie based on the first novel, we asked readers to deconstruct the signature dishes of the books and give us recipes. We had no idea just how delicious the results would be.
Submissions were accompanied by notes that made us grin, sigh happily or laugh out loud. We posted the recipes online and invited fans to vote for their favorites and determine our finalists.
Our judging panel then prepared and tasted those dishes — because, as the series' main character, Katniss Everdeen, would be the first to tell you, a win requires more than a pretty picture. Our decisions weren't difficult. These dishes were swooningly wonderful.