Imports and Cultural Cuisine

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Imports and Cultural Cuisine

Post by Reyhan »

It's well known that cooking could use some love, but people have said that knowledge on the subject isn't Rias's forte. So I have put together a couple of suggestions for simple(ish) expansions to the system that should be easy to implement. These would allow players to do a little more RP with the food system and discuss/explore their characters' cultures.

Conversely, if Rias wants to plunder any of these items for some other purpose, that's fine too :D

Things the cooking system probably needs but are NOT addressed here:

1) Spices. I added chili peppers/powder because they could presumably be grown in Shadgard's climate and are pretty simple. We could probably have a lot more spices and even have them be optional things that can boost a dish somehow. Who knows. Another time!
2) Cheese. I suspect there are plans for a brewing system. If this is true, cheese could be a part of that release as mechanically speaking they'd be very similar processes (boil your wort/milk, add yeast/rennet, put it in a barrel, wait several days)
3) Sausage. Sausage was a HUGELY important food item for most of recorded history, but without organs (for casing) and other long-term preservation processes (see above) the game wouldn't be doing it justice.

The above items could be handled by some other update. So no mac and cheese this go-around. Moving on, here's what I think could be added with minimal effort:

New Crops
We're missing a few key foods! These could be sold as seeds in the general store.

A big round stinky root vegetable. Onions are an important crop across the continent.
Eat: The onion makes your nose burn and your eyes water.

Broad beans
Also known as fava beans, these grow in pods. They are too hard to eat raw.

A soft, bright red fruit which is sometimes called a vegetable.
Eat: The tomato is mild and juicy.

These should be available at the market in limited quantities with irregular restocks (to prevent camping and hoarding) to players who have enough Trading to find them. Traders could then turn around and resell, distribute, or make use of these items as they saw fit. This rudimentary system could later be expanded to involve investing in potentially risky ventures to bring these goods to the Lost Lands. With the possible exception of chili peppers, these should not be growable by players.

Cacao beans
This bean looks like some sort of hard, inedible tree nut. These are sometimes used as money in Tatlhuecatn, but in its present state it may be hard to see why.
Crushed: Crushed cacao
Crushed desc: Gritty, spicy paste which the Huecatn people believe can grant vitality. It is inedibly bitter.

A handful of small, greenish nuts with thin shells.
Crushed: Shelled pistachios
Crushed desc: A handful of greenish nuts, ready to eat.
Crushed Eat: The pistachios are rich, sweet, and crunchy.

Chili pepper
A long red pepper which tapers to a point.
Eat: Uh oh! Spicy!!
Crushed: Chili powder
Crushed desc: A handful of spicy red powder.

Coffee beans
A handful of pale, greenish beans with a groove running down the middle.

A thumb-sized golden fruit with a thin, glossy skin.
Eat: The date is dense and syrupy, with a mellifluous flavor that lingers on the tongue.

Tea leaves
A little pile of dried and shredded leaves.

Dry yellow-white grains, commonly grown and eaten in Nuum.

Foods everyone should be able to make
These simple recipes should be autolearned by everyone who meets the skill requirement, which should probably be 0 or 100, tops.

Roasted coffee beans
Coffee beans, skillet
A handful of dark brown coffee beans. They smell heavenly.
Crushed: Fresh coffee grounds
Crushed desc: Some dark brown ground coffee, ready for brewing

Pot, water, fresh coffee grounds
An ebon liquid commonly enjoyed on the east side of the continent, it is said to stimulate the mind and body.
Drink: The coffee is bitter in a pleasant way, with notes of something sweeter playing just at the edge of your senses.

Pot, water, tea leaves
A clear reddish-brown drink originating in the Ancient Lands.
Drink: Smooth with a touch of tannic astringency, the tea has a wonderful aroma.

Travel Foods:

Flour, water, skillet or oven
An unleavened oval of the most basic bread imaginable, flatbread is a staple across the known world.
Eat: The flatbread is bland, but wholesome.

Sitdown Foods:

Corn, broad beans, skillet
Beans and corn, sauteed together to make a simple but filling meal.
Eat: Sweet, nutty, and filling.

Lettuce, tomato, carrot, onion
Lettuce, tomato, carrot, and onion, roughly chopped and tossed together to make a simple dish.
Eat: The lettuce is crunchy and a little bland, but around every corner lurks a peppery slice of onion or or a big juicy bite of tomato.

Cooked Rice
Rice, pot, water
A simple meal of cooked grains.
Eat: Not especially flavorful.

Regional Recipe Books
These books should teach cultural recipes to people who speak the language of the culture in question. That way, you can be a Khaldean who was raised in Nuum and therefore knows Nuum cooking, a Hillfolk who learned the Fasa tongue via Linguistics and has demonstrated enough of an interest in their culture to prepare food as they do, or a Huecatn from Tatlhuecatn who knows how to make tamales. People will want to translate these books and collect 100% of the recipes, but IMO that should not be allowed as it would dilute the unique cultural identity of people who come from or have built a connection (via Linguistics) to one of the game's regions. It would be weird if everyone cooked tacos (or whatever) 24/7 because that happened to be the most efficient food.

Conversely, they could be autolearned at the appropriate skill according to your region of origin, and maybe at 200 and 400 cooking, you could pick another region to learn. I like the idea of using linguistics better, though.

From the Jungles of Tatlhuecatn
(IRL, these dishes were all enjoyed by the Aztecs and neighboring Mesoamerican groups around the 1500s when the Spanish arrived, and are likely much older. Spicy food helps with perspiration, perhaps in the future it could offer some slight buff to staying cool? I have left out the nixtamilization process for corn, as I don't think the crafting infrastructure yet supports it.)

Travel Food:

Tamal [Tamale]
Corn flour, chili powder, meat, pot
The tamal is an oblong dumpling originating in Tatlhuecatn, typically wrapped in a leaf or corn husk and boiled or steamed.
Eat: The crumbly exterior of the tamale is almost dry, but the tender meat filling provides a delightful contrast.

Dried corn, butter, skillet
A simple snack made from dried corn kernels which have been induced to explode on a skillet.
Eat: A touch of salt and butter has turned a good snack into a great one.

Corn flour, skillet
A little flatbread made from corn flour.
Eat: It's dry, but slightly sweet.

Sit-down food:
Pozolli [Pozole, Spicy Chicken Stew]
Corn, chili powder, meat, cabbage, pot, water
This hearty stew is loaded with meat, carrots, chilis, and corn.
Eat: The sweetness of the corn and cool crunch of the cabbage cut through the spicyness of the broth, which might otherwise be overwhelming.

Tortilla, meat, chili powder
A tortilla folded in half and filled with spiced meat.
Eat: Sweet corn, savory meat, mouth-watering spices, what's not to love?

Hot Chocolate
Chocolate paste, pot, water, honey, chili powder
Thick, foamy, and a little gritty, the chocolate smells strongly of spices.
Drink: Your mouth is immediately coated with a thick and bitter film which is helped along by the mild sweetness. The hot rush of spice that follows is enough to make your eyes water.
Note: If we're shooting for any kind of historical accuracy here, chocolate wouldn't be used in bars or baked goods yet, but obviously that needn't be the case in fantasyland. I have erred on the side of not using it for anything other than this spicy drink. Please feel free to correct me if I've got this wrong, dear reader.

The Nuum Cook's Guide to Truly Esteemable Living
(I based this on ancient Egyptian food, some of which survives today. Because Nuum and Khaldea are at odds, I have tried to delineate their cuisines more clearly than Ottoman/Egyptian food might have been in the past. If Nuum is geographically similar to Egypt, I am assuming it is where most people get their rice. The exotic ingredients are a pain, but morale buffs should consequentially be high, befitting the decadence of Nuum.)

Travel Food:

Shaped Bread
Flour, water, date, clay mold (can be baked on a fire or in an oven)
Bread in the Nuum style, baked in the shape of <mold>. It has been lightly sweetened by the addition of chopped dates.
Eat: The dates in this bread add more than flavor, they keep it moist and chewy.
Note: This item would be baked in little clay molds that could have different shapes, so like, a man, a woman, a snake, a flower, etc. Something for potters to do.

Ta'amia [Bean cakes, falafel basically]
Broad beans, onion, skillet
A fried ball of seasoned and mashed broad beans.
Eat: It is crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and savory throughout.

Honey Cake
Flour, honey, milk, date, oven
A palm-sized cake, shaped into a little disc. It glistens with the mouth-watering promise of honey.
Eat: The almost crystalline honey glaze melts in your mouth with every bite of this wonderful little cake.

Sit-down Food:

Ful [Stewed Broad Beans]
Broad beans, onion, pot
A simple dish of stewed broad beans, which can be eaten as-is or with bread.
Eat: The beans are delightfully tender and slightly tangy.

Mahshi [Stuffed Tomato]
Tomato, onion, rice, pot
A whole tomato hollowed out, stuffed with seasoned rice, and stewed in its own juices.
Eat: Slow cooking has given the tomato a sweet, rich flavor.

Rice Pudding
Honey, rice, milk, date, pot
Rice and finely-chopped dates have been cooked in sweetened milk until reaching the consistency of custard, making for a tantalizing dessert.
Eat: The pudding is smooth and creamy, and owes its nutty flavor to the bits of fruit suspended within.

Khaldean Delights
(Based largely on traditional Ottoman foods, most of this stuff is eaten today throughout the middle east and into the Balkans. I have given Khaldeans some rice dishes because while they don't get along with Nuum, they're right there and probably share more culture than either side would admit. Less fancy than Nuum cooking, but more filling. The lettuce roll is a crime against dolmas but we have lettuce and nothing uses it!!)

Travel food:

Lettuce Roll
Lettuce, rice, tomato, pot
A bite-sized snack consisting of rice and tomato cooked in a fragrant lettuce-leaf, which has been tightly rolled into a cigar shape.
Eat: Herbal, peppery notes greet your tongue.

Pie crust, honey, pistachios
This triangular pastry is dense and sticky with baked-in honey.
Eat: Pure decadence. The pastry is crisp and flaky despite being absolutely saturated with honey, and the crumbled pistachios add a richness that might otherwise be lacking.

Burek [Khaldean Hand Pie]
Pie crust, potato, butter
A flaky hand pie, glistening with the promise of buttery goodness.
Eat: The pastry crust is filled with buttery potato, a simple, hearty combination.

Sit-down food:

Yahni [Spiced Tomato Stew]
Carrot, onion, tomato, meat, chili powder
A spicy tomato-based stew loaded with big chunks of meat, carrot, and onion.
Eat: The dish is very heavily seasoned, but the stewed meat and tomato keep it grounded with humble, earthy flavors.

Pilau [Pilaf]
Meat, onion, rice, butter
A heaping portion of seasoned rice and meat.
Eat: The bright flavor of the rice is the perfect complement to the meat's smoky richness.

Candied Pumpkin
Pumpkin, honey, pistachios
Nothing more than pumpkin cooked in honey until soft and swimming in a thick glaze. Chopped pistachios have been sprinkled overtop.
Eat: While the honey announces itself immediately, the full flavor of this dish only kicks in afterwards in the deep savory-sweetness of the squash.

How we Cook in Karnath
(Simple British/Welsh food, uses lots of ingredients but they're all local. This should be the most filling cuisine around. I have been made aware that the Hillfolk do not have a language, so their cookbook can't be restricted that way. Not sure how to handle this!)

Travel Food:

Jacket Potato
Potato, Butter, Paper (parchment/vellum are too stiff and probably wouldn't work)
This baked potato has been wrapped in paper to keep it warm on the road.
Eat: A touch of butter goes well with the starchy and subtly sweet potato.

Smoked Fish
Fish, skewer
A strip of fish cured and seasoned by slow smoking over a flame.
Eat: The sharp, smokey flavor of this fish is mouth-watering.

Pie crust, meat, carrot, oven
Perfect for a worker's lunch, this rustic hand pie is heavy with meat and gravy.

Sitdown Food:

Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin, pie crust, milk, egg, butter, honey, oven
A custard pie made with sweetened pumpkin.
(Can be sliced like a pie)

Emberberry Flapjacks
Emberberry, flour, milk, egg, butter, skillet
A heaping stack of griddle cakes loaded with sweet berries.
Eat: Each berry is a little pop of tartness to contrast the buttery richness of the flapjacks.

Old Parr Stew
Meat, flour, butter, turnip, onion, potato, water, pot
A stew loaded with chunks of meat and earthy vegetables.
Eat: No one ingredient can account for the mouth-watering flavor of this stew, but together they make for a delicious meal.

Traditions of Tyr-Gwyrd
(I went for a blend of Viking and Native American foods here, with some Scottish to boot. The focus is on cold weather availability, forage, and shelf-life for travel foods)

Travel Food:

Ash Cake
Flour, water, campfire
Unleavened flatbread in the simplest style, still gray-black with the ashes it was baked in.
Eat: Crunchy and bland, this is as simple as bread gets.

Salted Fish
Fish, skewer
This is a slab of jerky made from salted and dried fish. It should keep for a very long time.
Eat: The drying process has only concentrated the fishy flavor. There are deeply savory notes if one can get past the inescapable saltiness and oppressive aroma.

Meat or fish, berry, pot
A crumbly cake of dehydrated and ground-up <meat/fish> saturated with tallow, rendering it nearly impervious to decay. The occasional dried berry breaks up the greasy brown monotony.
Eat: Fat coats the inside of your mouth as you chew, but the flavor is surprisingly agreeable - savory and occasionally a little sweet.

Prepared Food:

Skause [Scouse, Winter Stew]
Meat or fish, carrot or winterroot, water, pot
A simple stew in the Faewyr style, chunks of meat and root vegetables lie half-sunk in a thick, gravy-like broth.
Eat: Slow-cooking has drawn out the full flavor of the veggies, which swim in a broth so heavy it could put a Wechuge to sleep.

<meat/fish> with Berry Sauce
Meat or fish, berries, skillet
Tender cuts of <meat/fish> have been sauteed and drizzled with a tangy berry sauce.
Eat: Sweet and savory collide with every bite.

Boiled Pudding
Flour, berries, cloth, egg, pot, water
Looking something like a ball-shaped cake dotted with bits of fruit, this dessert has been boiled in a cloth rather than baked in an oven.
(Can be sliced like a pie)
Eat: Dense, moist, and chewy, tangy sweetness pervades the boiled pudding thanks to the berries scattered throughout.

Foods of the Ancient Lands
(I went with traditional Tibetan/Mongolian foods here, though I think the best of their stuff will come when we have fermentation and they can start going crazy with dairy products.)

Travel Food:

Buuz [Steamed Dumplings]
flour, meat, onion, pot
A round steamed dumpling, crimped shut along one edge.
Eat: The tender skin of the dumpling tears as you bite through it and into the savory meat filling within.

Boortsog [Fried Dough]
flour, egg, milk, honey, skillet
Sweet little biscuits made of fried dough, perfect for a snack.
Eat: The sweet dough is crisp on the outside and chewy within.

Roubingr [Little Meat Cakes]
Meat, onion, skillet
A little cake of ground meat, fried in oil until crispy.
Eat: The frying process has seared a pleasant crust over the outside of the meat cake, but the interior remains tender and juicy.

Sitdown food:

Boodog [Fasa Barbecue]
Meat, potato, carrot, animal skin (untanned, destroyed in the process)
An assortment of meat and vegetables slow-roasted in an animal skin, which now acts as a platter.
Eat: The unique cooking method has locked in an incredible amount of mouthwatering flavor.
(Can be sliced like a pie)

Suutei Tsai [Salted Tea Porridge]
Tea, milk, butter, rice
Something between a heavy drink and a light soup, this dish of cloudy gray liquid has been fortified by the addition of a handful of rice.
Eat: The milk tea warms your bones and lends a distinctive flavor to the rice.

Tsuivan [Noodle Bowl]
Flour, egg, meat, carrot, pot
A dish of noodles tossed with shredded meat and carrots.
Eat: Perfectly seasoned and just a little greasy, the noodles make for a filling meal.

A Guide to Iviali Cuisine
(hon hon hon)

Travel Food:

Rissole [Fried Meatballs]
Bread, meat, egg, skillet
A blend of meat and egg rolled in breadcrumbs and fried to create something like a hand pie.
Eat: The cracker-crisp shell of fried breadcrumbs gives way to a delightfully tender meat filling.

Jewel candy
Honey, pot
These hard candies are made from honey that has been cooked down into solid crystalline droplets.
Eat: The intense sweetness is indulgent without being cloying.

Fried crackers
flour, egg, skillet
Crisp, airy little slivers of fried batter. It seems unlikely a person could eat just one.
Eat: Bite-sized, crunchy, and lightly salted.

Sitdown Food:

Egg, milk, butter, pie crust, oven
Eggs and milk have been whisked together and baked in a pie crust to produce this mouth-watering dish.

Frumenty [Wheat Porridge]
Winnowed wheat grain, milk, egg, pot
A thick porridge made from milk and wheat.

Boulliabaisse [Seafood Stew]
Fish, mussel, tomato, turnip, water, pot
A dramatic seafood soup filled with mussels, fish, and veggies in a tomato-red broth.
Eat: It is enormously satisfying, with subtle aromatics to balance the sweetness of the seafood and acidity of the tomato.

Culinary Arts of Tol Rhun
(There's almost no information about these guys on the wiki, but I gather from looking at CLOK's documentation that they're a bunch of gloomy guses, so I went with Eastern Europe for the inspiration here, particularly Romania. I assume they bring some Nuum sensibilities to the metaphorical/literal table due to their history and proximity)

Travel Food:

Black Bread
Flour, Honey, Water, Oven
It is said that the bread of Tol Rhun is black because it contains blood. This isn't true, but it remains a popular joke and/or superstition.
Eat: The black bread is dense, with a strong, malty taste.

Fish Sandwich
Black Bread, tomato, onion, seared fish, no fire needed
Big slabs of tomato, onion, and cooked fish are pinned in place by thick slices of black bread.
Eat: The flavors here are simple, but immensely satisfying.

Cozonac [Sweet Loaf]
Flour, berries, honey, egg, milk, butter, oven
A little loaf of sweet bread with bits of fruit baked right in.
Eat: Walking a very fine line between cake and bread, this sweet treat really hits the spot.

Sit-Down Food:

Mamaliga [Corn Porridge]
Corn flour, water, pot
A dish of yellowish porridge made from ground corn.
Eat: The porridge is thick and slightly sweet, with a pleasantly grainy texture.

Chiftele [Kofta, Meatballs Over Rice]
Meat, rice, potato, onion, skillet
Chiftele are flattened balls of ground meat mixed with potato and onion and then fried. These have been laid over a bed of rice, presenting an appetizing entree.
Eat: The fluffy rice greedily soaks up the juices from the meat and takes on a rich flavor that is deeply satisfying.

Stuffed Turnip
Meat, egg, turnip, pot
This turnip has been cut open, stuffed with ground meat, and roasted until tender.
Eat: Spicy, nutty, and earthy, the turnip has infused the meat with flavor.

Gifts of the Mountain
(Giganti are Norse, but they're also Dwarves, and there's a bunch of cold weather vegetables so I have tried to come up with stuff that satisfies all 3 cases. Inuit cuisine was a helpful touchstone here, but unfortunately it relies on many ingredients we do not have: fat, organs, blood, and a way to freeze food (and have it thaw) would be welcome. Inuit peoples often live in lands where farming is difficult or impossible, so they have developed foodways that provide them with almost all of their nutrition from meat and forage for parts of the year. We have some fantasy cold crops but I would love to see Giganti eating mammoth-fat akutaq.)

Steamed winterroot
Winterroot, iceberry, pot, water
A winterroot has been split down its length, stuffed with tart iceberries, and steamed. The blue of the now-jammy berries has leached into the tuber in a strange, blotchy pattern.
Eat: The fibrous tuber has been softened with patient effort, and its earthy flavor is a fine contrast to the tartness of the berries.
note: I have no idea if iceberries are actually blue.

Tunnbrod roll [Flatbread roll]
Flatbread, meat or fish, winterroot
<meat/fish> and mashed winterroot rolled up in flatbread. A whole meal that can be taken on the go.

Iceberry thumbprint cookie
Flour, iceberry, honey, butter, egg, milk, oven
A plate-sized shortbread cookie with a large depression on top, which has been filled with gooey iceberry jam.
Eat: The crumbly cookie might almost be too dry if not for the tart jam that finds its way into nearly every bite.

Sit-down food:

Hot snow
Milk, egg, honey, pot
This drink consists of warm sweetened milk and egg, beaten together until a stiff foam has formed atop the beverage.
Drink: The airy foam and thick cream play tricks on your tongue, bringing together a marvelously rich flavor which neither could account for alone.

Suaasat [Winterroot stew]
Winterroot, onion, meat, winnowed wheat grain, pot
A wheat berry stew with chunks of winterroot, onion, and savory meat in a light brown broth.

Root pottage
Carrot, onion, turnip, winterroot, butter, water, pot
Chopped root vegetables of every description have been stewed together in a pot.
Eat: Despite its humble ingredients, this dish sings with flavor. The multicolored roots have each browned and taken on a new character in the cooking process, which they lend in concert to the sweet, earthy broth.
Posts: 531
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Location: United States

Re: Imports and Cultural Cuisine

Post by Gorth »

This person doesn't play anymore (in fact she only played for a week or two), but she did a whole lot of work for this. And it's very good! I happened to see it on an unrelated search, and thought I might bump it up for interest's sake and also in case other people have ideas. I don't. I just want to see more Viali stuff.
:undm_scales_key: :shagerd:
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2023 11:59 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Imports and Cultural Cuisine

Post by Jilliana »

Now I know where to go if I need to decide what to make for dinner...

Seriously though - thanks Gorth for resurrecting this. This is the kind of thing I'd love to see in the game one day.

I'll have to give a think on this to see if I can add anything. The original post was incredibly well-rounded.
(Rias says, "Happiness is accepting your past as part of who you are.")
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