This is oh-so-true. Every country has a main food which is their Staple diet, and first source of nutrition. It's nearly always a carbohydrate, too. Irish have their potatoes; Asia their rice; North Africa have CousCous, Americans and Australians have their fast foods :D
And as a chef I notice that even foreigners visiting Australia still tend to order their staple food, and even a foreign family living in Australia for several generations will eat that same type of meal - it's all learned throughout generations.
So in a fantasy world it would be no difficult task for someone learned in this to realise that the person sitting in the corner of the pub eating a Courge Stew may just be from Falhath. And from that, you would be able to understand that that person would have morals and traditions similar to your average Falhathian. If you were insightful, you could learn a lot simply by what a person prefers to eat.
Cudos, Scrasamax. A topic close to my heart :) It's natural I should rate it highly Go to Comment
The Courge is a staple crop of Falhath. The plant is a low lying perenial that produces a large round squash that ranges from a tan to a deep orange color. The fruit has a rather sweet nutty flavor and the seeds are roasted over a fire as a snackable treat. The thick rind is the main food of the plant, being chopped into cubes and added to stews much like potatoes would be. The Courge serves in similar potatoe roles, being chopped into hash, fried in fat, and even being mashed and distilled into a stout sweet liquor.
Courge is a main ingredient with onions and peppers in Falhathian stir-fry, a popular form of street cooking. Once the veggies and sometimes mixture of goat meat or poultry is cooked, it is stuffed into a wooden bowl and eaten with chopsticks. Go to Comment
The Ruhig Pepper
Easily recognized by its waxy white color, the ruhig is a pepper found only growing near the border of the Great Woses. The pepper is known for its fiery flavor that is reminiscent of peanuts and that eating the pepper raw can cause temporary paralysis of the vocal chords, rendering the eater mute for a short time. If cooked this property is lost.
Ruhigs have become a sort of weapon in certain circles, with actors and actresses loosing their voices before a critical performance, or with magi who loose the ability to use magic if they cannot speak. Mages know the ruhig plant as Magebane. Go to Comment
A popular food, nix as it is called for short is a large seeded grain not unlike corn, though with a much harder casing. This seed is generally treated in a bath of lime juice, or lye mixture to soften it before washing and cooking. The kernels are plump and a pale beige color after boiling and are added to local soups such as lozolo.
Nix is also ground into a rough but rather filling pottage that is served as a breakfast item, often with a piece or two of goat sausage. More innovative cooks have added peppers, sweet spices, and other oddities to the pottage to liven up an old country dish.
Lastly, nixtamal kernals can be fried in hot oil to produce hard crunchy kernals that are a popular snacking treat. After being fried and while they are still hot the kernals are liberally sprinkled with spices, or other flavorings. Go to Comment
Black Vinegar is unique to the famous Dwarven chefs of Degroz-Dag. It is made under the supervision of specialized dwarves who's soul purpose is the vinegar's quality control and keeping the process a secret. Black vinegar is made when the darkest dwarven meads go sour. Large amounts of sugar and other secret ingredients are added and the final product is akin to the long-aged syrupy, viscous balsamics of our world. Made properly, it requires at least ten years of aging in treated oaken barrels, away from any light sources or heat.
Black Vinegar, or Ooxsus as the dwarves call it, is then bottled and exported, as well as used by the dwarves themselves as a flavor addition to their meaty and hearty recipes. It is never used in the cooking process due to its extremely concentrated and piquant flavor, but as a final accent in the form of several gooey drops right before the meal is served. With its sharp, pungent smell and deep, smokey, muti-layered flavor, it is a favorite at all Dwarven marriage feasts.
The humans have taken to making imitation Ooxsus, but this comes out more sour and less thick than the dwarven original. This pleases the enterprising dwarves, since it just allows them to charge even more for their Ooxsus. Go to Comment
I am reminded of an old science fiction short story where every person was given a talking cuddly teddybear. By law, the child was allowed to have contact with the bear. These teddybears were to help educated each child, socially, intellectually, and (most important) morally. Two generations after the bears were in place, crime and violence were practically nil... as children learned directly early on that it was wrong to kill (or even harm people for personal reasons). (The grand son of the inventor was given a modified bear which did not teach, you can't kill... so he was the only person left on Earth who could kill (thus used when the government needed him).
Still a handy tool. While these are not specifically educational (or indoctrination) tools, they can be helpful to that culture. Go to Comment
The high magic Old World was brought to an end by the abuse of magic, and when it ended, many magical things ceased too be. almost every homonculus that was active at the end was undone, its animating magical force unraveled. For the century that followed the end of the Old World, known as the Twilight, magic was unpredicatable and was just as likely to blow up in a magis face as it was to fail. It also followed that there was a social and cultural backlash against magic, and the trappings of it. Go to Comment
In the far reaches of a long-lost wilderness, there stands a forgotten town inhabited only by children. Though they appear normal enough, their eyes burn with madness, and they speak in a foreign, archaic tongue. Nearly a millenia ago, a powerful spell had gone awry, or maybe it had succeeded - in any case, it ended up blessing, or cursing, an entire generation of children with agelessness. However, as the centuries passed, the children's parents grew old and died, the buildings of the town crumbled to earth, and even the civilization itself faded into history, becoming lost to time. All that remained were the children, driven mad by the psychological toll of living for hundreds of years beyond their age. In time, most children died, killed off by fighting amongst themselves, while many others were driven to suicide. Only a small handful remain, and they are a strange people indeed.