Author Topic: Food  (Read 3249 times)

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Offline MoonHunter

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« on: October 21, 2003, 03:43:32 AM »
Why an entire section on food? Food and eating is one of the most important social rituals for humans.  People gather together with families, friends, or their wing/ crew, at every meal they can. It is time for everyone to mingle and relax. Since Kerenese live in close quarters, food is generally served family style (large bowls that you server yourself out of). Living on Kerren is fairly stressful (well, dangerous at least).  Mealtime in a cluster is a nice safe time to be together.  

I decided that only two Terran staples took hold on Kerren: Soy Plants and Rice (they both are quick growing and can grow in a variety of terrains/ soil conditions). There are a few other vegetables and fruits that made the transition, Potatoes not being one of them. Open fields are possible here, as they are outside the walled clusters. A variety of veggies (native and not), some grains (the local wheat needs a few centuries of domestication before it is really worth eating, so we have rice and soy), and a variety of fruit and nut trees.

All the Terran food animals (cows, pigs, chickens, and goats) didn't survive the local preditors. Neither did the horses. Soon after they were all eaten, the colonists discovered that the electric fences actually attracted most Kerren animals (see radio/ electricity). Lucky for the colonists, Gips were practically domesticated when they arrived. In addition to producing leather, and producing leather without having to be killed (by peeling off some levels of their thick skin... like sheering a sheep but with a machette), they produce tasty white meat.   Their Eggs are automatically fertilized, so they can not be used for food.

Fishing is possible, but is never going to be a recreational past time on Kerren. Lake, Delta, and river fishing is possible, but dangerous. Fishermen need dragon overwatches to make sure the large critters in the water don't decide to snack on them or their catch.

Other animals are also good food sources. Since megafauna is quite prevolent, one kill can feed a large number of people for days.

In addition, the Kerrenese are working on domesticating and altering a few other animals. Some are being shifted to being riding animals, others as beasts of burden, while others to replace the chickens as egg layers.  The process of domesticating the local grasses and making them gains, is not going very well. Domesticating many of the local fruits and veggies is proceeding.  

Given Warrens and Clusters being dug into cliffs, Litchen and mushrooms are also cultivated in those dark, wet cliffside caves.

Bee Keeping would be a more dangerous habit here, given the fact that insects are normally three to five times larger than their terrestrial analogs, and more robust because they are competing with megafauna. However, given the size of the local bees, they would produce larger quantities of honey.

What does this mean for the local culinary scene?

We have dinner items akin to Japanese, Chinese, and Indian cooking: rice bases, with other items in a sauce. Veggies and Mushrooms, plus meat, add sauce, place over rice (Or just mean in sauce). Pasta with rice flour noodles would be another popular item. Riceballs and sushi like tidbits would be other options

Soup, being a very communal food, is also very common.  Noddle soups of all varieties are found on Kerren, though each locality seems to have their own variation.

If the tomato grows in the local area, then you would have Italian food, as prepared by Japanese/ Chinese chefs who never had eaten Italian food. Similar forms with very different spices.

Given the type of food, chop sticks were probably the primary eating tool for sit down dining, though the knife/ fork/ spoon would be available.

Soy products would take the place of dairy. Soy Milk and Cheese would be their dairy. The Kerren have not found another Saurian that they can easily domesticate for meat or eggs (It took nearly 1200 years to make the chicken the egg laying machine that we know today, so give them some time... they have only been here for 7-10 generations).

There is not the variety of spices on Kerren that there are on Terra, so the food is a little blander. Garlic is there and possible a great animal repellent (as well as people repellent). Honey is there for sweetness (lots of it because the local bee creatures are 5xs earth size).

The food in one area of the world would be similar to the food in every other area of the world. This is because things can be traded across vast distances via Dragons in a few minutes. The ability to travel and communicate great distances easily blocks the creation of regional styles and tastes.

Cookies and Cakes would be possible with Rice and Soy flour. The lack of Eggs would be an issue, but cooking with Honey, chocolate, and Soymilk should make a variety of tasty treats possible.

Alcoholic beverages would be Local Wheat Beer, Rice Wine, Fruited Rice Wines.

Non Alcholic drinks would be a variety of carbonated waters with syrups, root beers, and lemonade like drink.

Tea? Probably. It can grow in a variety of soils. Would they bring Coffee? maybe.. but coffee trees are not very robust. They are probably dying out.

Chocolate (or a locally genemanipulated version of it) is currently being grown in the equitorial band. The colonists decided they could not live without it, so they brough a variety of genemaniped cocos to make sure one would survive on the planet.

Despite the Asian flair for the food, the Kerenese do not eat with chopsticks.  Being environmentally friendly and chopsticks are not, they opted to keep the conventional utensils.  They eat with knives, forks, spoons. Some are metal, but most are hard leather.

The Kerenese of the Point (a large peninsula) eat with knives, spoons, and tongs. These tongs are tablewear size. The tong is a complicated thing made of metal, yet a very simple and easy thing to make out of hard leather.  

The avererage table on Kerren is full sized and wooden with full sized wood chairs (much like most US tables and chairs).  While sitting on pillows is common in other area, people tend to eat at tables.

Eating to Go
If you are not eating with people, you are eating specific foods.  Kerenese fast food is designed to be portable, long lasting, and easy to eat one handed.  Riceballs, tofu bits, cold noodles, meat pies, sandwiches (with rice flatbread), and sushi like tidbits, and such are common fast food.  

There are no restraunts "per say".  There are common houses, which serve a little food, a lot of drink, and are mostly just a place to "hang out".
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