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Food

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Sartorias-deles is a colder world than Earth, so not all the foodstuffs brought over from Earth (and other worlds) flourished. Some flourished so well they developed their own distinctive characteristics. Like Sartoran Tea. For whatever reason (early mages experimenting down at the molecular level with plants, soils, or both) tea grown on the southern-facing mountains of Sartor is not only extraordinarily refreshing to the palate, but it is has very mild mood-altering qualities. For some it can be almost a hallucinogen in the sense of thinning the borderline between everyday perception and Dreamtime.

Coffee is also grown on the southern slopes of the mountains, but it does not have those remarkable qualities. Coffee is much better, actually, when grown on the islands on or near the equator, which is the hottest part of the world. This is also where citrus is most abundant, with a wide variety. There is citrus grown along the temperate zones of the continents--the north of Toar and Sartor, south of Goerael and Drael. Vineyards grow in a variety of places, some vines having been adapted to the colder climate, after centuries of careful tending.

The equatorial islands are where most of the world's sugarcane grows. Experimentation over the centuries has led to sugar stalks that can produce rattoons for several generations, by several methods that are probably similar. Long-time growing families or communities protect their growth and sugar-producing process fiercely. Sugar is used in fine baking, but otherwise honey is used for most sweetening. Honey is produced all over the world, beekeeping having been developed since humans came. There is an astonishing variety of honeys, ranging from color to consistency and, of course, varying in taste. Honey is used for cooking and baking, and it is in certain places a major ingredient in salves.

In the temperate zones, along the upper range of the Sartoran continent, and in western Toar, and some spots on the southernmost reaches of the northern continents, rice grows. It is imported farther south and north. Potatoes grow everywhere; most rural establishments, no matter how small, have truck gardens growing through the spring and summer months. In some places crops like rye and flax are grown in short "winter" crops, mostly for seed.

Because dena Yeresbeth affected all mammalian life, very early in the history of the world humans declined to eat any animal that gave live birth and cared for its young. This prohibition did not extend to chickens, turkeys, or fish. (Mammalian fish excepted.) Cows are kept for milk, oxen to pull ploughs. Pigs are kept as pets and to eat garbage; the wands that pick up their droppings deliver the material directly to growing soil. When all these animals die, they are 'disappeared' the same way humans are.

Cookery varies from country to country, from city to rural, from age to age. Some cultures like foods simple in preparation and taste. Some prefer lots of spice--generally, the colder the climate, the more spice the inhabitants prefer. Colend's food is notorious for complexity, like the rest of the culture. The excellent wine of Gyrn has long been used in Colendi simmer-sauces. Fresh herbs and spices are grown everywhere in Colend, perfuming the air as well as adding flavor to dishes.

The Colendi methods and tastes have changed over the centuries, but to generalize, they prefer layers, sauces tender textures. The Colendi are notorious for their niceties in eating. For most of its history it has been considered ill mannered to talk and eat. Small bites quickly chewed and swallowed are the basis for Colendi manners. At their most elaborate, Colendi did not eat in public at all, but in secret, and at gatherings only drink was served. If a guest was seen gulping or swallowing, he or she was judged uncouth, so people hid their swallowing or chewing behind fans. There have also been fashions for little eating compartments, meant to convey intimacy for those who wished to share meals.

Food storage: in the winter, people often use windows to freeze things, but in the past few centuries, larders are available to those who wish to pay for magic that prevents a food from aging once it is put in the larder. Thus, larders can be crammed at harvest time, and the food stays fresh. These require a great deal of mage-labor, so are correspondingly expensive. Usually the wealthy, or restaurants and inns, or large houses of whatever type have these. Some smaller communities will pool together and buy one, each family labeling its goods.

Shopping every day for fresh food (or deliveries of orders) are most common in most cities, and wherever you go, the predawn wagons of fresh foodstuffs are a common sight rolling into cities.

Liquor

For the most part, the alcohols and distilled drinks brought by humans have remained, with some variations. Like what eventually became gin is called bristic--distilled specifically from rye, which hardy grain grew in the bleak northern lands of Land of the Venn, to which was added pepper, then other spices, most frequently almond. It was brought south by the people who eventually became the Marlovens of Marloven Hess. From there, with many variations, it spread eastward.

Root brew is root beer, non or low-alcohol in content, savory and fizzy, popular especially in places where kids congregate on the wander. It, too, has regional variants.

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Page last modified on June 26, 2012, at 03:41 PM