Saturday, March 14, 2009

Food Practices of Encircled Lands

Alexandria is mainly comprised of small farm communities that raise large expanses of flowers for export around the world for medicinal, aromatic, and display purposes. Most families also maintain a small vegetable garden, though trees are not permitted. The average Alexandrian diet is composed of seed porridge made of flower seeds, vegetables (such as squash, pumpkin, lettuce, and spinach) and very few ground fruits, such as strawberries. Alexandrians for the most part do not believe in eating anything grown beneath the ground such as roots and tubers. The only meat source they consume is goose and chicken, and eggs are also large part of the diet.

The Royal Household does eat differently in that they do maintain large orchards in the castle garden and therefore have fruit in their diet. They also import breads from Wreath as a delicacy, though meat and dairy has never caught on.

The many nations that comprise the Wreath Confederacy are characterized by two kinds of lifestyle, city and country. The country lifestyle is characterized by a diet of fresh breads; goat's milk, butter, and cheese; fresh vegetables such as cucumber, olives, tomatoes, onions, and garlic; and lots of fruit such as grapes, pomegranates, apples, and melons. Meats such as beef, poultry, and fish are eaten in small quantities. Wine is a staple as is milk and fruit juice.

The sedentary city lifestyle imports many of the grains from the country for bread and pastry baking. A high proportion of the meat eaten in Wreath is consumed by the city folk, while few vegetables or fruit are eaten at all, mostly in preserved states such as pickles or jams. Butter and cheese are consumed in abundance but milk is not widely used. Alcohol is drunk, along with teas and coffees in the city, and fresh water is seldom found.

The diets of Insular are primarily distinguished by people group. The Dray, the Wren, and the Three Kingdoms all have very different dietary preferences. However, even then there are certain foods that all of Insular shares, and that is common fare provided where ever one goes. These general fare foods are called, Illfar, and consists primarily of corned beef, baked porridge, and a wedge of yellow nut cheese. Illfar is eaten by all of Insular during the month of Ælax, and also on holy days and feast days, and at important gatherings and meetings.

The Dray do not eat, except when partaking of Illfar for the sake of their host/guests or meetings. Illfar contains no vegetables because of this courtesy. The Dray are very strongly against what they call "brethren-eating", and many former-Dray Queens still retain a highly anti-vegan diet.

The Wren peoples are very religious and rely on auguries and bird calls for daily life to function. They have a special connection with birds, and those of their land are very intelligent and have personal awareness and cognitive function. Therefore, the Wren have always had a strict code against the slaying of or eating of birds, or eggs for that matter. While they know that birds outside of Insular are dumb animals, they still look down on all who eat poultry or eggs.

The people of the Three Kingdoms (Albia, Merca, and Gwayllen) all consume large amounts of beef and lamb, as well as corn porridge and steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens, and brussels sprouts. The various kingdoms have individual dishes as well that set them apart. Albia has a long tradition of making stews and sauces from the innards of cows, sheep, and chicken. Gwayllen is known for its wild bird game that is a staple, such as pheasant. Merca is known for the diet consisting of beaver, porcupine, and hedgehog.

The Sylvanian diet was mostly constant, though there were some variation between what was eaten when home vs. when on a voyage. The Sylvanian home dishes were buttery breads, sausages, root vegetables such as beet, turnip, and parsnip. Almost all flour is potato flour and most of dishes include it. The Sylvanian home dishes are also accented by lots of fatty and buttery foods, as most of the home food is eaten during the winter months when none sail. Stews and soups are also made, though less common. Dried and jammed fruit is also common.

Travel fare usually consists of hard buttery biscuits, cured meats, sausages, and pickled vegetables for the first few months. After that, the diet switches to a largely seafood diet consisting of fish, squid, and seabirds. There are also many kinds of seaweed that are made into stews and porridges. The one common drink whether on land or sea, is lemon mead, a drink laced with lots of lemon to prevent scurvy.

The diet of Teaul is much less civilized than the rest of the lands, but that is because Teaul is still very much a wild land. The majority of the people eat what they can get, most crops cannot survive and most animals escape or fall prey to wolves. The settlements on Teaul, located near the coasts eat a variety of shellfish, fish, wild berries and nuts, as well as imported flour and pickled fruit, vegetables, and meats. The settlements also eat a large amount of veal and wild game and birds.

The Sedna settled on the cliffs eat fish, shellfish, and eel. They also eat a wide variety or mushrooms, berries, nuts, and acorns. They regularly hunt turkey and other wild fowl, though they do not eat any other animal other than wolves, which they eat for ceremonial purposes and not actual as a staple of their diets.

The wandering Sedna do not adhere to the rules listed above and will eat anything they can find, often robbing supplies from the settlements. They do this out of desperation, being ostracized from the settlements they become desperate and will eat what ever they can before they are also eaten. Some have even been desperate enough to eat the meat of the sacred caribou.

Rho Ghul:
The Rho Ghul eat according to their various cult belief. The worshipers of Athium believe in a strict seafood based diet and will not "taint their pallets" by eating of animals not created by Athium's music. Part of their cuisine includes exotics such as shark, ray, turtle, and jellyfish. The followers of Enca eat a vegetarian diet with lost of grains. The followers of Humh are pastoralist that have large flocks of sheep and goats that they herd across the valley. They eat what ever comes from their herds and from their serroundings, shunning foreign food. The followers of Miphilphime are known to be excentric and often will fast for long days on end, drinking only treesap. When they eat they only consume nuts and berries and often look pale and unhealthy.

The rest of Rho Ghul are followers of Borgia the goddess of plently and believe in eating as much as possible, importing foreign food which is seen as food that has made a pilgrimage to reach them. They especially eat foods that are covered in sweet, tangy, or spicy sauces. This is not true of the Queen and concubines of the emperor, who are expected to maintain beautiful bodies. They eat mostly fruit and vegetables and some would say they are followers of Orithea.

Wyht Ghul:

The Wyht Ghul are different in that they are a single people group that migrated into Rho Ghul. After ruling over them for years, the Wyht Ghul separated and were corupted by the Silver Tower. As with all subjects of the tower, they began to thirst for meat and blood. The Wyht Ghul are strong carnivores, raising all kinds of meat but especially pork, which they prize as the sweetest meat. Their diet is completely meat centered and most of their nurtition comes from the entrails they eat, or the animal blood they boil their food in, when they cook it.

A side branch of Rho and Wyht Ghul are the canyon dwellers, also known as the followers of Yvel. The mistress of the canyon is said to have come teaching that all foods are now acceptable for Ghuls to eat, but only in moderation and each in its season, so as not to harm the earth. Their diet is generally frowned upon more than that of the Wyht Ghul.

Woodling diet and that of their guardian Elfs is primarily various kinds of mushrooms. Sometimes they also incorporate berries and nuts, but in general their mushrooms are enough, having all the nutrients they need in the many many different kinds. Some are long, thin, and sweet like cakes. Others are wide and red and taste savory to the mouth. The mushrooms of the forest are one of the best kept secrets of the Woodlings and they do not often share their fare with strangers.

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