Etrandish cuisine

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Language: English

The cuisine of the Kingdom of Etrand is arguably one of the most diverse on the continent of Artograch, and has been subject to foreign influences, mainly from Froturn and Dragoc.



Despite being rather expensive (to the point where the average peasant can only afford to eat meat twice per week), meat forms a central part in Etrandish high cuisine, and every self-respecting cook will include it in their non-sweet dishes: beef, veal, pork, mutton, and venison are all popular in Etrand. Dictated by the religious laws of Titanism, the meat of cats, dogs, horses and all sentient creatures (Humans, Elves, Orcs, Lizardmen, Dwarves, Halfling, Dragons) are forbidden.

Unsmoked meat is usually roasted or cooked and served hot. Smoked meat - such as smoked bacon - is usually served cold, although dry-fried bacon (due to the influence of Froturnish cuisine on Etrandish) is also widely eaten, especially combined with pasta. A unique meat dish in Etrand is the brawn or "pig cheese" which was consumed only in Etrand before Artaburro came into existence. Sausages are also eaten in Etrand - they distinguish between two types of sausages: the cooked and smoked dry sausages that are usually made out of a combination of pork, pig fat, garlic, pepper, and caraway, smoke-cooked and consumed as a cold cut; and the boiled blood sausages that are made from a farm animal's (usually pig's) intestines, blood fat, and some kind of grain or grain-like consistency as filling (rice, oatmeal, buckwheat, or even regular barley), and are eaten warm. The meat of birds is usually either cooked into soups or eaten fried in butter, fat or beeswax. While nobles and peasants alike can eat a diverse array of meat products, city-folk are generally restricted to bland dried and salted bacon, occasionally pork sausage, which are the two cheapest forms of meat in the kingdom.

Fish is the staple food of coastal populations, such as the residents of Copperport. Various edible clams are also consumed, for example geoduck was King Cairbré's favourite. In Copperport, they also eat fish sausages.

Dairy and other animal products

Dairy products are almost considered staple food for the peasantry and nobility alike, but were historically considered a rare luxury for city-folk, before the rise of the Mages Guild, which started the production of freeze-dried milk powder that could be stored indefinitely, thus sold to city-folks - before that, city-people had to satiate their milk-craving by turning to alternatives, such as almond milk and hemp milk, which could only be drunk, but could not be processed into other dairy products.

The most widely consumed dairy product in Etrand is cheese. Sour cream and cottage cheese are also consumed, but less widely than in Froturn. There is a certain type of cheese unique to Etrand, which is made by making heavy goat cheese, then allowing flies to lay eggs on it, letting fly maggots hatch and ferment the cheese, making it soft and taste "spicy" - due to sanitary concerns, the maggots are usually killed by magically freezing them before the cheese is served.

Eggs are also widely consumed in Etrand, more so than in other countries. For the nobility of Etrand, the standard morning meal includes fried eggs, fried bacon and a random type of fruit. For the peasantry, an alternate type of egg is consumed: preserved eggs, made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and wheat hay for several months.

Cereal products

Wheat, barley, rye, millet, maize and rice are all cultivated in Etrand, though rice has only been widely cultivated since the reign of King Bryant I of Etrand. To simply put it, cereal is the main staple of the Etrandish subject's diet. All of the above mentioned plants' grains are pulverized into a fine powdery substance known as flour, which is then mixed with water, salt, and optionally other ingredients (like sugar, yeast, eggs, etc.) to produce dough, which is then baked into either bread or hardtack. Bread is the staple-food of nobles and peasants alike, while hardtack is the food of city-folks, soldiers and sailors, who require food that lasts long. Occasionally, hemp seeds (and various other edible seeds and nuts) are also ground into flour and used to bake bread or hardtack. As an alternative to bread and hardtack, flour - especially maize flour - can also be used to make gruel or mush.

In addition to staple food (bread, hardtack, gruel and mush), flour made from cereal grains is also the most important base ingredient of the various pastries the richer folks eat, sweet and sour alike. Sweet pastries are sweetened with sugar, honey and fruits, while sour pastries usually contain meat and vegetables.

The staple food of city-people, hardtack is usually inedible in its "original", hard, brick-like consistency, and therefore has to be softened up before being eaten: it is usually dunked into salt water, beer or (almond) milk. Alternatively, it can be crumbled or pounded fine, and used as a thickener for a soup or gruel. As a matter of fact, the majority of Grandfolk's lower-class regularly eats a lunch that consists primarily of gruel thickened with hardtack, flavored with whatever is available (meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, even cannabis).

Rice, millet and maize are typically treated like wheat, barley and rye, meaning that they are typically ground into flour, and used to bake bread, hardtack, pastries, or used as thickeners for porridges, pottages and grouls - cooking corn in water and eating the kernels after they've softened is something done typically only on festivals, while eating rice "the Eastern way" (steaming or cooking it) is only done by those familiar with Oriental culture.

Legumes / Beans

Beans - especially common beans and lentils - are commonly cooked into porridges, or even used as fillers for meat, especially in Southern Etrand. In Southern Etrand, a combination of beans and pepper is practically a must-have in all non-sweet soups and porridges. Other legumes, such as peas are typically cooked into soups.

Fruits and Vegetables

Out of all the countries in Artograch, vegetables have most of their prominence most likely in Etrand. Potatoes are widely consumed as a cheap and widely available alternate to bread. Cabbage, spinach, sorrel, turnips, radish, carrots, beetroots, beans, peas, onions, garlic and leeks all play part in Etrandish cuisine one way or another, consumed either raw or as part of various dishes, mainly soups or meat dishes.

While not considered fruits by ordinary folks - as they are culinary vegatables - tomatoes and pepper are still botanically fruits, and they are both widely employed in Etrandish cuisine. Chili pepper is most widely used in Southern Etrand, where pretty much every non-sweet dish contains it one way or another.

Culinary fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, cherries and berries are also consumed, but their role is much more limited in Etrandish cuisine than in other countries' cuisine - fruits are usually eaten raw or used as flavouring agents in pastries and sweet dishes, but since the number of sweet dishes is limited, their prominence is limited. Additionally, the Etrandish people have a taboo against mixing sweet and non-sweet, sharply contrasting with the people of Froturn who casually add strawberry jam to meat.

As in Froturn, the proliferation of the Mages Guild meant a nearly century-long freeze-drying fad, in which mages experimented with freeze-drying even fruits and vegetables. This often had undesireable results, as people expected freeze-dried food to be reconstitutable with water, something that clearly did not apply to freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. Eventually, their usage was limit to spices and flavouring agents.

Hemp products and Cannabis edibles

Hemp is both ubiquitous and versatile. Hemp is cultivated throughout just about all of Etrand, save for the cold north. It serves as the base material for clothing and paper alike. However, that is not its only use - hemp is used to produce a poor man's version of milk and tea (hemp milk and hemp tea), its seeds can be grinded into flour made into bread, but most infamously, it can be used to produce a psychoactive drug that is widely consumed all accross Etrand, either directly (by smoking it), or indirectly, by eating food infused with it. So-called "hash tea" (Cannabis tea) also serves as a cheaper alternative to, or rather, as a poor man's version of regular tea, which is still considered an exotic foreign beverage consumed almost exclusively by the upper echelons of Etrandish society.


Alcoholic beverages

Traditionally, the main alcoholic beverages of Etrand were beer and mead. The earlier was adopted from the Dwarves of the North, while the latter was inspired by Wood Elven ciders.

Ever since the Kingdom of Etrand has been founded, wine made an appearance in Etrand, but consumption was always limited to the nobility and clergy. Only during the reign of King Cairbré I of Etrand would wine-drinking spread to the middle class - Cairbré is also wrongfully credited with inventing or popularizing mulled wine, even though it has been gradually becoming more and more popular ever since the late 7th century AEKE.

Even though Etrand annexed Hulra in the late 3th century AEKE, usquebaugh would not be popularized in Etrand until the early 8th century, when King Bryant I of Etrand popularized the beverage.

Non-alcoholic beverages

In Etrand, milk was always more widely consumed than in other countries. Throughout the centuries, the people of Etrand have made a whole art form out of the various magical and non-magical methods of preserving drinkable cow milk. Additionally, tea got introduced from Dragoc several centuries ago - however, it is still considered an exotic beverage, thus its consumption is largerly limited to the upper strata of society. A cheaper alternative is Wikipedia:Cannabis tea, colloquially known as "hash tea" (ironically, its consumption dates back to times that precede the introduction of proper tea to Etrand - in fact, so-called "hash tea" might even be older tha normal tea as a whole).

Another prominent non-alcoholic beverage is acorn coffee. Similiar types of "coffee" are also made out of wheat, barley or oat.

Nevertheless, the role non-alcoholic beverages remains low - as water is not always suitable to drink, milk is not readily available to urban citizens and exotic drinks like Wood Elven teas are drank mainly by the upper class - even children drink beer, although "lighter" types with lower alcohol content. Rural children often drink acorn coffee instead.



It is well known, that Etrand is a country with rather high social stratification and wealth inequality, and rather low social mobility. Certain types of food were historically expensive luxuries (meat, fish, dairy products, even some fruits and vegetables), while others are cheap enough to be staple food for the masses (maize, bread, hardtack). Of course, ever since the proliferation of the Mages Guild, this all changed, and now even milk is affordable to the typical urban proletariat, in a way.

Lower-class rural peasants have always eaten bread as their daily sustenance, while city-folks had to learn it that hard way that quick-to-spoil bread is unreliable in times of war, strife and economical recession, forcing them to adopt hardtack as their staple food - alternatively, both rural and urban people very often eat potatoes and an alternative to bread and hardtack (fresh bread is usually considered to be better than potatoes, but everyone can agree that potatoes are always to be preferred to hardtack if available). Before the proliferation of the Mages Guild, both classes could only afford to eat meat around twice per week, but there was a big difference in quality: rural peasants usually ate fresh or smoked and prepared meat that came from diverse sources (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chicken, ducks, goose, pheasants, guineafowls, etc.), while the urban lower-class could only afford dried and salted bacon or pork sausage that often rivalled hardtack in its brick-like consistency - of course, ever since the magicians came with their inventions to save the day, frozen and preserved meat has become affordable to most people on a nearly daily basis. The diet of the rural peasant has always been enhanced by a variety of fruits and vegetables that were historically hard to come by (at least in their fresh forms) in the city - the average peasant could afford to eat a couple of apples per day, while the average urban worker did not. As with meat and milk, this all changed when the Mages Guild popularized freezinh and freeze-drying. Urban workers have always frequently eaten dried fruits and dried vegetables, so getting used to freeze-dried fruits and vegetables wasn't too hard. Rural peasants could nearly always afford dairy products, to the point where even the poorest could drink cattle drink on a daily basis - city-folks previously could not afford such luxuries (at least not on a daily, or even weekly basis), so they were forced to rely on substitutes (like almond milk or hemp milk) or forget about frequenty consumption of dairy products altogether. Again, the Mages Guild with the freeze-drying techniques made sure that now, even city-folks can afford to regularly drink dairy milk - they just often choose not too, haven grown accustomed to plant milks. Rural people have also eaten eggs on a nearly daily basis, while urban people generally could only have eggs once a week, before the Mages Guild made freeze-dried egg yolk and egg white widely available.

The middle-class in the cities have historically had a diet comparable to that of rural peasants, being able to afford wheat bread, potatoes, fresh-ish fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, and meat that hasn't been salted to an unbearable degree to preserve it. The typical middle-class urban citizen's daily sustenance consists of a mixture of bread, pork, cheese, and various fruits and vegetables. With freezing and freeze-drying being a widely done practice, now middle-class city people can eat almost like artistocrats could historically.

The upper-class (nobility, clergy and royalty) is the social caste of Etrand that gets to enjoy all the delicacies of Etrandish high cuisine, the pinnacles of human cookery: fine white bread, spicy meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish, pastries, and so on. Before the emergence of the Mages Guild, the lower-class and middle-class could only afford to eat meat twice a week at best, upper-class people on the other hand have always eaten meat on a daily basis - and it's not even the unbearably salty and hardtack-like dried bacon that city-folks have had to - and to an extent still have to - bear with, but well-spiced, often semi-fresh meat that comes from birds and and mammals, domestic animals and wild game alike.

North vs South

When it comes to cuisine, somewhere between Grandfolk and Talon, a line can be drawn that divides Etrand in two, with Grandfolk being in the north, and Talon being in the south. In cuisine, this line delineates some common preferences: in the North, they prefer to eat wheat bread, potatoes, cow beef, chicken and sheep mutton - in contrast, in the South, they prefer to eat maize (bread), beans, water buffalo carabeef, turkey, guineafowl and goat chevon - though, both northerners and southerners love pork.

While these preferences are just that - preferences for specific ingredients, rather than exclusive usage of those ingredients in their dishes - they still create unique variations in both the North and the South. For example, northerners would be baffled by the idea of gringing maize into flour, and using its dough to make a type of steamed food filled with pork and beans - while in the south, it is very much plausible that they already have such a dish in their repertoire. Nevertheless, when one says "Etrandish cuisine" or "typical Etrandish cuisine", they typically refer to the northern group, which represents a larger fraction of both the land and the population of the kingdom.