Chains of Silver and Blood
Food and Cuisine
Food is an important part of cultural mores everywhere, and the area around the city of the Chained God is no exception. Wheat, millet and lentils are staple crops everywhere on the coast, and orchards are common, with bananas, tamarinds, apricots, mangoes and custard apples being the most popular fruits. Appart amongst nobles of the Twelve, dishes tend to be shared, and the Hazan saying “those who eat from the same plate will not betray each other” has spread through the whole region.
Fruit wine and brandies are found everywhere, with more esoteric beverages brewed locally. Tea has to be imported from the north or the east of the Dreaming Sea, and is a sign of wealth, while rooibos is cultivated locally, especially in the hills of the Twelve and the Pearly Coast, and drunk by commoners and nobles alike.
The cuisine of the Twelve is distinctive, using spices and fish extensively. A typical meal is a vegetable stew (with green peppers and onions), rich in spices such as cloves and cardamom, served on a flat millet bread, with a side dish of fish cooked with apricots and plums. Pea and lentil soups are often served in the evening. Dishes vary across the territories, with the coasts of the Sea of Gold making important use of comestible algua, while the southern triangle makes a heavier use of strong spices. Specialties include baliad marmah, a mix of lamb, mushrooms and anchovies cooked inside a spicy unleavened bread, firefish steamed over the hot springs of the Fiery Isles, or the fermented shark eaten by sailors and used as a dare elsewhere.
The Pearly Coast is known for its oysters, eaten fresh or fried, with rice, tubers and steamed vegetables. Fishermen also set traps for shellfish (even far from the coast, where rivers are flush with clearwater shrimps) which are a mainstay of their diet but considered a poor man’s meal in towns and cities. Honey from the green mountains is a delicacy exported far and wide, and people use it to cook and make candied fruit, usually served on its own with alcohol.
In Dir-Jal, most food is imported, as the rare fertile fields around the city are used to grow poppies for godmilk. Workers usually eat pita bread cooked over coals, with a vegetable sauce and the rich local beer (which is almost a meal in and of itself). For those with more money to spend, sauces can become extravagant and complex, with spices and meats added to the bread until it becomes an edible plate. Alcohol is rarely drunk, but instead mixed with Inashi tears to be smoked.
Hazan, being hunters and herders, eat quite a bit of meat (mostly goat, lamb and cattle) and cheese (every tribe having its own way of making it), with fruits and vegetable soups to complement their diet. Milk is drunk at nearly every meal, either fresh or soured. Milk can also be mixed with blood, either to drink directly or to make black pudding. Their traditional alcoholic beverage is a honey and milk wine called seja.