Crowdsourcing content for my first issue of “Dungeon Rations: Food!”-

Crowdsourcing content for my first issue of “Dungeon Rations: Food!”-

Crowdsourcing content for my first issue of “Dungeon Rations: Food!”-

Creative prompt (answer any or all of the following questions):

Create a staple food (like rice or wheat) for a fantastical society. What makes it fantastical, or just odd? How have the unique properties of this food shaped the culture of this society? How is it harvested? What dishes can be made with it? What does it taste like?

10 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing content for my first issue of “Dungeon Rations: Food!”-”

  1. Whitestar: a pale, luminous fruit that grows underground on creeper vines. It’s tough and fibrous, like starfruit, highly calorie-dense. Kind of bland by itself, but it takes seasoning well. The Dwarves of Karsthome use it for, like, everything, but their most famous dish is redstar, which basically tastes like jerked pulled pork.

    Whitestar vines probe into limestone and suck nutrients from there; the big pale leaves absorb moisture from the air. It gets energy from chemical reactions. They cling to the ceilings of limestone caves, creep up and down stalactites and columns. In the biggest caves, the luminous pale fruit glow like a night sky. The vines slowly eat away at the limestone, eventually leaving the caverns dead and bleached white and infertile. These pockets are somewhat brittle and prone to collapse.

    It’s a staple food source for the Dwarves of Karsthome. They cultivate vast caverns of whitestar vine farms. They expand into new territories of limestone just to have more growing space. This has led them to carve out vast bubbles of connected caverns beneath the earth. They’ll often shore up the brittle, near-depleted caverns with cunning construction. And when the vines no longer grow, these chambers remain as living quarters, forts, or just passages.

  2. All I can think of at the moment is the idea of “reannual” plants/crops from Discworld. You plant annuals this year to come up next year. You plant perennials this year to come up every year. You plant reannuals next year to come up this year. They grow backwards in time. Reannual grapes are used to make a wine that’s very popular with “misfortune tellers”. Of course, you’ve got to get the timing just right. 🙂

  3. Birum-borum, or dragonfish row, is harvested in the garden-streams of the mountainous Kopru region. The flame-hearted fish warm icy waterways and are easily farmed to produce meat and eggs for food. A bowl of the naturally hot eggs is served with every meal.

    Along with the warming effect that allows the Kopruvians to live comfortably in the frozen lands, Birum-borum removes inhibitions and emboldens the spirit. The mountain villagers are often described as ice berserkers. In spite of their reputation as fearless naked warriors, they are usually quite generous and curious about strangers.

    Birum-borum is scooped directly from the garden stream into a small bowl. It tastes something like lemon zest and feels like hot oatmeal. Shortly after swallowing the bright orange, pea-sized eggs, the eater will begin to sweat. Without anxiety, they will likely shed clothing and feel compelled to get up and walk around and talk with friends. Under the influence, the definition of friend is greatly expanded.

  4. To answer my own prompt:

    Life is not possible on the cloud shrouded peaks of Inner Yeo. Literally. The thin air and exposed positions of the mountains means that plantlife is only a faint memory to the civilization that has taken root there.

    Haryo is a mild, gritty, nutty paste that condenses on the iron slates set up by these settlers. Before condensing, it is the surrounding clouds themselves, an aerosol soup of vapors from the Glinting Ocean and the misty droppings of the Sky Pods that nest around the mountain.

    The settlers (descendants of an unfortunately stranded expidition) subsist on this dense paste by baking it into a more edible “flatbread”.

    The effects of haryo have changed their physiology to survive their harsh conditions, but have tragically trapped them up there, as they can no longer survive Sea level conditions.

  5. Ghost reed, these tall stalks grow in river banks and wetlands, with each plant growing a bulb at the upper end. In the first stage of growth these talks grow at an amazing rate, easily reaching their full height of four to five feet in only a week. After this rapid growth though, it can take up to two months for the bulbs to start growing.

    After finally growing, these bulbs are fully eatable, and a single one can substitute a proper meal should other food not be available. This is when the majority of the reed bulbs are harvested as they are an immediate food source that is vulnerable to animals and birds if left in to bountiful amounts.

    After a month the bulbs grow in size once more, but lose much of their nutritional value, as the reed absorbs as much water as it can, turning the heads into makeshift water skins. This happens with the “months of red” when armies will harvest these bulbs to take on campaign to ensure the army is well watered. This is also where the Reeds get their name, as at night the water in the bulbs, as well as the stalk itself, will glow in the moonlight, giving a ghost like appearance to the fields.

    As winter rolls around once more, may of the swamps and wetlands will start to dry out, causing the reeds to rely on their stored water till winter comes. The extra water in the bulb will be absorbed by the plant to provide a burst of energy so that it may flower. After a week these orange and red bulbs will fall apart in the fall wind planting the next generation of reeds. The stalks themselves will be harvested to make room for the new plants, and ground up to make food for livestock and other animals during the winter. As well as being an emergency source of food during the cold months.

  6. Poe-Tay-Toes!

    Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew. Lovely, big, golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.

    This highly versatile and underrated tuber is found anywhere Halflings are known to gather. Simply add any other single food item and a full meal will magically appear.

    Best served distilled into alcohol with Toe-May-Toe juice.(probably another Halfling concoction)

  7. The village of Blackrye seems a squallid, drab place. The villagers all have a gaunt, tortured expression, their hands and feet contorted, and everyone given to odd fits and starts.

    For all their outward appearances, they are quite hospitable, and all seem oddly content, even happy with their lot. They’re eager to share both food and drink with their guests. Both food and drink is made from the epynomous Blackrye, a strange cereal seemingly as tortured as the farmers who grow it: black and spotted stalks with mishapen lumps of seeds. Every single foodstuff in the village has the unmistakeable sour tang and bitter aftertaste of Blackrye.

    Anyone who partakes of the food begins suffering the same delirium and hallucinations as the the villagers. The village suddenly seems vibrant with festive colors, and you suddenly sense the hidden rhythm, the joyous music even, behind the villagers spasmic convulsions. You never want to leave again.

    The villagers of Blackrye are all suffering from a relatively benign form of ergotism, and while they live shorter lives than the villages around, they claim their lives are happier.

  8. Yochai Gal Cool. I need to check out this. The idea came when I thought of this food show I saw once, about a mexican delicacy: corn that’s been infected with a horrible looking black fungus. And thinking about another thing I heard once about how someone had a theory that Jeanne d’Arc or somesuch was actually suffering from ergotism. 🙂

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