I don’t know about you, but I love food.
I wouldn’t call myself a foodie by any means, but I am always willing to try something new. With two glaring exceptions. I refuse to eat anything that is the liver of an animal and bugs. Yuck! (I could be more convinced to eat a bug than liver, that’s how much I hate the taste.)
Here’s why I love food.
At its core, food is a universal language. It functions both as an ice-breaker and a means of connecting people. Food has the potential to sit in the realm of mundane thought or be analyzed in depth. It can be the backdrop to casual or serious conversations. Food is very versatile. There are plenty of things for people to disagree over, but food never seems to be. I’m not talking about fighting over the last chip in the bag, the occasional lifted brow from an odd combination of ingredients, or the debate over what genre of food is better (Mexican). Those, to me, are basic and natural disagreements based on taste and desire, and food is the topic. One thing I know for sure is that food is a staple in my house for any get-together. In the Fisher House, we gather around food.
I think the merits of gathering around a table for conversation have been diluted into something small and inconsequential, but at a table—square or round—it’s a place of level ground for some of the best moments in life.
So, foods and feasts are important to me in my writing. You’ll find that if it fits in the scene, I’ll include the smell and taste of the food. Writers excel at describing sight and sound. I, however, am particularly interested in experiencing the delightful sensation of warm bread absorbing wild honey and tantalizing the taste buds.
In my first book at the wedding feast, my main character, Kiira, appreciates the effort the Cook Master goes to ‘marry’ the dishes of her kingdom and that of her groom. She remarks on how the best traditional dishes from both the kingdoms were remade into something new so they could work in harmony (yes, I know, it was an obvious theme metaphor) despite many of the favored spices and meats from the individual kingdoms were contradictory to each other.
The dishes of Lorea rely on bright coastal flavors, such as citrus and herb. I most closely related it to Mediterranean style dishes. The inspiration to use these types of flavors came from my friendship with an older Turkish and Greek woman I affectionally refer to as YaYa. She loves the food of her people, and I’ve learned a lot from her.
The dishes of Klynotia I imagined being more inspired by German goods. A lot of meat-heavy dishes, especially the use of Venison. Many traditional German foods, in my opinion, sit heavily in the stomach and leave a lingering taste on your tongue. Many of the rich sauces are complex and rely on butter and some form of alcohol to flavor them. A vast departure from foods along the coast.
Using these two cultural dish bases, I sorted through various flavor combinations I thought would work well together, thus allowing me to ‘invent’ new foods to be used during the wedding celebration feast. Sadly, the descriptions I gave of these invented dishes boiled down to a few paragraphs. I know not everyone feels that way I do about food, but I can assure that plenty of thought went into each combination.
My goal is to one day try my hand at these flavor combinations I dreamed up and make recipes that are unique to the Broken Realms. I’ll have to employ the help of my cooking-loving hubby since he is good at picking out individual flavors in dishes. Until that happens, I’ll keep dreaming up new flavor combinations for foods. In my second book, I’ll be pulling inspiration from Middle Eastern and African dishes!
If you'd like to read of the culinary delights, you can pick up my book here!
Until next time, Fictionados!