The One about Tasty Writing
I don’t know about you, but I love food. I wouldn’t call myself a foodie by any means, but I’m always willing to try something new. Except for anything having to do with the liver of an animal. Yuck!
Food is, to me, at its core, a universal language. It is an ice-breaker and a bridge. It can sit in the realm of mundane conversation such as 'how about that weather', or more in-depth discussions such as 'tell me more about your relationship'. There are plenty of things for people to disagree over ( *coughs* politics *coughs*), but food seems to be one of those things at the center of every get-together. Sure, people have specific tastes, but that’s not really what matters when you gather around a table.
This is why foods and feasts are an important aspect of my writing, and I will always have some description of food somewhere. Personally, I think we have lost sight of the merits of gathering around a table for conversation. At a table, square or round, it becomes a place of level ground. If it is allowed to become that.
In my first book at the wedding feast, my main character appreciates the effort the Cook Master goes to ‘marry’ the dishes of her culture and that of her groom. He took the best of both the kingdoms' traditional dishes and made them work in harmony, even though many of the spices and meats used were contradictory to each other. For Kiira, it was the first time she observed how things could work together despite differences, though she didn’t know it at the time.
The dishes of Lorea rely heavily on coastal flavors, with heavy influence from that of the Mediterranean, especially Greek. What inspired me to use these flavors was an older woman I affectionately call ‘YaYa’. She’s this amazing half Turkish and half Greek woman that just loves food. I've learned a lot from her.
The dishes of Klynotia I imagined to be 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. I find that a lot of German dishes rely heavily on grainy textures and pungent spices. A vast departure from foods along the coast.
Using these two cultures as a base, I tried to think of flavor combinations I thought would work well together, and I ‘invented’ new foods to be used during the celebration. I spent a great deal of time researching these ideas so I could have new foods to present at the wedding feast. The descriptions I gave of these invented dishes boiled down to a few paragraphs, but plenty of thought went into each combination.
Maybe one of these days I'll try my hand at actually making these recipes that only exist in the land of the Broken Realms. I’m eager to create new intricate flavor combinations again in my second book where I’ll be pulling inspiration from Middle Eastern and African dishes!