Food

Table of contents


Hearty, rich meals are the norm, to the people of Newgulf; this is a meat-and-potatoes crew, a corn-eating bunch, with stews and spicy foods and occasional curries rounding out their general diet. It is miraculous that there is as much meat as there is, and in general people take it for granted. Not all of it is filet minion, but it's all edible, decent fare that fills one up and keeps one full. Food is not a ritual precisely, but it is something that is usually done among families, and people who have to eat out are the unlucky ones, not the wealthy and fortunate. Home-cooking is the epitome, is the best, is what everyone longs for, and is what even the saloons and taverns and scattered restaurants strive to produce.

Meat

Cattle, sheep, goats and chicken are the most common beasts raised and eaten on the Turritella, and almost everyone can afford this meat at some level. In the Countryside, ranchers will likely take off some of their own stock to feed their families and workers, and trade with the farmers for grain, vegetables, cactus and other goods. In Kaipalu, meat can be bought from ranchers in traveling shops, being sold out of carts or in stands set up on street corners, in farmer markets, or from the established butcher in the heart of town. The Aristocrats in the Estates get the finest cuts, either from their own home-grown stock or from ranchers they keep in their pockets.

On the Surface and in Cessnock, however, it is an entirely different story. Meat is very rare in the everyday lives of people below, as it must be brought down from the Turritella. Anything grown in the rooftops or on the surface is likely to be touched by the Blight, and thus too dangerous to eat. Only the richest people are able to afford rich beef stews, steaks. Chicken is more common, perhaps available once a month, but in general the common man's diet is vegetarian in nature.

Grain

The most common grain in the Turritella is maize. There are several main strains. The most common is middle-sized, a little longer than a person's palm, and the kernels are a ruddy red-brown color; this corn is saltier and richer, good straight off the cob or covered in butter or mixed into curries or stews. There is also small, yellow variety that grows to be the size of a person's middle finger, sweet and generally good as is, just popped into the mouth whole. The last main variety is dark, blue-black, and can grow longer than a person's forearm. This maize is extremely sturdy, able to hold up very well, requires very little care — but is also very tough, and needs to be boiled or added to other dishes. It can't really be eaten all on its own.

There is, of course, also wheat [a necessary for bread and alcohol], rye, rice, and barley aplenty. Not precisely a grain, but cane sugar is also a popular crop, due to the demand for in all over Newgulf. In the Turritella, these can be purchased at farmer's markets, or from a local friend. Grains are much easier to transport down to Cessnock, and thus make up the primary diet on the surface.

Maize moss

As Maize grows, there's a small chance of the husk cracking open in the field and letting a small amount of moisture in. If this happens naturally, the small bit of water will allow a fungus to grow inside, rotting the entire plant thoroughly. Rather than fearing this rot, Maize moss is actually prized as a delicacy, and has a unique chewy consistency and grainy, spicy flavor. It can be dried as a spice, cooked into a gumbo or stew thickener, or mixed with water and sugar to make a kind of tacky candy.

Fermented, Maize moss turns into an intensely strong, spicy-hot alcohol called Lick o' Lightning. The booze is expensive, but coveted.

Fruit and vegetables

The most wide-spread produce on the planet and in the Turritella alike are cacti. These plants seem to be virtually unkillable, and in Newgulf they come in a variety of shapes, flavors, and colors. The cactus strains that grow can be tarter and sharper like an apple, can be more mild and subdued like a squash or pumpkin, can be more sickly sweet like a banana. Cacti can be green or yellow, blue-black or red, brown or even a rich violet. There are farmers who dedicate their lives to cross-breeding these plants to produce new types — and, more importantly, new flavors.

There are also some fruit trees. Oranges are the most common fruits that grow in the Turritella, with peaches and pears following close behind. In the Estates, there is supposedly an apple tree, but they are much less common. Most of the other available fruits are berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, they litter the landscape of the Countryside in particular. In Kaipalu they can be purchased in fresh bushels, ripely-picked and delicious. In Cessnock, they generally have to be acquired dried, and even then are something of a specialty item.

Sweets

Sugar isn't abundant, but it is common enough that a person can get ahold of some fantastic sweets, aboard the Turritella, and ever more so in Cessnock. Chocolate is extremely rare and almost impossible to acquire outside of the Estates, unfortunately, but there are hard candies and toffees, lollipops and divinity, and in the crime city below, there is a culture much wrapped up in its love for sweets.

Alcohol

Since there are so many kind of cacti, and so many cacti period, it only makes sense to ferment their juice to make a huge range of cactus liquors. These make up the majority of the alcohol in Newgulf, and cover a wide variety of flavors and levels of alcohol. There are some cactus liquors that are so high proof and bitter they are all but undrinkable [but are also cheap], but others that have virtually no bite and are shockingly sweet and delicious [these are very expensive].

Lick o' Lightning, mentioned above, is the only spiced spirit, though cocktails do exist to mimic the effect.

There are also grain alcohols, made from rice and barley, or others created from the range of fruit that exists, but these make up a small amount of the booze out there.The cactus really is the cash cow.