Fed the Elfling here and once again I am hardly working...er working hard to bring you the answeres to your questions about the fairy lands. We had some questions about what was the food like in the Anderheim. Dragon steaks? Griffon wings? What's the real story? I've started a series of interviews with the people who can give us the answers. Today I'm talking to Michael Okubo, famous for his Forth of July Barbaques in Sherwood city. Now Michael was born in Hawaii, traveled across the United States, served in Italy in WWII and then finally camed to the Anderheim, or the fairy lands as some say. He's done his share of traveling in the Stewardship too. So Michael, what can you tell us about the food in the Anderheim? Is it very different than what you remember back in the old USA?
Michael: Not as much as you're suggesting. I've never eaten anything really strange like a griffon wing. Certainly eating a dragon steak is nonsense. The only thing I've heard of anything like that is spider legs. We have some really big spiders out here, three feet tall and up. I've heard you can eat some of them. Most of us have no desire to eat them. Those creatures aren't strictly natural, they are touched by black magic and that's not something I want inside of me. Some of them are intelligent too. All of them are dangerous. There are people who kill and eat some of the smaller non intelligent ones, with no apparent ill effects. I've heard they taste like crab.
Fred: Interesting, what about daily foods. Is it that different from America?
Michael: I think any differences are more due to the fact that we are a pre-industrial civilization. We live a little closer to the land and with less refridgeration.
Fred: Less refridgeration? Don't you mean no refridgeration? You can't use electricity, right?
Michael: Right, but that doesn't mean no refridgeration. We know the principal and we can use other means. You can, for example, make ice in the winter and store it through the summer in insulated rooms. This was a common practice back in pre-industrial America. We also have some gas power and you can make a gas refridgerator. Dwarves are very clever about that sort of thing. It's more common to see that in a commercial building than a home though.
Fred: What animals do you eat on a regular basis?
Michael: The usual. Cows, pigs, chickens. We'll go hunting for deer now and then. Wild pigs are common and a bit of a pest. We have some wild dwarf Bison we will hunt and eat too. There's plenty of fish around too. I get Vonair prawns now and then. Those are a tasty large shrimp. I haven't been to Novillium much, but they have good lobster there. That's one difference in the food I guess. Novillium lobsters come in more colors. Blue, white, yellow are common. They all taste the same.
Fred: What about the style of cooking?
Michael: It reminds me of southern cooking, but I never spent much time in the south. Fried Chicken, ham's cornbread are common.
Fred: You make a traditional American style Forth of July Barbacue every year. How hard is that?
Michael: Not too bad. My biggest problem is hot dogs. There are excellent sausages all around, but it's hard to really match a traditional hot dog. Honestly I think that's just considred too plain a sausage for the locals. A hamburger is easy, you just have to grind up some beef. Not a traditional dish in the Stewardship, but it's not unheard of and I think it's catching on. If you get ground beef around here it's more likely to go into a Shepard's pie. Buns are no problem, although I have to talk to the baker to get them in the shape of hot dog buns. Pickles, catchup, mustard and sourkarut are common. You have to make potato chips from scratch though. Soda's are hard to find. You can get Sasparilla, which tastes like root beer, easily. Cola is unkown here though, though sometimes I can get a bottle in the market at Walsingham. It's expensive and imported. We drink ice tea or lemonaid in the summer.
Fred: So no buffalo wings made of real flying buffalo eh?
Michael: This is the fairy lands. There are many exotic creatures here, just not usually things you'd want to eat. I mean if you catch a fish and it starts singing or challenging you to a riddle game, generally that means that its off the menu. There might be more exotic foods around, but I haven't looked for them. Of course any time you move to a different region there are going to be differences. Washington State apples are different from New York State Apples. They are both Apples though. Our Apples and Peach trees I'm sure are slightly different from the ones back home. Probably a professional chef who washed up here would be able to comment on the differences in our varities of sweet potatos.
Fred: Well thanks for the overview, Michael. I'm going to continue this series with a few more interviews, so stay tuned. If folks think of something more interesting for me to investigate, be sure to use the contact page.
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