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    Profile photo of Pharthan

    Talk 02 – Food

    Food is easily one of the most defining facets of your people’s culture. Every culture has it, and every culture puts their own spin on existing foods. So many different things feed into your nation’s cuisine, more than just their heritage.

    For this topic we want to dive into not just what your people eat, but why? Do they have a heavy meat diet? Do they value expensive, rare, exotic foods? Is their diet more bland in flavor but demanding of cooking everything pricelessly correct? What native foods can the people eat, what genetically modified food is there, or natural Earth foods? 

    The Baseline:

    It’s been centuries since the colonization. Long gone are the days of eating only seaweed based foods and bacteria-grown meats. Your nations have had some time to import things they valued, or develop things they’ve already had.

    One thing that would remain as a common stable is mana. Mana was developed by the Human Continuity Project as a quick growing, highly resilient, highly nutrious rice-grain cross. It’s not exactly tasty, but it’s cheap and easy to grow in more environments than humans can reasonably sustain themselves in.

    Beyond this, keep in mind that large animals wouldn’t be commonly transported, whereas some resilient sea-animals would last rather well in spaceflight, and easily grow in extreme climates. Having cattle is quite possible, especially in 3418, but may not have been an early staple in the development of your star-nations cuisine.


    Think about your national food – not your star-nation, but your actually parent nation. What is it known for? There might not be one thing, but there are certain things that at least your region is known for. The same will be true for your star nations.  You don’t need to fill out every menu on every restaurant in your nation, just get the major points.



    Old-Earth (2018) recipes will still exist, of that there is no doubt. But what’s new in your nation? What’s exotic? What’s interesting about it? Put some fun into the food! 

    Profile photo of Pharthan

    In the Threshold, one can readily find markings of Japanese, American, and British influences on foods, though more nationalities are represented upon closer inspection. Thresholders are known for their love of spice and flavor, favoring foods like curries. Other cultures have said that this is because they don’t care for food quality at all, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth; indeed, in many aspects they care for it more than others. Sushi, for example, is still not considered true sushi without properlly prepared rice, whereas many other cultures have supplemented rice for mana-grains, which Thresholders have come to know as “Reijishi,” from the Japanese “Reiji,” meaning “lazy.” 

    Meats and grains are common in Thresholder diets, favoring foods like sandwiches and sandwich derivatives. Indeed, Thresholders tend to prefer foods which can be eaten entirely by hand, and often use breads or vegetables as a vehicle for foods otherwise unsuitable for hand-eating, such as using na’an bread for curries.  The most popular of these is a mana-based semi-flat bread, known as “porta” bread, from the latin “porto, (carry).” It is typically more savory and salty than other breads in order to help annunciate the flavors of the food it carries, but can be made sweeter.

    Thresholders are stalwart about their teas. Each individual region has their own signature tea, though each star system, planet, or even city may have their own variation upon the teas. Some of these are familiar, others are made from exotic leaves of plants resembling tea.

    Exotic fruits are popular. Though many can be replicated, those like the direberry or ambrosia berry, which only grow in locations making them impractical for farming. 

    One thing I’d really like to develop is the bread; some breads would be suitable for certain things; a pourous yet stiff bread for soups, a flexible flatbread for scooping foods, a french-bread-like one for sandwiches, etc. I kind of want there to be customs revolving the bread, like knowing what bread to eat with what entree, what bread is standalone, etc. Thoughts?

    Profile photo of Sam Warren

    Unlike the Threshold, the Astraus Federation prefers flavour over spice. With a Cultural History of German and French Cuisine, with a focus on prepared meals that can take years or even decades to perfect. Some of the most popular meals include the many delicacies that are produced inside of the Federation, such as the Cold cut meats and cheeses. With a small amount of livestock available on many colony worlds, the production of simulacra meats and cheeses is highly prized and many of the more core worlds having the larger production system. 

    While these items are packed with flavour they are not necessarily the staple of most commoner diets. With their long War with the People’s Coalition, certain changes had to be made; and as such Mana and Soy Based meals have become the staple for billions of Federal Citizens. The creation of advanced flavours for this system being largely the primary food industry for developing colonies. 

    The higher level of society is often signified by the large amounts of Meats and cheeses available to them. The Average Breakfast for a high member of society often including Bread or rolls, Jams, honey, eggs, meats and cheeses. Drinks often being Coffee, tea, juices or Cocoa. For a warm or evening meals, the Average Federal Citizen will most likely have a meat-based meal of either pan-fried or braised meat, often Beef, Pork, chicken or a Game animal. 

    Beverage-wise, its often a case of Beer, Beer and more Beer. While spirits, such as Whiskey are heavily consumed; a high stock is placed upon a good Beer. Often Regional or Planetary, the Beers seen are often flavoursome and high in alcohol content. For warm drinks, coffee and tea are available but not in large numbers, instead, most of the population drinks a Cocoa and Coffee blend, with various flavours mixed in such as mint, orange or other exotic fruits.

    Something to think about that I have tried to work into this is: Many populations have different food based on social standing. Will your nation have a big difference, such as MRE’s for all and Fillet Mignon for the Leaders?

    Profile photo of Nolan

    Both Ishara and Gaennan have wildly differing foods depending on the concentration of certain ethnic groups. Ishara’s groups are harder to define than Gaennan’s, which usually fall in line with their clans, but the latter’s cuisine is absolutely influenced by the former.

    Commonalities include long-grain mana (maan in Gaennai) and fungal-resistant lentils. Mana, despite it’s flavorlessness, is a staple in every home and its chronic blandness syndrome is remedied by the spices grown throughout both countries. Gaennai spices tend to be far stronger in flavor and heat than in Isharan kitchens (inspired by Hindu tastes), but its important that a balance is made. Cardamom, cayenne, cumin, curry powder, and powdered ginger are used in almost every dish and is paired with strained yogurt.

    Meats tend to be favored among ground-dwelling Gaennai and Isharans, but the concept of meat taken from living animals is considered crass and vulgar to that of the lower classes. The moral disparity between the noble classes and the commoners is most stark in their regard for living flesh verse grown flesh. Meat from animals is expensive and so is enjoyed by the creme of the crop because of it. Vat-grown meats are taken from those creatures we know well and are eaten in varying areas depending on the dominant ethnic and cultural groups. Gaennan, for example, is separated into general gatherings of cultures generally separated by clusters of spheres.

    In the Hindu-strong regions to the southeast (Breath of Sedar, Kedmaan, and the Shoal of the Nasser), mutton, goat, chicken, and pork are in demand. It should be noted that it is in these spheres that show the highest concentrations of vegans in the Empire whereas there is a healthy smattering of vegetarians throughout the nation.

    In the Arabic-dense central spheres (Bissim Sa, the Gulf of Fanas, Isiraam Plains, and Sahiit Nil), beef, chicken, goat, and mutton are highly sought after, though pork is rising in popularity in the Gulf of Fanas.

    The Berber-groups of the Shroud of Gaenna, Rahiin-Nasr, the Reef, and the Garden of Karaash have a taste for beef, chicken, goat, mutton, and horse.

    All of the ethnic groups in both Ishara and Gaennan are hungry for fish and shellfish.

    Dark, rich coffee is the most sought-after drink before teas (mint teas are the second most-popular drink in Gaennan) and carbonated beverages that feature cloves as its focal point. Alcohol is mostly retained to wine and beer, but hard liquor is a steadfast component of night life in urban centers where clubbing and discos are widely popular.

    Sweets and pastries are also something to consider when developing your culture’s tastes. Does the entire populous have a sweet tooth, or are they as a whole put off by an over abundance of sugar? Of course there can be a middle ground as well. For example, sweets and other confections are popular in Gaennan. Of them, dense confections (halva) are a particular favorite of the Gaennai and  falifa’id are by far the most popular. Made with almond flower and extract and dark chocolate, these bite-sized sweets are often bought as a secondary present for birthday celebrations as well as for dearly held loved ones.

    Profile photo of Cambrius

    The cuisine of the Star Kingdom reflects its history. The Alliance-originated settlement of the Persican Cluster brought with it a number of various ingredients, spices, herbs, and cooking styles most strongly reminiscent of the Old Earth regions of western and northern Europe, and North America. The various styles continued expanding well into the 30th and 31st centuries. As a fresh influx of immigrants arrived from many different planets during the Reunion period, there developed a rich diversity in food preparation throughout the Persican Cluster.


    In addition to the familiar staples of Terran cuisine – including livestock, fruits and vegetables, grains, and seafood species – the diets of individual colony worlds provided local flavours from native flora and fauna. On Persica Prime, many dishes are seasoned with a perennial herb called sagano (Xenosalvia hirtum vulgare) or spiced with cracked blue peppercorns (Xenopiper azurium ajantis). The breadbasket world of Bridon features a red meat called beevex, from the hexapedal livestock animal bovex (Xenobos taurus lopicus), a crossbred species borne of Terran cattle and local herbivorous lopex. Beevex and other meats are commonly flame-broiled with herbs in a way that hearkens back to the fogo de chão style. Orcadian diets tend to feature fish and seafood, both wild-caught and farmed, often cooked with rice and salty cheeses and spiced with locally grown molonar peppers (Xenocapsicum chinanga orcadiensis), a pungent chili pepper of medium heat.


    As the Serran Expanse was explored and settled by colonists from across the Star Kingdom, these cuisines blended or fused and were also supplemented by local ingredients. Morrigaen palates favour Terran gourds, herbaceous vine fruits, and local free-range fowl such as the gallo (Xenomeleagris gallopavo domesticus). On Rayne, seafood pastas and ramen are prepared in rustic fashion and considered comfort food. Serratanis is known for near-vegetarian cuisines, replete with fresh vegetables and only small amounts of lean proteins.


    On the dozens of stations and domed installations found throughout the Star Kingdom, denizens bring their palates and recipes with them; food and drinks tend to be simpler versions of planet-side fare. Though not a particularly celebrated fact, the voidbound populations are the largest consumers of alcohol per capita. Some of the locally brewed spirits have become popular “dirtside”. Among them, Dramevin Mead is highly regarded by House Corvida.


    While these are distinct flavours and styles that typify the planetary cuisines, diets are also largely influenced by cultural heritage and local availability of ingredients. Imported food and drink from other star nations are generally well received and often prized, inciting culinary trends for a time. Indeed, when a chain of cafés featuring Pavonian Tea from the Pharthan region of Threshold opened on Nova Cambria, it was wildly successful and has expanded to include franchises on every world in the Star Kingdom.

    Profile photo of Pharthan

    So, if anyone has any suggestions:

    I need to come up with 3 new types of tea for different regions of Pharthan.
    More traditional, European/American accents to them would be preferable. Any ideas?

    Just a reminder, I already have:
    -English Tea + Indigenous Plant
    -Indigenous Tea-like Plant
    -Matcha (Green Tea)
    -Milk Tea
    -Black Tea + Indigenous Seaweed
    -Supercaffinated Breakfast Tea + Fruit Rinds
    -Overflavoring of regular tea
    -Fermented Tea

    I’m thinking one more indigenous tea and one GMO tea.

    Profile photo of Cambrius

    A pungent blend of the pale ghost orange (Xenocitrus bergamia naganensis), the coniferous needles of the (planet) laurel (Xenocinnamonum camphora [planet]ensis), and tincture of capsicum. It tastes wretchedly terrible – minty and bitter and spicy and…sweaty, all at the same time – and is perversely enjoyed as a medicinal tea by (frontier planet populous), particularly for bronchial and sinus congestion.

    Profile photo of Pharthan

    Interesting, but it’s also supposed to be something to take pride in and kind of flaunt to tourists.


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