Written by and bufiogarugi
Yaibupaikam (/yaibupaikam/) is a common food in the southern portion of Kruthia. Its name comes from the main ingredients: rum (/yaibubÉ›/), boar (/paiketud/), and brown rice (/kamum/). Not known for tasting extremely good, it nonetheless is a common village or folk dish due to how common the ingredients are.


The dish came about due to necessity, blending together otherwise unpalatable ingredients: brown rice, known for a near-nonexistent flavor and tough, gritty texture, southern Kruthian boar, which due to a diet of mostly local herbs is known for a strong, bitter flavor, much like medicine, and rum, purchased cheaply from traders travelling between the capital city and the coastline. Alone, each ingredient is food worthy of the most hardened prisoners as punishments, while together, if not fine dining, is at least edible without gagging.


The boar is cooked in the rum, with a small handful of salt added to the liquid, making a sort of brine-sauce, which sweetens the boar meat slightly, but more importantly, it draws out much of the herbal flavor from the meat. The meat is then removed from the pot, and placed in a bowl on the side, to air, while the brown rice is added to the rum sauce. The alcohol in the rum helps break down the fibers in the rice, softening the texture, while passing along and diluting the bitterness of the herbs from the sauce to the rice. The rice, in turn, thickens the sauce and deepens the rum's natural flavor. The sauce-rice mixture is then strained into the bowl where the boar meat rests: the sauce covers the meat, while the rice remains, which is then doled out to the eating plates, with meat placed on top.


While there is not a particular form of common etiquette or tradition for eating the meal, most people tend to exhale, eat a bite, drink water, then inhale, to minimize the flavor further when eating the dish in its native region. While the specific ingredients make the dish exclusively peasant food, as they cannot afford better ingredients, or make do from shortages, the recipe itself travels through the continent, with varying results. The capital city, for instance, would use other meats, perhaps fish or boar imported with a non-herbal diet, and high-quality wines, and fine grains to make a vastly superior-tasting copy of the dish.


While no official traditions exist for the consumption of Yaibupaikam, often in the poorer towns and villages (with the lower-quality ingredients) used to prank clueless visitors and travelers with a dish of Yaibupaikam. The traveler would be given a small portion of just the roasted boar, and the villagers would tell them that it is a common dish in their village. The traveler tries the boar, finds it to be exceedingly bitter, and asks how the villagers can possibly palate such awful food. Then one of the villagers will pour the contents of a rum bottle on top of the boar meat and say "There, try it now."
In recent times, however, this prank has become too well-known to be effective, as there are multiple travel guides warning about this prank. This has led to a wave of counter-pranks, in which a traveler pretends to thoroughly enjoy the boar meat, and then complain about the rum ruining the taste of the meat.

Cover image: by Nat


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3 Dec, 2018 09:15

Sounds like a really flavoursome dish!

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
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5 Dec, 2018 08:35

Yeah, that was the original concept. Lotsa flavor, but can't guarantee that it's a good flavor. The idea just evolved from there to include the geography and some of the culture in the area, like how the northern part of Kruthia is wealthier than the southern part, or how those in the upper class consider themselves above everyone else because they live in the upper class of the region where the capital city sits. And yet one of their signature dishes is nothing more than a copy of what's basically a peasant's dish, with the only real difference being higher-quality ingredients.