The Rite of Ignition Tradition / Ritual in Creus | World Anvil
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The Rite of Ignition

The three women looked at Alistair expectantly. Or, more accurately, they were looking at the bowl of broth he had in front of him.
Alistair looked at the bowl warily. The soup was a bright orange, bubbling on one side. "This was taken off the fire a few minutes ago. How is it still boiling?"
"Does it matter?" Kyris had a glint in her eye as she gave a mocking bow. "Milord Alistair, the ladies of your household have prepared a meal for our master of house."
"That's really creepy, stop that." Alistair sighed. "Also, this is your house."
"Details." Phanae pointed a finger. "You're obviously stalling for time. You're not getting out of this one."
"This was a stupid bet." Alistair put a hand to his head. "This is also a dumb kid's game. Don't we all have more important things to do?"
Eila laughed. "More important than making sure you uphold your side of the bargain?" She shook her head. "I'm not the absolute idiot that tried to ask Captain Isolde out for a romantic evening."
The three women shared a laugh; Alistair groaned. "She was wearing a dress! I didn't recognize her!"
"That's your problem, not ours." Phanae dipped a spoon into the still-bubbling broth and held it up over an outstretched hand. "Just pretend I'm eight inches taller, look like a princess, and have a big scar on my face." She scrunched up her face and spoke in falsetto. "Alistair-honey, your precious wife's loving dinner!"
Alistair rolled his eyes and ate the spoonful of broth.

And coughed. And coughed again.
"How much spice did you girls put in?! Water. I need water!"
The girls laughed again as Alistair scrambled for the sink.
"If you're gonna try to get a date with Isolde, you'll have to be able to take the heat!"


The Rite of Ignition is a bit of a mocking name, as it refers to the spread of hot spices and peppers. Wild chili peppers were found on an isolated island in East Saibh by Isolde of Saumann a few years ago, and their mild and measured use in cooking has become fashionable in the Etoile Capital City. The Rite of Ignition is specifically referring to a courtship/comedy ritual among young nobility in the Capital; potential partners will test the other (typically in heterosexual relationships the woman tests the man) on their spice tolerance. This was made popular by Captain Isolde herself; constantly pursued by suitors, she announced at one event that she would only reciprocate if her suitor was able to handle her love of spicy cooking. This has put a number of men in medical treatment from their erstwhile 'Ignition', and many women around the capital have imitated her stance.


Old etiquette rules state that it is uncouth for a partner in any would-be relationship to turn down the cooking of the other; this has been a custom since antiquity. The testing partner will cook a dish using an excessive amount of Saumann spices, and the other will attempt to eat it. On it's face, its a simple act of cooking, but in reality the custom is more for comedy and entertainment among younger denizens of the Etoile Capital City, cooking for each other as a dare.

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Most dishes are normal Capital City cuisine like spiced flounder or braised and roasted sprouts, but dishes modified for this purpose have a healthy dash of Saumann spices added in the process. Cooking using those spices is usually done outdoors, as indoor cooking will likely send the members of the household fleeing in tears.


Technically the Rite of Ignition requires only the chef and the person they're testing, but many times various friends and family will come together to have a laugh at the testee's expense.


The Rite of Ignition is a game played mostly in the Capital City, as the spices required for it are only readily available in the Capital.
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