Elven Cooking Traditions
It has been a long running stereotype that Elves simply can’t do anything without involving the magic they had been blessed with during their creation. For good reason. They don’t. They don’t want to. And they are completely unabashed by being called out for such. This even, and especially, includes their cooking methods, as is evident with the exceptional career of The Sugar Queen that bred a cult-like following of Avistians . However, this goes far beyond simply using their magic to prepare the food from a mechanical standpoint. That’s child’s play to them. It’s so pedestrian that to ask them to do otherwise would be as weird and alien to them as asking someone to chop vegetables by holding the knife with their mouth instead of using their hands. Elves have a long standing tradition of incorporating magic into the very food they are preparing. In some cases, this helps restore ‘questionable’ food to its full vigor again. Resulting in saving supplies from being wasted in the process. They’ve also been able to separate some food components down to elements that would be impossible otherwise. Doing so allows them to remove certain bits from some ingredients to alter the flavor tremendously. A leafy green that leaves just a hint of bitterness as an aftertaste? Yank out enough of that and the vegetable ends up with a sweet finish. And then there’s doing things with food that it was never meant to be done with in the first place, for spectacular results. Such as magically fortifying the ingredient to change it’s texture. Making it crisper. Or softer. But maintaining its flavor and improving it’s over all experience. Have a problem with the coconut texture, a common complaint, but love its flavor? Elves learned how to fix that dilemma long ago and can tweak it into pleasing the pallet. They also developed methods for keeping cold food cold, and warm food warm, until it is actually eaten. So the individual eating it simultaneously breaks the enchantment, but gets to enjoy the food at peak freshness. Even if they were late to dinner and it’s been sitting on the table for over an hour. They even found ways of drawing out toasted flavors from a variety of foods without even fully cooking them. Caramelized carrot slices are a particularly good example of their magically assisted cooking skills. Where they have managed to capture the full flavor of a cooked carrot caramelized to perfection, while keeping the crispness of the fresh carrot. The carrots are, amazingly, still absolutely raw in the center. But the outside has a skin of that nearly sweet flavor one would associate with sautéing the carrot slices in a hot pan. Some of their greatest tricks, the term used intentionally as it is well known to be used in some pranks, has to do with changing the flavors of some items entirely. Through their magic they’ve been able to enhance the flavor, or, at the minimum, trick the taste buds into tasting something else. Thankfully it takes quite a bit of effort to alter the flavor substantially. So at the basic level it’s not hard to add herbal undertones to simple mashed potatoes. But, with enough effort, pranking someone by giving them a fruit filled doughnut that suddenly tastes like boiled salmon when bit into is, and has been, possible. And this violation of trust has earned quite a bit of ire from the unfortunate victims. Indeed, Elves have both managed to create, and ruin, many friendships with their cooking alone.