Common Travel Food

Dried Beardox Meat

Dried Beardox meat is a popular food to bring on journeys in Inmalenor. This technique has been used for ages among the Inmali Tribes, and is still one of the preferred ways to preserve meat in the north. The meat can be smoked as well as dried for extra effect and flavor.

Preparation of the Meat

The meat is cut into thin slices to make it dry out as quickly as possible.

The Drying Process

During winter the drying process will go slow, as the moisture in the meat will freeze, but there are less chance of spoilage. During the short summer the drying process goes faster, but the temperatures makes it important to keep the process clean. Also, the drying racks needs to be kept safe from opportunistic carnivores.

The drying process takes three to seven months, depending on the time of year and the weather. The finished product can last for up to a year.

Smoking

Sometimes, after the meat is dried, the chunks can be put in specialized huts that can be filled with smoke. A special kind of fire pit with slightly moist wood shavings is lit to generate the smoke. The shavings should be moist to generate smoke instead of catching fire. The Inmali elves has made a special kind of airflow controller into the fire pit, to make sure that the mist shavings gets just the right amount of air to make optimal amounts of smoke.

The smoking process usually takes between one and two hours, but the meat can be smoked up to a day. This all depends on the maker's flavor preference. Smoking the meat gives it an extra degree of preservation, since the surface gets even drier than with only drying.

Pickled Vegetables

Usually eaten together with some other food, like bread or meat, pickled vegetables is popular among travelers in the midlands of Kupria and Asharia. What kind of vegetables vary, but root vegetables are a popular choice. Every cook has their own signature mixture of herbs, spices and other things to give flavor to the pickled vegetables, where popular choices might include fennel seeds, honey and mustard.

Preparation

The vegetables should be cut into bite-sized chunks for easy eating, and is boiled until tender. Then the vegetables are drained, lightly salted and cooled, then put into vinegar. Some spices might be added to this mixture. Then, some cooks boil honey and wine, with some of the other spices added to it. This mixture is cooled before added to the vegetable mixture.

The pickled vegetables are then stored in airtight mugs or flasks, and will last for a couple of months if kept away from the heat of the sun. Due to the containers being usually made of clay or ceramics, this dish is usually only brought if there is some way to transport the containers without putting them in danger of shattering. Getting pickled vegetables all over your belongings is not especially fun.

Magically Preserved Meat

The necromancers have mastered the art of keeping bodies fresh for their experiments. Originally this magic was used only for its intended use, to keep bodies and body parts fresh until it was time to do whatever necromancers do with dead people. One day, though, one necromancer who hadn't planned for a trip looked at some beef, cursing herself that she hadn't had time to dry any for jerky. Then, she had a brilliant idea, and cast preservation magic on the beef. It worked better than expected, and she had fresh meat to roast on the fire for the whole trip, much to her travelling companions' envy.

Word spread, and soon every necromancer had heard about this new way of keeping food fresh for longer trips. It only worked on meat and fish, though, but it still became wildly popular since these kinds of food spoils quickly. It didn't take long before sellers of "travel meat" started popping up in marketplaces in Vobranas. Due to general skepticism against necromancy in general, and unwillingness to risk becoming an unknowing cannibal, it didn't catch on in other cities, but a lot of travelers from the Necropolis or Vobranas choose magically preserved meat as their food of choice on long journeys.

Cryomancers also preserve food with magically created ice, but due to the ice's effect on food quality, especially meat, and the lack of keeping the ice from thawing if the cryomancer isn't part of the travelling group, makes it less practical and gives it a shorter time of preservation than the necromancer's technique. Richer travelers might pay an expert cryomancer to make a travel box or bag with permanent ice to keep foods fresh on longer travels, but there are few cryomancers who can do it, and it's very costly and time-consuming. Still, for the right price it is possible - although artifacts like these are prime targets for thefts.


Cover image: by Milladamen

Comments

Author's Notes

Written for a flash challenge on the Discord server.

I must say, since I had an exam in smoking of meats earlier this year that I spent hours upon hours to study for, it was challenging to not go too deep into the chemistry of the process, especially since my world isn't technologically advanced enough to know much about said chemistry. Still, it was fun to actually use my degree for something useful in my world building.

The necromancers would of course use my world's equivalent of the D&D spell Gentle Repose. I mean, if they do possess a spell that keep body parts fresh for later resurrection/zombie raising, why wouldn't it be used to preserve meat? Also, of course a cryomancer would invent an ice box. It only takes some kind of ice spell together with Permanency.

I had so much fun writing this article.


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2 May, 2018 18:37

Love the Authors Note. Great work, and sounds like all my favorite types of travel food!

Now working on
The Hylian Fantasy
2 May, 2018 20:37

Thanks! <3 And thank you for arranging these - they are really fun, and gets the gears going! :3