Mugdarran Cuisine

It is a myth to say that Mugdarrans have no notion of cuisine or even any concept of how to cook.  They do, however, follow the trend of many obligate carnivore races and have a somewhat looser definition of cooking, but this definition is not without profound care to preparation, presentation, and taste so is by all measures a fine cuisine (for those able to stomach it).

First it must be said, though ought to be obvious, Mugdarrans enjoy meat.  Some 90% or more of their diet is in the form of organ, muscle, bone, and other tissues of various animals.  They enjoy a wide array of such foods from fish, molluscs, crustaceans, and other seafood, to poultries, lizards, and darker meats.  Land game of various mammals seems to be a favourite.

Fruits and vegetables, while enjoyed for flavour, garnish, and visual effect are not a serious component of a Mugdarran dish or meal except in beverages; a common misconception is that the race drinks glasses of blood with their meals — this is inaccurate, there is a popular wine made of a fruit with a deep, ruby coloured juice that is fairly opaque and the name of which is derived from the Mugdarran word for blood due to the obvious resemblance; nakjeru contains nothing more than fermented jaktherik, however.

Part of the Mugdarran stereotype of being barbaric in their diets and having no notion of cooking or cuisine comes from their meats typically being eaten raw.  Mugdarrans, like many carnivores throughout the tri-galaxies, do not benefit fully from cooked meats — certain of their vitamins are lost or destroyed in the process.  A certain instinct related to this is thought to be why the race (and many like them) seem to have little taste for meat that is thoroughly cooked (and in some cases, cooked at all).  They do, however, have a fine tradition of roasting, searing, frying, and most other methods of cooking both for certain meats as well as in the preparation of desserts and plants.  It should be noted that true traditional Mugdarran dishes do not include breads.  Some cereal grains were used as ingredients, but no evidence suggests that the race had thought to make flour until they’d encountered other races.

A typical morning meal would be small game, often whole in some capacity.  This can include fish (often chargrilled or broiled), small birds (plucked, but whole and honeyed), small reptiles (again, whole, but may be raw or fried), or a hearty soup made from minced meat and organs with herbs and thickened with a sweet grain (such as barley).

The next major meal may be at midday or in the evening, depending on where the Mugdarran’s family originated, but will often include various stuffed organs of large game (roasted, raw, or slow cooked), whole medium to large game (cooked or raw), or large portion of a bigger game gently seared (flame kissed haunch, for example).  These will often be seasoned in myriad fashion from rubs and marinades, to basting.  The stuffings are often cheeses, peppers, grains, flavourful roots (e.g. onions, or laugreth), or even fruits (stronger, acidic ones like grapefruit or hangred preferred).  Honey, nuts, and the like are also popular for coating the meat.

Regardless if it’s midday or evening, there is a light meal traditionally enjoyed in a day that will consist of more fish, a steak, liver or other organ.  This one may be seared or boiled in a broth made with wine and seasonings.

Mugdarrans have, as a rule, a serious sweet tooth and desserts can be taken quite seriously — they are among the finest confectioners in their half of the Milky Way.  While traditional desserts don’t include cakes or pastries for the aforementioned lack of having invented flour, many delights with chocolate, honey, nuts, fruits, sweet grains, butter, and hot peppers abound.  Since discovering flour they have gained a certain flair with cakes, cookies, pastries, and sweet rolls; though there are many purists who refuse to learn how to make them.  Liqueurs, coffee (please note that most coffees grown within the Mugdarran Empire were cultivated from the robusta strain and can be very potent — approach any Mugdarran coffee or item containing it with caution), as well as whole or crushed tea leaves are also readily found, especially in higher grade/class artisan confections.

Another item of note is Mugdarran candies.  These are enjoyed at all ages, are almost always exceedingly colourful, and often moulded into humorous or cute shapes.  There’s a preference for hard candies of a variety of flavours, but chews and jellies are by no means unheard of; especially bredgik, a chew made of molasses and juices from whatever variety of chilli is most readily available, and seeds then coated in a dusting of powdered sugar which has seen a surge in popularity due to Emperor Harjort’s particular fondness for them.