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.

Xentoran Cooking

While biologically and historically omnivorous, Xentorns are a philosophically vegetarian race, as such they have no surviving recipes for any sort of flesh.

The Xentorn race, spread through Galfarra, and even somewhat into the Milky Way and Vorton galaxies rely on a wide array or foods as do many such races, but there is a common theme among their foods.

Traditionally this race grazes throughout the day on various foods in light meals and snacks. In this respect various pies, especially custard, fruit, or egg are quite popular; as are fruits and berries in raw or simple cooked form (e.g. boiled and spiced).

The single, traditional, Xentoran daily meal is a time for family and friends to gather and have a mini celebration and as such mimics, in small scale, the feasts of a temple gathering.

The family and guests gather in the household common room on cushions with low tables set close to hand. Or, for those associating heavily with other races often, they may gather in more local means such as in a dining room around a table. Regardless of setting, the meal is served in specific courses.

First comes a small, warm tayæ, a dish in small hand bowls eaten with a spoon and consisting of one or more stewed berries mixed with a sauce made of mild spices (typically described by Terrans as reminiscent of mulling spices) in a mix of a rich cream and/or butter (traditionally made from a plokëo, one of many Xentoran fruits similar to the coconut of Earth but just as often from an animal milk), and a syrup made from nectar or honey. This is served with a very small glass of a simple, weak wine or with water with a bit of fruit juice squeezed into it.

Next will come the raìsu, a cold soup made from pureed melons and nuts, and often features olkaeri, a fruit many have said is what one would get if a fig and date were crossed. This is eaten scooped by a soft pita or naan like bread. No drink is typically served with this course.

Next is the main dish, or yaero. Xentoran cuisine flourishes on the experimental and adopts new preparation methods and ingredients readily. The most consistent thing about a yaero is that it will be an experience, whether for good or ill.

Favourite themes in the dishes, though, do crop up out of long racial habit. On Xentor, and as a result, often elsewhere, the main course will rely heavily on foods similar to the dozens of species of tyheari, a family of fruits very similar, and potentially related to the plantain or banana of Earth and known to be related to the Ilzwik hathbok fruits. Other popular foods are various sweet tubers, and various things best described, in English, as figs, dates, and coconuts. These along with nuts, legumes, various rhubarb like plants, and vegetables will be cooked together. There are various family recipes, successful yaeroa of the past that were recorded for making again, but no really widespread recipes.

Xentoran cookbooks do contain a number of tayæ, raìsu and faeriea recipes, but for yaero it will merely give suggestions and advice such as one in a currently popular book Xentoriae Laeysô Junillash Qaelù [A Xentoran Take/View of/at Junillian Foods/Cooking], “a reasthê’s flavour and aroma is brought out and enhanced if you sauté it cut into small cubes then marinate it overnight with a mix of equal parts threasedi oil and a hearty Plotreadi beer”.

Many different kinds of drink might be served with a yaero, but most often it will be a refreshing, cool, mellow flavoured ale, any complimentary variety of wine, or coffee.

Finally is dessert, or faeriea. Xentorns do not, traditionally, eat sweet faerieaï. They prefer a final course that is spiced. Rarely to the degree of a strong pepper, though it is not unheard of; instead it will be more along the lines of nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, grishokna and the like. Popular faerieaï include seasoned custards, squash or tuber pies (Xentorns who’ve visited Earth often feel quite at home with a slice of pumpkin or sweet potato pie, for example), and similar preparations. This course is most often enjoyed with some kind of tea or naewi, a drink made of unsweetened cocoa mixed with milk from certain fruit nuts and juices from chilies.

A drink rarely found off of Xentor, but highly prized when it can be gotten is daesriu, a popular drink to enjoy with faeriea that consists of fermented milk (plant or animal is equally likely) sweetened with honey and flavoured with various herbs from mint and ginger families then served ice cold. It is, deservedly, noted for its ability to aid in digestion or to soothe digestive issues.

A Xentorn living alone, who cannot enjoy a meal with any friends or family will, normally, not have one – instead lightly snacking for all her food in a day. Some will prepare a lone five courses and enjoy them in private celebration of the day, usually as a self congratulation for a personal achievement, but many Xentorns find any solitary meal, regardless of reason, depressing so will find other means of self-congratulation.

Be forewarned: invitation to a Xentoran meal can be a truly fantastic experience, it being equally likely to be utterly horrible as profoundly enjoyable. As with all people, there’re varying degrees of competency, skill, talent, and instinct for cooking among Xentorns. And as in most beings, there is a varying degree of awareness of this. Unlucky individuals have reported waking years later to nightmare remembrances of a disastrous yaero. Others have likened various yaeroa to sexual and/or spiritual bliss. As with any race of humans, the average Xentorn knows her limits and will stick to what she is good at, and saves extremes of experimentation for herself or for certain of the less pleasant Xentoran celebrations.

Please note, too, that no part of a Xentoran meal will, normally, include any drink stronger than 10%ABV, as anything stronger is usually deemed to overpower the flavours of the food or to numb the palate. Exceptions exist in the form of adopted customs on various worlds, and individual tastes.

Some final notes regarding traditional diets of the Xentorn people: a common item for midday snacks is a readseuo, a deepfried starchy vegetable on a stick eaten with various condiments.

Also no commentary on Xentoran food is complete without mention of the widespread stereotype that Xentorns neither enjoy nor are competent in creating distilled beverages. Which, after extensive study is partially deserved.

Xentorns do not seem to have any racial aversion to distilled drinks, though they are slightly more wont to avoid high proof liquors, being 15% more likely to find drinks over 25% ABV to be unpleasant, or to enjoy them only sparingly. Not a significant margin, really, and this stereotype is more deserved by the Glokirthe people who seem to be quite loathe to drink anything much over 5% ABV — despite this they are popularly depicted as boozers and drunks, proving many things about popular perceptions and entertainment, one is sure, but will leave to the xenopsychologists and sociologists to work out.

The stereotype of being poor distillers is rather accurate, however. While it would be ridiculous to say that they never developed the technology of distillation, they never seem to have applied it to beverage making – only to purification methods and medicine production. The only distilled beverage made on Xentor that might pre-date their exposure to other races (though evidence for this is thin at best) is kearuiea. This liquor is generally 20-35% ABV and is made from the kaerophi nut, a plant so similar to the Earth hazelnut that xenobotonists have spent centuries trying to determine if the two plants in fact, share a common ancestry. It is also the only distilled beverage from Xentor that is often considered to be any good, all others being deemed rotgut or little better. Some Galfarran bartenders have been known to give a different, more expensive drink, on the house, to someone so down on their luck as to order a Xentoran liquor that isn’t kearuiea. The drinking of these distillations is also a popular dare at many parties among Junillian youths.


The fabber is not a new technology in the same way that the compact disc of the last decades of the twentieth century hadn’t been new when they’d become popular. It was invented as a form of field ration to simplify care for soldiers in the Franco-Portugese army in the fifth decade of the third world war. The technology was simplified and refined and an organic recycler was added making them further popular among many of the pre-warp starships, and when warp was developed found a niche there as well due to the extremely limited capacity of those ships.

The basic concept started out as an edible form of the plastic soup used in the rapid prototypers and 3D printers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. These used a mix of edible gels comprised amino acids, vitamins, minerals, or carbohydrates in balanced proportions; it would produce hot rapid meals by combining these according to information provided to ensure each soldier got no more than they needed. The next revision could recycle certain amounts and types of organic waste, but was not popular on the battlefield, nor is it currently common in the home due to the space that component takes up. This was not, however, a limitation on starships where it still takes up less space than foodstuffs and makes the food supply very nearly limited only to the availability of power.

Modern units can be given additional gels that can allow recreation of flavours and have assemblers that allow them to build what looks like a normal food, even reproducing textures and densities. Some claim that the fabber food is indistinguishable from the real thing except to be guaranteed healthful, others say that the end product is a crime against cuisine. Most, though, hold a position somewhere in between — it might not be perfect, but it’s edible. The fabber is, on many Confederate colony worlds, the only food available to Terrans. These would be worlds incapable of supporting Human consumable foods, and the cost ineffectiveness of hydroponics on such large scales, or shipping in food on warp freighters. A waste recycling center is established and colonists purchase food gelpacks from it. The fabber is also becoming a fad among the old worlds which can grow food out of the novelty of not having to worry about perishables, or even grocery shopping. Most packs are good for a month of meals for the average family of three.

The fabber has little popularity outside the Terran Confederation for various reasons. One is the lack of popularity of electrical power or the Terran’s habit of using digital computer systems making them difficult to integrate. Another is how few are willing to tolerate the taste (or even to understand how to convince the things of the dietary needs of anything that isn’t Human). Some of the techniques used for the food prep was adapted for the original prototypers that inspired these devices and a line of fabbers exists that can make clothes, simple household goods, and so forth do exist as well. These use oils and produce polyester type fabrics, hairbrushes, a passable toothpaste, etc. This particular form of fabber has gained a small following outside the Confederation,but still not much due to the afore mentioned electricity, and due to a view of its products being of quality inferior to the goods more conventionally produced.