Lore:Argonian Cuisine

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"When I was small, I made soup in mud puddles with the wings of flies. I have since grown as a cook. While mud has its place and flies do add a lovely texture, my palate of ingredients has increased.
Flies do add the perfect amount of crunch though."

Makes-Many-Soups, an Argonian cook

Argonian cuisine is perhaps the most impenetrable for outsiders. Composed largely of raw fish and swamp plants collected throughout the marshes, Argonian dishes are for only the bravest of other races. Argonian chefs makes use of ingredients that chefs of other races would shy away from, such as maggots and fermented pond scum.[1] Often eaten raw, albeit seasoned with exotic spices and rich sauces, the fish and small creatures Argonians harvest in nets and traps sustain them in a way that is wholly unique in Tamriel.

It is considered polite to gargle one's drink in Murkmire.[2] Some Argonian chefs cook with snail slime.[1]

Baked Goods[edit]

Name Description Image
Beetle Puffs Beetle Puffs are sweet pastries that are cooked in specialized pans. A delicacy in Dhalmora, these little puffs are usually cooked in dozens and made from beetles.[3]
Fungus Omelet Fungus Omelet is an omelet containing fungi. It was commonly served in Gideon.[4]
Savory Cornbread Originating from the city of Thorn. Saltrice is a companian grain to the corn in this recipe.[5]

Fruits and Vegetables[edit]

Name Description Image
Baked Bananas Bananas that are baked before being eaten. In the city of Stormhold they are served with cheese.[6]
Dragonfruit Dragonfruit is a type of fruit that is native to Murkmire and eaten by the local Argonians.
ON-item-furnishing-Dragonfruit, Wax.jpg
Nectarine Nectarines grow in Black Marsh.[7]
Lizardfruit Known as "plums" to the Imperials. Lizardfruit grows at White Rose. The fruit is somewhat bland, but it numbs the tongue when eaten. A hearty gulp of rosewater will reverse the effect.[8]
Fire Apple A subspecies of apple that grows on trees in Black Marsh.[9]
Stormberry A berry that grows on bushes in the swamp.[9]

Meat and Seafood[edit]

Name Description Image
Aojee-Sakka A meal consisting of two dishes served simultaneously and is among the most dangerous meals in Tamriel. The primary dish is sliced and seared Aojee Toad laid over caramelized figs and cinnamon-grass. The second dish is a bowl of cold hosh, a dark and viscous soup. Neither of these can be consumed alone, as they are a deadly poison; they must be eaten simultaneously because they serve as an antidote for each other's poison. Eating too much toad causes violent tremors and mouth frothing, which leads to death. Too much hosh induces searing intestinal pain and vomiting, then death.[10] Aojee-Sakka is very difficult and time-consuming to prepare.[11] Precise tools are used to prepare the toad.[12] It is deadly when prepared incorrectly or eaten improperly.[13] Specialized vases are kept at tables where Aojee-Sakka is being served in case the toad is prepared improperly.[14]
Black Cockerel Served in Tortoise Shell The black cockerel of White Rose eats poisonous beetles, which stain its flesh black and render it too toxic for consumption. To get around this, the Argonians have a common painted tortoise eat the bird's flesh. The tortoise negates the poison. It should be killed before it fully digests its meal, then roasted. The tortoise itself isn't much to write home about, but the black cockerel flesh in the reptile's gut is savory and decadent.[15]
Bog-eels Hunted for their meat, skin, and eggs. The eel-leather is very supple, but crispy when roasted. Argonians trap the bog-eels before they root their way into deeper muck.[16]
Brined Leeches Eaten by the Bright-Throat Tribe at bonding season feasts. The taste improves as the leeches are digested, and some Argonians enjoy regurgitating it from their crop a few hours after initial consumption.[17]
Broths Swamp eel broth goes well with vegetables, fish, meat, and maggots. Argonian chefs aren't afraid to cook up a soup that wriggles. Crawdad tails in a saltrice infused broth is quite a salty combination, but it suits the palate that doesn't appreciate a wriggling soup. As with other cultures, bones can be added to a soup or broth to add flavor. Ripe roots can also be added to soup.[1]
Butterflies and Moths Butterflies and Moths are a challenging but rewarding culinary experience. Most non-Argonians who are brave enough to sample them remove the wings before consumption. They are served in a traditional "ajum": a woven tray with a netted lid. Some of these delicate trays are made of swamp grass.[18] A truly satisfying butterfly dish hinges on the delicate art of "Iuheeez," or "wing folding." Argonian master chefs use their claws to bend and fold the wings into tiny but ornate edible sculptures. However, local custom dictates that outsiders fold their own wings.[19]

Green Slipper-Tails are perhaps the sweetest of the Slipper-Tail species, tasting of honey-grass with a sweet but chalky finish.[19]

Crayfish Salad Argonians search tide-pools for crayfish, which they then boil for a short time in seasoned water. The crayfish are then removed from their shells and their heads cut off, when the meat is sufficiently cooled, Argonians then add it to the greens and top it with a choice of fruits, vegetables, seeds, or meat.[20]
Fen Hen Birds that live in Black Marsh. Taste and crunch is reminiscent of crows.[21]
Garlic Hagfish Hagfish served with garlic, popular in the city of Lilmoth.[22]
Giant Wasp Gizzards Giant Wasp Gizzards are roasted and seasoned before consumption.[23]
Grubs Grubs are commonly eaten in Black Marsh. Some Argonians keep carved amber grub-cages by their bedside to hold live snack-larvae.[24]
Grub kebabs
A bowl of grubs
Marsh Centipede Argonians hunt and eat these thick insects of ill-temperament.[25]
Marsh-Hen Birds that live in Black Marsh.[26]
Mudcrab Argonians eat mudcrab meat, which can be made into mudcrab cakes.[27]
Mud-Hopper Stew Mud-Hopper Stew is a stew commonly served in Gideon.[4]
Nagahssee Nagahssee, which roughly translates to "snake roll" uses a wasso hedge snake. This meal is risky as the wasso hedge snake looks almost exactly like the red hooped tree-viper. Eating the former will give you a full belly, whilst eating the latter will kill you before you leave the table.[28]

Once the chef has acquired a snake, he or she goes to work disemboweling it. The snake's interior is used in a number of other dishes, but nagahssee only requires the skin. The empty skin is packed with a mix of wild marsh rice, dried parsnips, sliced bark-ear mushrooms, and a live mouse. Those who choose to eat the dish when it is first prepared are treated to the fresh vegetable medley and the lean, wriggling meat of the mouse. But those who choose to let the dish rest for a few hours (or even days) are richly rewarded for their patience. The longer the dish rests, the fatter the mouse becomes. It can spend a great deal of time feasting on the rice and parsnips before finally expiring. An average nagahssee takes about five days to "ripen."[28]

Pukta Snakes Pukta Snakes are commonly covered in honey and then roasted in a firepit.[29]
Saddle-Cured Rabbit Cured rabbit meat, eaten with saltrice.[30]
Slaughterfish Liver Slaughterfish liver is usually avoided because it is difficult to serve without first negating the toxins within it. The Argonian tribes know how to prepare this dish in a way that negates the toxins.[31]
Slugs Slugs are frequently served raw and often with a sprig of salt-meadow leaf.[32] Slugpaste is a uniquely Argonian culinary item.[33]
  • Bearded Blue - This indigo slug is quite common, it's roughly the size of a Nord's thumb and features a shaggy clump of tentacles beneath its long eye stalks. The slug features a subtle aroma, but it also has refreshingly citrusy undertones. The extra tentacles give the Bearded Blue a unique texture that can be a little distracting (particularly when consumed alive), but it tastes simply divine. The flavor is earth-driven with subdued loamy notes hidden below a firm citrusy bite.
  • Black-Banded Slider - The Black-Banded Slider is a local staple of southern Black Marsh. It is often smoked and eaten on a bed of weevil larvae and orange-grass. The slug excretes an acrid black oil when disturbed, but it is easily wiped away to reveal a long body with a series of broad black stripes across a pale, creamy mantle. Even washed, the Black-Banded Slider presents a chewy, tannic flavor that must be endured to reach the clean and nuanced aftertaste that the Argonians relish. It's a mellow, almost floral flourish to an otherwise imposing meal.
  • King Yellow - The King Yellow is a massive creature and is covered in a vast forest of fleshy, undulating bristles. They are often wrapped in a wasso nut leaf with an indigo lily garnish. The King Yellow has a rich bouquet of mossy, herbaceous scents. The tail is described as being brooding and nutty, the mantle is described as being thick, oily, and bitter. The head has a cloying, buttery taste that swings wildly toward a dry, mustardy finish.[32]
Swamp Eel Large, ornate platters are traditionally used to serve them at feasts.[34] In Gideon, they were served in a blackberry wine sauce and considered speciality of the house of the local Egg and Hammer inn.[35]
Swamp Jelly Swamp Jellies are often eaten by Argonians. They are prepared at first by removing any tentacles from the body, they are then laid out straight across a cutting board and sliced across. Once the limbs are removed, the body is split straight down the middle. After this, the body cavities are washed out and the jelly is ready for roasting over an open fire or in an oven. Over red coals you'll get a firmer jelly with a bit of crisp on the outside. The tentacles of the jelly can be cooked in the body and go well with eel broth, but some Argonians roast them on skewers for a salty treat.[36]

Swamp jelly also makes a good substitute for brain or scrib jelly in recipes for individuals who are looking to lose weight.[36]

Swamp Jellies
Swamp Shrimp Boil A type of seafood boil. The Argonians prefer to use swamp shrimp, but any kind of prawn can be used to make it.[citation needed]
Swamp Shrimp Boil
Trodh Trodh are tiny little crunchy fish that have to be eaten alive; if they are cooked, they become poisonous.[37]
Wamasu Loin The loin meat of the Wamasu is sometimes served flavored with grapes and various seasonings.[38]

Beverages[edit]

Some Argonian drinks are brewed with eel-paste, which is boiled during the process.[2]

Name Description Image
Bile Beer Bile Beer (or bile-beer) is a bitter alcoholic beverage.[39][40][41] A guar that consumes bile beer will become sick to its stomach.[42]
Fish-Eye Rye A foul smelling Argonian concotion typically enjoyed during the New Life Festival. Originating from the village of Hissmir, it consists of rye alcohol, corn flowers, and lemon. Fish is also included in the brewing process, earning the drink it's name.[43]
Mud Nectar An Argonian alcohol made from rice and seaweed.[44]
Phlegmwine A strong-smelling Argonian beverage alcoholic beverage that is usually imbibed during celebrations. It bubbles due to the bog gasses that are used in its creation. It is best consumed while it's still bubbling, before the bog gasses run dry.[45][46][33] A good phlegmwine has just the right amount of skin forming at the top.[17]
Snail-Gin Snail-Gin is a gin brewed in Black Marsh that has a reputation for killing those who drink it. A pair of Argonian siblings from Murkmire worked on making non-lethal Snail-Gin in 2E 582.[2]
Sweetbile A beverage usually consumed during celebrations. Quality sweetbile trembles ever so slightly in the stomach.[17]
Snake Sweat A beverage enjoyed by the Argonians of Dhalmora.[47]
Theilul Theilul is a dark[48] Argonian rum made from sugarcane.[2] Theilul is more profitable and easier to transport than the cane itself.[49]:36
Xanmeer Brandy Grape brandy flavored with bittergreen plant and ginkgo bark[50]

Meals Abroad[edit]

Argonians living abroad may not have access to the more exotic ingredients endemic to their homeland. The following is a list of foreign food given an Argonian spin. This list is not exceedingly comprehensive; some preparations, such as braised or stewed rabbit, are common wherever the animals are native; the point of this section is to denote culinary practices that exceed or toe the boundaries of the culinary norms of other races, or are uniquely Argonian.

Name Description Image
Crow A crunchy bird from Skyrim that can be seasoned with bamphor;[21] bamphor squeezings are an essential oil with a very high alcohol content that can be used for disinfecting wounds and calming a patient.[51]
Dog Argonians abroad would not shy away from eating dog in places where it isn't taboo; in Skyrim, it very much is.[21] Furry animals like dogs do not typically live in Black Marsh—at least not among the tribes.[52]
Cat Similar to the dog, some Argonians would have no trouble eating cats, were it not taboo. The idea of doing so is reviled in Skyrim, where they prefer to pet their cats and dogs.[21]
Wharf Rat Wharf rats are delicious when basted in bile beer.[21]
Monkey The gamey meat of the monkey can be smeared with dragon's-tongue sap and basted in Theilul.

Soups and Stews[edit]

Name Description Image
Pumpkin Stew An Argonian stew made with pumpkin, fish, and saltrice.[53]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Makes-Many-Soups' houseguest dialogue in ESO
  2. ^ a b c d Haxal's dialogue in ESO: Murkmire
  3. ^ Beetle Puffs Pastry Pan item description in ESO
  4. ^ a b Elam Drals dialogue during A Deadly Secret in ESO
  5. ^ Savory Thorn Cornbread recipe in ESO
  6. ^ Stormhold Baked Bananas recipe in ESO
  7. ^ The Real Barenziah, v 3 — Anonymous
  8. ^ The Feast of Saint Coellicia V — Arfons Jellicandante, Expert on Nibenese Cuisine
  9. ^ a b Veesk-Olan's 104th hireling correspondence in ESO
  10. ^ A Culinary Adventure, Volume 4Rallaume Lemonds, Culinary Crusader
  11. ^ Grayscale's dialogue during Culture Clash in ESO
  12. ^ Toad Cleaning Kit item description in ESO
  13. ^ Aojee-Sakka quest item description in ESO
  14. ^ Aojee-Sakka Purge Vase item description in ESO
  15. ^ The Feast of Saint Coellicia IV — Arfons Jellicandante, Expert on Nibenese Cuisine
  16. ^ Loxaldesh's dialogue in ESO: Murkmire
  17. ^ a b c Jotep-Liurz's dialogue in ESO: Murkmire
  18. ^ Swamp Grass Ajum item description in ESO
  19. ^ a b A Culinary Adventure, Volume 2Rallaume Lemonds, Culinary Crusader
  20. ^ Trans-Niben DelicaciesFirst Mate Snagoth of the Guar's Beak, second fastest treasure hauler on the Niben River
  21. ^ a b c d e Small Meals, Fast MealsRuns-in-Wild
  22. ^ Lilmoth Garlic Hagfish recipe in ESO
  23. ^ Churasu's dialogue in ESO
  24. ^ Amber Bedside Grub-Cage item description in ESO
  25. ^ Keshu: The Rites of Maturity, Part 1Peek-Ereel, Friend and Confidant to Keshu the Black Fin
  26. ^ Heem-Jas's dialogue during Sap and Stone in ESO: Shadows of the Hist
  27. ^ Veesk-Olan's 126th hireling correspondence in ESO
  28. ^ a b A Culinary Adventure, Volume 3Rallaume Lemonds, Culinary Crusader
  29. ^ Cheemee's dialogue in ESO
  30. ^ Argonian Saddle-Cured Rabbit recipe in ESO
  31. ^ The Feast of Saint CoelliciaArfons Jellicandante, Expert on Nibenese Cuisine
  32. ^ a b A Culinary Adventure, Volume 1Rallaume Lemonds, Culinary Crusader
  33. ^ a b Beehuna's dialogue during Unsuitable Suitors in ESO: Murkmire
  34. ^ Swamp Eel Serving Platter item description in ESO
  35. ^ Elam Drals dialogue during A Mysterious Event in ESO
  36. ^ a b Care and Feeding of Swamp JelliesAglindor the Black-Thumb
  37. ^ The Argonian Account, Book 3Waughin Jarth
  38. ^ Black Marsh Wamasu Loin recipe in ESO
  39. ^ Veesk-Olan's 126th hireling correspondence in ESO
  40. ^ Keshu: Travels Beyond the Village, Part 1Peek-Ereel, Friend and Confidant to Keshu the Black Fin
  41. ^ Beek-Ja's dialogue in ESO
  42. ^ Veesk-Olan's 184th and 185th hireling correspondence in ESO
  43. ^ Hissmir Fish-Eye Rye recipe in ESO
  44. ^ Argonian Mud-Nectar recipe in ESO
  45. ^ Bond-Guru Topeth's dialogue after Unsuitable Suitors in ESO: Murkmire
  46. ^ Weegam's dialogue during Death and Dreaming in ESO: Murkmire
  47. ^ Porcelain Snake Sweat Jar item description in ESO
  48. ^ Small Copper Theilul Still item description in ESO
  49. ^ Keyes, Greg. The Infernal City. Del Rey Books, 2009.
  50. ^ Xanmeer Brandy recipe in ESO
  51. ^ Vial of Bamphor Squeezings item description in ESO
  52. ^ Xukas's dialogue at the Ixtaxh Xanmeer during Sunken Treasure in ESO: Murkmire, particularly his mentions of "your bark-dogs"
  53. ^ Argonian Pumpkin Stew recipe in ESO