Worldbuilding Wednesday: Let’s Eat!

Food is life. Literally. The fuel that powers our bodies, but also a source of joy and celebration. Holidays all over the world have special foods that accompany them, sometimes recipes and traditions passed down over the generations. When crafting a world–gaming, writing, or otherwise–thinking about your characters’ sustenance is important. What sorts of crops grow in your characters’ part of their world, and do they fish, rely on farming for meat, or something else?

Knowing the crops and ingredients available in your world is just a start. For example, in yesterday’s #tastytuesday prompt I asked the question of seasonings: what spices would your people use to enhance their food? Maybe refined sugar is not something your characters would know anything about, instead relying on plant nectar or honey. Perhaps heat level is a factor in the dishes these characters would favor, or maybe they rely on milder spices like mountain herbs or sea salt. If non-humanoid, what kinds of things would pass for sustenance? This could be particularly interesting to thing about for creatures in science fiction and fantasy, who might even feed on energy or magic sources.

Knowing the terrain, climate, flora and fauna in your world will show you much about how your characters sustain themselves. Even though these details may never explicitly make it to the page or game table, they will show in your storytelling in other ways. Your characters will come alive as they partake in everyday meals, celebrate traditional festivals and celebratory food, and interact with those who bring these gifts of life into being. So, what’s on the menu for your adventuring party or main character today?

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