Lamprey Pies and Honeyed Lemon Cakes and Jellied Calves' Brains, Oh My!
September 15, 2012
If your only experience with the world of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is the HBO television series adaptation, you’re really missing out on something found only in the books. Graphic depictions of violence? Byzantine political machinations? The "special relationship" between Jaime and Cersei? Tyrion carousing with ladies of ill repute? No, those are all there in the TV series. Killing, maiming, or otherwise abusing beloved characters? Just ask Sean Bean. No, I’m talking about the "gratuitous feasting."
George R.R. Martin must really love food, because he spends what some might consider an inordinate amount of time describing in great detail the dishes served in A Song of Ice and Fire. All I need to say is "LAMPREY PIES" in the presence of another fan to make myself known as one of the faithful. This "gratuitous feasting" has now been brought off the page and into the kitchen with A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer, with an introduction by Mr. George "Lemon Cakes" Martin himself.
The cookbook grew out of the authors' blog, The Inn at the Crossroads (motto: in the game of food, you win or you wash the dishes). The recipes and ingredients of Martin's medieval dishes have been adapted for the 21st Century kitchen, but for who live in stone castles with fireplaces and big iron pots, some traditional recipes have been included. Well, not actually traditional Westeros recipes, but the authors scoured Roman, Medieval, and Elizabeth cookbooks for their closest equivalents. They even list appropriate beverage selections, home recipes for wines, and mead and beer recipes to come!
Now I’m going to have to brew up my own Westerosian ale. I’m thinking a stout would pair well with a meal of soft flatbread, pink fish roe, honey sausage, and fried locusts.