Challenge #02482-F292: Sauce Please
Humans are known to be very adaptable to most conditions thanks in no small part to the horrors that come naturally on their home planet. So while many aliens won’t be making Earth a tourist hot spot of the galaxy, the next best thing to experience human cultures are the restaurants in the space stations or food markets on a human colony. Seriously, if you have to think of nutrition requirements for more then two different species but can only go to one source? An authentic human restaurant is your best bet. -- from tumblr
Humans have a very wide definition of 'edible'. Many of them also pride themselves on their capacity for hospitality. It shouldn't have come as a shock that Human restaurants catered to local cuisine as well as disparate Galactic needs associated with a blend of Havenworlders, Deathworlders, and every creature in-between. Yet, it did anyway.
Welcome to the Edge Territories. The best place to find hives of scum and villainy. Also the most checkered collections of civilisations ranging from 'technically' to 'surprisingly advanced'. You can also find the kind of restaurants that would not be found anywhere else.
Welcome to Eldy's. The 'Eat' has been crudely painted on two different pieces of salvage and bolted or nailed to the superstructure on either side of the sign. There, the scent of cooking food wafts out with the steam, where clever use of the ventilation system is more or less free advertising. The menus are in GalSimple with pictures of what the expected meal looks like. Halos and skulls indicate which offerings are safe for Havenworlders and which ones are strictly for Deathworlders only. The number of each symbol indicates which level they're safe for. While everyone can safely ingest Level 5 Havenworlder fare, the same does not hold true for Level 5 Deathworlder food. Which, it might be noted, also can contain scofield scale levels.
It's always bustling in Eldy's, even when the titular chef is not cooking. She has chefs working on shifts and nobody goes away hungry. Here, the explorers of the Edge can whet their appetites on cuisine and ingredients they may never have seen before.
It was never a shock that it became one of the popular places for negotiations to take place. In every species with pack-bonding, it is mutual meals that help re-enforce that instinct. Hardly anyone is prone to feel angry about things with a stomach full of delicious food, after all.
For those situations, it is often wise to make sure that Eldy herself is in the kitchen. She is the most versed in identifying cogniscent species and therefore refusing to use them as ingredients. Ambassadorial-style relations have been saved by that one fact alone. There is also the factor that Eldy is also the most versed in cooking for extremely diverse groups.
If you ask Eldy, she will tell you, "It's all in the sauce." Or perhaps she is saying, "It's all in the source." Humans do love their puns. There are sauces for the subtle. There are sauces for the gross. There are sauces that few other species have ever considered, and a few that most never have. There are sauces that only a Human on the Edge could have invented.
The right sauce can make a peace pact. Such as Eldy's famous Peacepipe sauce. It's mostly sugar, and a blend of interesting herbs and spices that compound together to titillate even the most dull of sensory inputs. It can be consumed at any temperature in the positive Kelvin range by any species who can withstand those temperatures.
Considering the nature of the sauce, it's mildly surprising that it actually has a nutrient profile and a rough recommended daily intake profile. People want to buy bottles of it to gift to friends and family at home. Many of the more mercantile-minded have tried to copy it and failed. That's because there is no singular Peacepipe sauce.
Eldy makes it unique for each party undergoing negotiations. Sure, there is a consistent base and starter flavour profile, but the specific blend... that's unique. The bottled stuff for other guests is dished out according to a set of circumstances known only to Eldy and those she has included in her family.
This group are trying to crack the code.
"Cillantro, this time," murmured Hygan. "Salt... that has to be a mainstay. Cinnamon? Why cinnamon?"
"It's one of the more innocuous Terran spices," said Draniq, not looking up from hir scans. "Often attributed to the Human desserts despite some of its more harmful capabilities. Humans think it embodies purity and an amiable nature."
"...cinnamon," mumbled Hygan.
"It is because I was a part of the party," said Thrikk, a relatively large Havenworlder. They were attempting to recreate the new Base Sauce. "Eldy herself has often said I am a 'cinnamon roll'."
The analysts shared a moment of mutual crogglement that every non-Human shared when encountering uniquely Human phraseology. After that timed out, they went back to their analysis without a word.
[AN: Big thank to L.D. who has donated WAY more than they should have to my Ko-Fi in the last 48 hours. Bless you, and may the traffic lights always help your travels.]
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Coprid]
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