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Author Topic: Tuberroots - The Plant - The Legend...  (Read 988 times)
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Bard Judith
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« on: 13 February 2002, 04:00:00 »

Never thought potatoes could sound so exciting, eh?  Now that I've got your attention - this is HTML-ready, so if you've got any grumbles or additions, get them in here fast.  This entry refers to potatoes, yams, and artichokes.  Am I missing anything?  (note the legend! (grin))



Brown, red, white, yellow, orange, and blue varieties of these underground tuber-producing plants are popular with the dwarves, who call them "Toggersek" inclusively. Grown mostly in sandy or loose soil, this plant family is characterized by large dark green leaves above the surface and a spreading root system which develops small nodules under the earth. The nodules extract various nutrients from the ground, and absorb water and sunlight's energies to grow into variously-shaped and coloured vegetables. All varieties are much improved by cooking, although they can be eaten raw.


In shape and colour, tuberroots can vary widely. Some are fist-size ovals, with small indentations, with a thin, papery skin and a crunchy white flesh which changes texture to a soft, fluffy pulp when baked or boiled. "Potatoes", as the humans call this variety, can vary in exterior colour from a pale yellow through dark brown, light red, pale purple, and even blue. "Yams" are larger, deep yellow or orange-coloured, and irregularly conical, while the "artichoke" tuberroot is a nobbly multi-noded brown formation which is very difficult to peel..

Flavours range from a neutral, buttery tone to an earthy, smoky flavour, or even a faint sap-like natural sweetness in the yellow-orange tubers. A solid and filling food when boiled or baked, tuberroots are enjoyed by most species and added to many stews and goulashes for their comforting bulk.


Tuberroots grow well in sandy or loose soil, but rot easily in wet, damp ground. They also can be grown in low-light conditions, as the dwarven diet demonstrates. Whether in the high mountain crevices or the sweep of the lowland plains, tuberroots are sufficiently versatile to be cultivated almost anywhere a determined farmer cares to grow them. They are rarely found in the wild at this time, having enjoyed a long history of domestication..


Primarily culinary. Most tuberroots can be baked, roasted, fried, deep-fried, grilled, boiled and/or mashed. They are edible but not preferred raw. Hot roasted yamtubers are sometimes sold wrapped in parchment on city streets in the winter as handwarmers and a ready-to-eat snack all in one. Poultices of raw grated potatotubers are said to draw out poisons from the body and bring ill humours to the surface of the skin. They are most effective on boils and other impurities.


Peasants in the Marcogg area will neither grow nor ingest artichoketubers, saying that they are 'the children of Harman". According to legend, Harman was a local petty despot who taxed the populace unmercifully. When they could not pay in coin he demanded various luxury foodstuffs to satiate his grossly overweight body, and when those were not forthcoming, he began jailing respected members of the community. When the local Avatene, a young girl only just come to awareness of her powers, was seized and brought to his bedchamber, the villagefolk rose up and stormed the manor. The girl was rescued, the corrupt guardsmen slaughtered, and Harman was literally torn apart on the parapets of his bedchamber. The bloody pieces were heaved over the edge into the field and the manor burnt.

The Marcogg peasants say that in the following years the vegetation and the crops grew lushly in that area, as if to make up for Harman's cruelties. And a strange plant sprang up that they had never seen before, with wide green leaves, tiny white flowers, and a fat, knobbly, humanoid-shaped root. They named it "Child-of-Harman", or 'Dogpotato', and though outlanders later came to enjoy and cultivate the plant, the Marcoggmen swore they never would eat of it.  


"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
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