Food has always been an important issue in various cultures. It says a lot about a culture. That having been said, although food products have been covered for Wa-Daisho, the way in which it is typically served has not. (For details on agriculture in Wa-Daisho, please refer to; Agriculture in Wa-Daisho.) Sometimes that can make all of the difference in the world in terms of cultural cuisine.
The original settlers on this island were those who came from Water Point Preserve, a coastal community that focused primarily on fishing, along with with hunting/gathering, and very small scale farming as supplements. Therefore when the settlers moved to Wa-Daisho there habits changed relatively little. It is located close by their home land as such most of the same staples are readily available here as they were there. This allowed their standard of living to continue largely unchanged - save for the lack of the political issues that chased them away from Water Point Preserve.
When the settlers began to move to Wa-Daisho from the *Central Powers, naturally they brought their own cultures with them. Settlers from Lazlo brought with them their fresh water fishing, sheepherding, and their individual decorative though functional vegetable gardens. Settlers from Kingsdale brought with them their cereal crops and whole grain staples supplemented by beef and vegetables. Meanwhile settlers from Kyatashiro brought with them a similar culture to the original inhabitants of Vancouver Island - primary subsistence upon fish and seafood of various varieties, but with advanced farming and cultivation techniques, with a focus upon rice, vegetables, and fruit more so than cereal crops like the Central States.
These varied cultures have been blended to some degree in the decade that Wa-Daisho has existed in several ways. The original inhabitants continue to supply fish and various other sea foods as the primary staple to the Republic. Settlers from Lazlo introduced sheep, since then they have become THE most important livestock on the island. Settlers from Kingsdale brought with them their cereal crops to a certain degree. It is now seen as a common supplement to regular cuisine to have a slice of fresh baked bread with your' food, but seldom is it used as the primary component. Their beef cattle have been introduced to a certain degree, but sheep have become far more popular due to the added value of their wool. Beef cattle have found far more value as providers of milk than for the beef they can provide. Settlers from Kyatashiro have provided their advanced farming techniques, born from their familiarity of farming rocky soil.
This is NOT to say that everyone is simply a conformist, introducing this element and that element of this society or culture to their own. Some rely wholy upon their traditional cultures. The majority however, have melded their cultures together, to create a new and unique environment.
Perhaps the most common dish for breakfast in Wa-Daisho consists of Poached or Hard Boiled Eggs, a piece of fruit, bowl full of cherries, or a bowl of berries, baked mashed potato patties, and untoasted whole grain bread. Seasonings for the eggs usually consist of iodized salt, and occasionally red pepper sauce or cayenne pepper. Seasoning for the baked mashed potato patties sometimes consists of fresh butter, but more often consists of vinegar. The untoasted whole grain bread is most often eaten plain, with fresh butter, and/or with honey. The drink of choice in the morning is usually a fruit juice, cow's milk, or simply an ice cold glass of water.
Although food IS important in Wa-Daisho some professionals have a very rushed morning routine. This is common among government employees especially, above all others in Wa-Daisho. As such their morning dish tends to be a bit more simple and quick to serve than the common breakfast. The most common "on the go" breakfast would more likely be whole grain bread or cornbread, often with fresh butter, and/or honey to flavour. Another is an oatmeal gruel, often with cream and berries added for flavour, or occasionally with butter and honey added.
Note that dry cereals are NOT common in Wa-Daisho, but occasionally a specialty product along these lines will pop up emulating the dry cereals commonly consumed in the Central Powers region, but these never stay for long. Dry cereals are more filler than nutricious. Greasy breakfast foods are not very common at all among most in the Republic. Greasy foods tend to cause drowsiness and as a result create for a not so pleasant work day. Thus fried potatoes, fried eggs, hash browns, bacon, and sausage are not commonly consumed in the morning hours by most.
The most common dishes in the afternoon hours usually focus around a piping hot bowl of chowder or soup with a base of Salmon, Black Cod, Clams, Kelp, or Laver. Most often they are rich with vegetables and potatoes or rice. There are many variations on recipes, naming each would be an act in futility, since there would be literally thousands of variations of each. Often this is served with a mug of steaming hot apple cider, an ice cold glass of water, or a soda-pop.
Another common lunch food in Wa-Daisho is mackerel cakes, blended, flattened, and baked or grilled - then allowed to cool. The next step involves boiling wild rice with finely chopped vegetables, draining, and allowing the concoction to cool - without rinsing. Once the rice/vegetable mix is cool it is moulded into several flat, oval patties. These are then paired with the cool mackeral cakes then packed in wax coated flax paper until lunch time. At that time they are then served cold. This is again often served with a mug of steaming hot apple cider, an ice cold glass of water, a glass of cow's milk, or a soda-pop.
One of the American standbys that HAS remained past the fall of America, on into the Central Powers, and even in Water Point Preserve, is pizza. Naturally Pizza is also commonly consumed in Wa-Daisho as well. Commonly consumed as both a lunch and evening meal, it is included in this section. Most pizza in Wa-Daisho is a bit different from what most of us think of when we think of pizza. Most pizzas are made small in Wa-Daisho - 20 cm (ABOUT 8 inches) is the suggested size. They start with a whole grain thin crust with no defined "crust" at the edges of the pizza. Most often it is topped first with a generous layer of red pepper seasoned tomato sauce, sometimes with a dash of oregano for color and flavour. The next layer usually consists of the primary toppings. Common toppings are anchovies, tuna chunks, grilled salmon chunks, mushrooms, olives, grilled green, red, or yellow peppers, jalapeno peppers, stewed peeled tomatoes, eggplant, and occasionally spinach leaves! The next layer most often consists of a white cheese simply called Georgian Bay White Cheese, which is in fact very reminiscent to Feta Cheese in flavour and body. Occasionally cheddars and/or mozzarella are used - but these are a bit more expensive than Georgian Bay due to the common nature of sheep's milk compared to cow's milk on the island. Varieties that purposefully emulate Central Powers pizzas usually consist of these sorts of cheeses with a pork or beef sausage, ham slices, onion, or mushroom topping. Naturally these specialty varieties of pizzas are comparatively expensive.
Sandwiches are not very common in Wa-Daisho in terms of lunches. Mostly due to the fact that again it focuses on the filler rather than the nutrients it provides. Fried meat and fried vegetables are again uncommon because of the drowsiness that it creates. Thus hamburgers, french fries, fried fish, etc. are not commonly eaten in Wa-Daisho at lunch time.
As in modern America the dishes and cuisine for the evening meal in Wa-Daisho vary dramatically, with a very generous variety of foods to choose from. Chowders and Soups made with fish, clams, abalone, or shrimp plus a generous vegetable content are very common for this meal. They are easily made, are often flavourful, they stretch a great deal, and can be reheated without any detriment to the flavour or value.
Baked or Grilled fish of various varieties are also quite common. Salmon, Halibut, Black Cod, and Abalone - among others are very commonplace. (Abalone is prepared with a soy sauce, ginger, and garlic mixture - prior to being grilled in the shell. Oftentimes the meat of the Abalone are wrapped in marinaded Kelp sheets prior to grilling.
Mussels, clams, scallops, oysters, abalone, and shrimp are also frequently steamed in a wine sauce. The wine/shellfish stock is then prepared as a sauce by boiled down and prepared with soy sauce, a pinch of crushed ginger and garlic, and finally mixed with cornstarch to thicken it. The steamed shellfish is typically served over a bed of grilled vegetables or red, yellow, and green peppers, and then the sauce is ladeled over the dish.
Smoked shellfish and fish are also commonly served as main dishes in Wa-Daisho. These are often prepared ahead of time and smoked for hours prior to serving.
When it comes to mutton or beef in Wa-Daisho, it is seldom prepared in any way other than thin sliced strips or as a roast, and seldom just as a hunk of meat as the main dish. Steaks are not commonly prepared as a dish all their own.
Thin sliced strips of beef or mutton are most often marinated in a ginger, garlic, or red pepper base marinade before grilling or broiling - most often grilled with vegetables or peppers that are wrapped in foil. This is served as a dish all by itself, or occasionally with a bed of rice placed under it. The vegetables and beef or mutton strips may also be wrapped in Marinated Kelp sheets and eaten like a fajita!
Smoking of beef or mutton strips is also quite commonplace - again smoked with the vegetables it is to be served with. This also is often served as a dish all it's own, but usually with rice or baked potato patties seasoned with vinegar to cut the smokey flavour.
As a roast it is often roasted with carrots, cabbage, green beans, and potatoes with garlic, onions, and a dash of ginger as flavouring. This method is close to central powers pot roast, but the addition of ginger and garlic to the roast it has a uniquely different flavour. Table seasoning is usually soy sauce or simply iodized salt.
Another method of roasting sees the roast prepared only with the garlic and dash of ginger, and then when completed it is cut into strips. These strips are placed in a roaster with vegetables and a sauce (Made with the beef or mutton stock from the roast, soy sauce, garlic, and corn starch.) then mixed thoroughly. This combination is covered in foil, and baked until the vegetables are tender and ready to serve. This is generally known in Wa-Daisho as beef or mutton stew.
Poltry and fowl are often prepared in soups in Wa-Daisho. This starts with steaming or boiling the poltry first, then it is deboned, and set aside. The stock from the poltry or fowl is then boiled down a bit, strained for any bones or bits of undesired flesh, and poured in a fresh, clean, pot. The next step involves adding rice or potatoes to the stock. These are boiled for a time to make either one semi tender. Afterwards, the deboned meat, and vegetables are added. Seasonings are added in the form of iodized salt, cayenne pepper, and occasionally oregano. This is simmered together until the vegetables are tender. This can be made into a stew simply by the addition of corn starch to the mixture. In the alternative poltry and fowl can also replace beef or mutton in the methods of cooking mentioned above.
Pork, as seldom as it is prepared, really depends on central powers recipes. Occasionally it will be prepared in strips or made into a stew.
Side dishes vary as much as the main dishes in Wa-Daisho. Unlike North American cuisine as it existed prior to the cataclysm, side dishes are more commonly vegetables, beans, or squash of various varieties than breads, potatoes, or even rice. Breads can be served on the side - as in a slice of whole grain bread on the side of beef or mutton stew. Potatoes may be served as a side dish when prepared as a bed for vegetables or meat. Rice is much the same, used as a bedding - not as a staple. Even still, the vegetable and meat quantity will exceed that of the bread, potatoes, or rice.
Green salads are also often served at the evening meal. Usually these are with a base of lettuce, with tomatoes, olives, onions, peas, mushrooms, and/or spinach mixed in. Toppings are often simply red pepper sauce, cayenne pepper sauce, vinegar, and/or Georgian Bay white cheese.
Steamed, boiled, smoked, or grilled vegetables are EXTREMELY popular side dishes. Very few evening meals will be found without at least one side dish composed of this.
Beans are often boiled and then simmered in a tomato base sauce and served in this fashion. Seasonings are often added to them in the form of cayenne, red, jalapeno, or habanero pepper sauce - or the whole pepper! They may also be prepared by boiling them, and then adding vinegar, vegetable oil, oregano, and occcasionally Georgian Bay white cheese.
A popular side dish in Wa-Daisho is the grilled kelp rolls that contain shrimp or salmon, wild rice, and bits of spinach, marinated Kelp, or marinated Laver cut up, then wrapped in a sheet of marinated kelp. These are usually quite small, and are served two or three to a plate as a side dish.
Drinks at dinner often vary accordingly. Hot apple cider, ice cold milk, water, soda-pop, or fruit juices may be consumed at any point during the evening meal by any member of the family. The adults often indulge in a glass of wine or two with dinner or in a steaming hot cup of Labrador Tea. Labrador Tea is undoubtably the most popular evening drink, but it isn't usually imbibed in until after dinner - closer to bed time. The relaxing, soothing, nature of Labrador Tea and chemicals within cause the drinker to become slightly drowsy - thus encouraging a fitful night's rest. Labrador Tea in Wa-Daisho is often served with mild ground ginger, fresh cream, sugar, and/or honey.
People in Wa-Daisho snack just as much as people in other parts of North America, but their snack food may be a bit different than what one would expect in other parts of the continent. Again the author cannot stress enough that people WILL undoubtably bring along favourite snacks from their home regions, and will make every attempt to emulate them in their new homeland. However immigrants enjoying the fruits of new lands will undoubtably make them quite popular in this new land just the same. Not to mention the immediate availability of these alternate foods and treats will increase their level of popularity with mathimatical certainty.
Prior to the start of Wa-Daisho one of the most popular snack mediums was dried kelp or laver chips - both of which are varieties of seaweed. These would often be marinated to create a variety of different flavours. One is the standard, plain baked, pressed kelp or laver chips. These have a bold salt flavour, and have a delightful crunch not dissimilar to potato chips. Flavour naturally is slightly fishy - but not such an overpowering fishy flavour as to be distasteful. Another variety is the plum marinated variety of chip that after a period of marination, they are again baked. These have a delightfully sweet/salty flavour to them that also has the same crunch to it the plain baked variety have. Various different flavours exist, also along these same lines, using everything from fruits to berries as flavourings. A honey marinade has been introduced as well that when complete, the strips of laver or kelp are rolled tightly and wrapped in air and water tight plastic. When ready for consumption the package is opened, and these are eaten much like candy! When marinated in the sweet marinades very little of the fishy flavour can be detected unless one is concentrating on finding it. Then half of it is psychological anyway...
Fruits, berries, hazelnuts, and walnuts are extremely popular as snacks (And as desserts for that matter!) To list all of these would be pointless, but rest assured these are popular. Another popular snack in Wa-Daisho are dried berries and fruit. Some of the most popular are dried grapes - rasins, dried plums - prunes, dried apple chips, dried pear chips or dried pear chunks.
Caramel candies are also popular - as are the obvious combinations of caramel with fruits, the most famous of course being the Pre-Cataclysm treat caramel covered apples.
Honey is an extremely popular medium for sweetening foods, snacks, and drinks in Wa-Daisho. As a result honey candy is a common confection. Although several varieties are available, the one most common is the one listed here. This variety is made of honey, sugar, and butter boiled together - then it is dropped into a vat of cold water, prior to being moulded to the desired shape. It is chewy when finished and is available in 10 cm x 2 cm bars, with or without walnuts or hazelnuts, when sold commercially. Home made can be made any size desired.
Mint in all it's miriads of herbal varieties also is grown in Wa-Daisho, as such mint nougat candies are commonly manufactured, as are classic hard mint candies. Both are easy to make and can be made in one's own home.
After the evening meal occasionally - not always - there is dessert. As mentioned previously the most common dessert is undoubtably fruit or berries, often served with milk, cream, or whipped cream. Next in line are the pastries and muffins. Pastries and muffins in Wa-Daisho are almost exclusively made small in the commercial industry. (Pre-Cataclysm American tendency towards gluttony and excessive consumption of such foods has largely gone by the wayside. This is not to say that Wa-Daisho does not have gluttons, quite the contrary, but by far the norm is not to overindulge.) Recipes vary widely but keep in mind the natural ingredients that are available in Wa-Daisho. Chocolate, Cinnamon, and Coffee are things of the past - 99.999% will have never heard of these things, even those with a penchant for history are unlikely to have heard much about these substances. (Coffee may be the exception - chicory was often used in lieu of coffee during periods where regions were incapable of attaining it. As such - it may simply be known as coffee to those from the Central Powers region.) Other substances available on the continent, but not in this region include molassass, brown sugar, peanut butter, etc.