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 Post subject: laurisilvan environments
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:26 pm 
Sanci
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I've been trying to think about the cuisine for my conculture and I am not sure what kind of (edible) plants would grow in a laurisilvan environment. From what I gather from the PCK, wild cereal grasses generally need a much drier environment, like that found in the modern Mediterranean, to grow. However, as my conculture is located out in the mid-atlantic, I was wondering what flora would be realistic.

EDIT: I meant to say, "my conculture is located out on a pair of large islands in the mid-atlantic."


Last edited by Latinist13 on Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:33 pm 
Sumerul
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Seaweed.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:41 pm 
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Astraios wrote:
Seaweed.

:wink: Oops, I should've added the phrase "on a pair of large islands" between "out" and "in." *lol*


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:16 pm 
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They could still eat seaweed. It's pretty tasty, actually.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:35 pm 
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faiuwle wrote:
They could still eat seaweed. It's pretty tasty, actually.


I never really thought of that... I may take that into consideration. I'm just trying to think of possibilities like what kinds of seasonings the Xorfavoi probably have access to, what they'd use to make bread; what they would use to make alcohol.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:36 pm 
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There's bound to be a way of making seaweed into alcohol.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:00 am 
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Would it be plausible to posit some sort of nut- like almonds, or tuber- like sweet potatoes or casava, being used to make flour for bread in such an environment? Would some sort of peppers or an avocado like plant be plausible?

@ Astraios- I guess it is safe to assume that the first rule about human nature is "if it is a plant and humans can eat it, they'll figure out how to get drunk off it" :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:10 am 
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Well, almond flour exists, and apparently people have actually made bread out of it. Searching for this stuff seems to turn up sites on gluten-free diets, so you might check out some of those and see what ideas you come up with.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:46 am 
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Looking up laurisilvan environments brings up various such islands, and then you can look up the cuisines of those islands. Here, have some links:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:27 am 
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Risla wrote:
Looking up laurisilvan environments brings up various such islands, and then you can look up the cuisines of those islands. Here, have some links:


Thanks... that mojo idea seems like one I'd incorporate, but my conpeople would have a different word for it, probably.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:06 am 
Avisaru
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Latinist13 wrote:
I've been trying to think about the cuisine for my conculture and I am not sure what kind of (edible) plants would grow in a laurisilvan environment. From what I gather from the PCK, wild cereal grasses generally need a much drier environment, like that found in the modern Mediterranean, to grow. However, as my conculture is located out in the mid-atlantic, I was wondering what flora would be realistic.

EDIT: I meant to say, "my conculture is located out on a pair of large islands in the mid-atlantic."


Indo-Pacific, I'd suggest coconuts...but maybe a relative of Brazil nuts (do they float?)

and, given that you have islands of habitable size, you can posit that almost any weed with wind-borne seeds evolved into an edible crop for your conculture. (if that sounds preposterous, consider that in Hawaii, the closest relatives of some of the tree-like plants, are sunflowers)

though I'd agree with the seaweed ideas as well - its eaten by the Japanese and the Welsh.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Rodlox wrote:
Indo-Pacific, I'd suggest coconuts...but maybe a relative of Brazil nuts (do they float?)

Brazilnut grows in tall trees in deep forest, and probably wouldn't survive in such an environment. Coconut would probably work, but it can't really sustain much of a cuisine on its own.

You could have a cassava-like plant, with leaves reaching about 2 meters in large bushes, and have your conspeople harvest the roots to make flour. IRL manioc is used to make flour, but I don't know how succesful it is for making bread. (I just re-read that you asked about that. Derp.)

Anyway, it's easy to find solutions if you're using an original conworld. If it's real-Earth-based, I'm not sure what to say.

Quote:
@ Astraios- I guess it is safe to assume that the first rule about human nature is "if it is a plant and humans can eat it, they'll figure out how to get drunk off it"


People have turned what they can't eat into alcohol :P.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:03 am 
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Taernsietr wrote:
Rodlox wrote:
Indo-Pacific, I'd suggest coconuts...but maybe a relative of Brazil nuts (do they float?)

Brazilnut grows in tall trees in deep forest, and probably wouldn't survive in such an environment. Coconut would probably work, but it can't really sustain much of a cuisine on its own.

You could have a cassava-like plant, with leaves reaching about 2 meters in large bushes, and have your conspeople harvest the roots to make flour. IRL manioc is used to make flour, but I don't know how succesful it is for making bread. (I just re-read that you asked about that. Derp.)

Anyway, it's easy to find solutions if you're using an original conworld. If it's real-Earth-based, I'm not sure what to say.

Quote:
@ Astraios- I guess it is safe to assume that the first rule about human nature is "if it is a plant and humans can eat it, they'll figure out how to get drunk off it"


People have turned what they can't eat into alcohol :P.


I guess it could also be possible for seeds of different types of plants to cling to the feathers or fur of animals arriving to the islands. I guess I could handwave how some of the animals' and plants' ancestors got there... and I kinda have to for some of the fauna, but, in the process of invoking the Rule of Cool and Art Major: Biology, I do not want to end up inducing too many You Fail Biology Forever or You Fail Climatology Forever lulz.

As we're on the topic, people have drank things they can't drink to get drunk, such as aftershave :o :?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:43 am 
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The rule is: if it's got sugar, it can be made into alcohol.

As for food, island people will naturally eat fish and shells. People who live in laurisilvan environments tend to eat a lot of fruit, since its readily available: almonds, mangos, piñones, stuff like that.

finally, the best stuff for growing where's really really wet is rice. Its pretty much a swamp cereal.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:01 am 
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Latinist13 wrote:
Biology, I do not want to end up inducing too many You Fail Biology Forever or You Fail Climatology Forever lulz.


two words: Island Endemic.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:09 am 
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Laurels tend to have large pitts. Avocadoes are a famous example, but there are many others. Typically these pits are very bitter and inedible. But you can invent any Lauraceae species you like and they would fit in just fine as long as you're careful to study the existing plants. Edible laurel nuts would provide some nutrients. More likely, though, they will just grow cereals. Why not? They certainly have some contact with the mainland, otherwise how did they get there at all?

Also, the Atlantic islands are pretty dry at sea level anyway. It's mostly in the mountains that you have laurel forests. So expect plenty of oak, grass, sedge, and other stuff like that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:52 am 
Avisaru
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Astraios wrote:
There's bound to be a way of making seaweed into alcohol.

Torco wrote:
The rule is: if it's got sugar, it can be made into alcohol.

But seaweed is more commonly used as a substitute for salt (like soy sauce) and/or pepper.
It's not likely to be a staple, nor a "staff-of-life".

(Although, in a conworld, you can have whatever kind of seaweed you'd like.)


Torco wrote:
As for food, island people will naturally eat fish and shellfish.

Fixed.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:51 pm 
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TomHChappell wrote:
Torco wrote:
As for food, island people will naturally eat fish and shellfish.

Fixed.


what's the semantic range of shellfish, btw? does it include, say, starfish? crabs? octopi?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:47 pm 
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Torco wrote:
octopi?


Fail.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Torco wrote:
TomHChappell wrote:
Torco wrote:
As for food, island people will naturally eat fish and shellfish.

Fixed.


what's the semantic range of shellfish, btw? does it include, say, starfish? crabs? octopi?

No, because they either a) don't have a shell or b) demonstrably aren't fish (eg crabs) because they have legs


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:59 pm 
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finlay wrote:
Quote:
what's the semantic range of shellfish, btw? does it include, say, starfish? crabs? octopi?

No, because they either a) don't have a shell or b) demonstrably aren't fish (eg crabs) because they have legs

it doesn't include starfish because you'd have to be chinese or something to think starfish are food. octopuses obviously don't have shells and so are not shellfish. i disagree with Jocky McWrong here, though, and think crabs are shellfish, along with many other crustaceans, esp. ones with legs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:25 pm 
Sumerul
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Torco wrote:
what's the semantic range of shellfish, btw? does it include, say, starfish? crabs? octopi?
This.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:20 pm 
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I've definitely heard crabs and lobsters referred as "shellfish" before. Not sure about octopusses, as I don't generally hear people talking about them as food.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:44 pm 
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faiuwle wrote:
I've definitely heard crabs and lobsters referred as "shellfish" before. Not sure about octopusses, as I don't generally hear people talking about them as food.


I know they sell octopus at at least one of the grocery stores/supermarkets in my town, but, given the population of the area is about 125,000, the largest metropolitan area in my state, so they are more likely to carry such products. I don't buy it, though, because it is too expensive, and, givenst there is no ocean nearby (just a river from which you do NOT want to eat the fish), it is probably not fresh to eat. I believe the butcher staff classify octopus as shellfish. If not, they might classify any meat of aquatic origin as simply "fish" or "seafood."


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:51 am 
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Strictly speaking, shellfish include aquatic molluscs and crustaceans exclusively. Sea slugs being one exception because they are gastropods without shells, and octopi are an exception because - for the most part - extant cephalopods do not have shells. The nautilus is an exception to the exception :mrgreen:

BTW, has anyone here considered palm wine?


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