Confectionary Fandemonium

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
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As you may well be aware, Game of Thrones, HBO’s television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, returned to television for its sixth season on April 24th in what can probably be accurately described as one of the biggest television events of the year. People gathered for viewing parties, some set their DVR, and others, like my flatmate and I, carved out our 9PM EST hour as “Unavailable for Consultation.” It is a church-like ritual, in which our butts are placed upon a couch and our eyeballs glued to the IMG_0299television set.

Except, this year, we added cupcakes to the mix.

The trend of “artisanal cupcakes” is popularly linked to “the moment Carrie Bradshaw and co stepped into the 1950s-styled Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan and ordered a cupcake in Sex and the City in 2000.” And while it has certainly quieted in recent years, unique and sometimes downright peculiar cupcake combinations are still popular. In the Fan district of Richmond, VA, there is a pink-painted building that houses Carytown Cupcakes. Specializing in “creatively-inspired cupcakes made with all-natural ingredients,” this confectioner opened its doors in 2009, and features 16+ flavours per day with at least 2 vegan and 2 gluten-free offerings. They accomplish this by having at least 9-10 “classic cupcakes” and then (usually) 6 specially-themed cupcakes.

As you’ve probably guessed, their special theme through May 1st was Game of Thrones. What amazed me was not that somebody would decide to make cupcakes inspired by various Thrones characters and foods — after all, there are plenty of cookbooks on the topic — no, it was the creativity with which they concocted these confections.

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Gastronomy and Fantasy

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Akhi Pillalamarri
Head Web Content Contributor
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One of the great things about fantasy is learning about how people in premodern societies ate and learning many new recipes. Dorothy mentioned in her post a couple of weeks ago that she learns about real-world history from fantasy books, but my favorite historical detail involves what’s for dinner.

One cannot help but notice in both Fantasy-based games and Fantasy books that whenever you enter the average house or inn, there’s always someone tending to a pot of stew over the stove. Did everyone, minus the nobility, really always just eat stew almost every day? Was someone always making stew? Really? This seemed surprising to me, but then I learned about Perpetual Stew. According to Wikipedia, Perpetual Stew is

is a pot into which whatever one can find is placed and cooked. The pot is never or rarely emptied all the way, and ingredients and liquid are replenished as necessary. The concept is often a common element in descriptions of medieval inns. Foods prepared in a perpetual stew have been described as being flavorful due to the manner in which the foodstuffs blend together, in which the flavor may improve with age.

Of course, the nobility, who usually feature prominently in fantasy literature, at a lot more than just stew. These dishes are richly described by authors, like George R. R. Martin who put a lot of thought–maybe a bit too much–into describing the food of his world to readers. In fact, George R. R. Martin has described so many dishes, that there is an entire cookbook derived from his works: A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.

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