Author's Note: I've been invited to write for an encyclopaedia! Apparently,
someone liked my investigations enough to spare a couple of pages of their precious
know-it-all book for me! This means my investigations will now be much deeper
and cover more facts. Here's the first article, on Intestine and Marinara. Please
continue to send me feedback and food suggestions! It's all greatly appreciated!
Intestine and Marinara
Average price: 400-500 NP
Popularity: Not very popular
Type: Spooky food
A Quick Overview
Intestines and Marinara is one of the many spooky foods in the Neopian menu,
and similarly to countless others, Neopians everywhere wonder about their creations,
their origins, the story behind them. But what makes this food item different
is that it's one of the few that actually has History behind them, and not just
Intestine and Marinara is actually pieces of fried intestines accompanied
by a very spicy marinara made of tomatoes, onion, garlic, some herb and lots
of spices. It was originally sacred food, reserved for very special occasions
and very special Neopets, in the ancient tribe of the Zun Zun. This was a small
but powerful tribe with a very rich culture who lived to the North of Tyrannia
many years before humans arrived to Neopia.
The Zun Zun depended strongly on their hunting to survive since their agriculture
skills were very limited, and so gave much importance to their gods and mythology,
especially to Zabubai, the god of Hunting. They believed that if Zabubai was
happy with them, he would help them with the hunting and give the hunters strengths
and good luck. If Zabubai was annoyed or angry with them, he would hide all
the animals in his lair, and the tribe would perish.
To please this particular god, the Zun Zun would throw a festival with the duration
of seven days and nights, during which everyone would dance around a fire and
leave pieces of meat near Zabubai's statue as offerings. The high point of the
festival was on the sixth night, when the hunters would leave their village
to try and catch one of the small beasts who lived in the woods. If they were
successful, it meant that Zabubai was happy and ready to bless them with luck;
if not, the festival would be repeated one month afterwards, in hopes to appease
Zabubai and gain his protection.
If a beast was caught, it would be brought to the village, and kept in a cage
near Zabubai's statue, to be blessed. By the seventh day's morning, the beast's
intestines were removed and its meat cooked. The meat would be the tribe's festive
dinner, while the intestines were prepared differently to be served only to
Intestines and Marinara
Then The intestines were cleaned and boiled and then fried afterwards. For the
marinara, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs and spices were mashed and mixed together
along with many Hot Tyrannian Peppers in chunks.
Then at dinner of the seventh day, all the tribe would gather around a fire
in two circles. The smaller circle, nearest to the fire, was composed by all
the tribes' hunters sitting while the rest of the tribe would stand behind them,
forming a bigger circle. The plate with intestines was passed on and each hunter
took a bit of it and dipped it in the spicy marinara. They were required to
chew it five times and then swallow; if they could do it without needing water
afterwards (which was very tough, considering the amount of hot tyrannian peppers
used), then their respect within the tribe would grow and they would be blessed
by Zabubai. If they failed to cope with the digestive-system-on-fire sensation,
then they would be either banished from the tribe for not deserving Zabubai's
protection, or made slaves.
However, this wasn't the only occasion when the Zun Zun would eat Intestines
and Marinara. It was reserved for the leader's birthday, too. On the leader's
birthday, everyone would eat Intestines and Marinara, but the intestines were
from animals other than the beasts from the woods and no hot tyrannian peppers
were used. This was the only time when they were allowed to eat it - they also
believed they would be turned into Purple Slorgs if they dared to eat Zabubai's
sacred food on someday other than the seventh festival day or the leader's birthday.
Brought to Neopia by Accident
Eventually, the Zun Zun tribe dissolved, but their traditions weren't lost.
A year ago, a famous adventurer found the remains of one of Zabubai's shrines
and inside it there it was, the Intestines and Marinara recipe carved in stone,
with the bonus of the whole Zabubai's story in pictures.
But he didn't notice any of this until he returned home - he had actually
brought the stone because he thought it would make a good board for his mother
to chop vegetables. In fact, he qualified the shrine as "a useless building
of junk" before a team of archaeologists went there and translated the drawings
and writing on the walls, declaring the shrine to be "Neopian History".
Despite that, his mother kept the stone as a vegetable chopping board, and
it was not until an archaeologist came over to have dinner that she realised
the writing on the stone actually meant something.
Intestines and Marinara Now
Popularised by Edna, who found the meal lovely, Intestines and marinara entered
the Neopian menu, labelled as "spooky food". The ingredients of the marinara
changed quite a bit and it's rare to find one made with actual hot tyrannian
peppers, but the essence of the meal is still the same.
And even though it's not as popular anymore, Intestines and Marinara is still
definitely a meal to try, if not for appetite, to show off courage. After all,
it does take courage to eat fried intestines....