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Gourmet Club

by blackwater444


Also by boombaby13

The thought of delicious gourmet food makes the mouth water and the salivary glands smile. However, Gourmet Club is not just about sampling Golden Caviar and munching on Heart Shaped Neggs. If your pet is too refined to taste Spaghetti and Brains or too persnickety to sample a Snailcorn Parfait, then you should probably find an activity better suited to your pet’s personality. The Gourmet Club is about experiencing all of the flavours of Neopia. An adventurous spirit and the ability to look past what some may call unsavory is an absolute necessity! Remember, though, each item, however splendid or vile, only has to be eaten once. If you're going to be a true gourmand, you need to experience everything.

An old adage says hunger is the best sauce. Of course, all pets experience hunger. Nevertheless, connoisseurs do not eat solely to satisfy hunger but to seek out new flavors, stimulate their taste buds and to savor the appearance and ambience of fine dining. They seek the entire spectrum—great taste, meticulous preparation, high food quality, special ingredients and artistic flair—not just sustenance.

Gourmet Club has been likened to a marathon--not a sprint. It's a gradual process where you sample only an item or two daily. It takes some time to achieve an Honorary Membership Badge. Currently your pet needs to have eaten about 530 unique foods. The badge is awarded when you are on the top 200 of the Gourmet Club high score table. To earn a bronze, silver or gold badge, your pet will be in elite company, having eaten upwards of 850 unique foods. In Neopia, a gourmet food is one with a rarity index of 90-100.

Excelling at Gourmet Club is so much more difficult than reading books because of the unique foods requirement. If you’re not sure if your pet has read a certain book, just attempt to read it to them and they will politely say, “I’ve already read that book.” Not so with Gourmet! You’re pet will not say, “I've already eaten a slice of Pluburb Pie.” They just happily gobble up another slice!

Another consideration is that a hungry pet cannot battle. Even though Gourmet eating is more of a long-term project, there are times when you will want to take shortcuts (more to follow) and allow your pet to gorge themselves. For that reason, you may not want to have your Battledome pet be your Gourmet Club pet—unless that is, you choose only to have one pet and to spoil him or her rotten.

As mentioned above, there are times when you want to feed more than a food or two a day. There is a handy shortcut that will allow you to feed a gourmet food to your pet every 75 minutes. All you need to do is to get your pet’s hunger level to dying. Your pet won’t actually die; it’s a lot like when we say we’re dying of hunger. Your pet can be dying and delighted simultaneously. When the dying stage is reached you can feed one food and your pet will be at starving. Feeding every 75 minutes (or longer) after that and your pet remains at the starving stage. It helps to know the hunger stages, when you’re trying to get your pet to dying, which take several days depending on what level your pet is on when you start. The stages are: very bloated, bloated, very full, full up, satiated, fine, not hungry, hungry, very hungry, famished, starving and then, dying. Your pet will look sad when they are at any level between very hungry and dying, but remember they can look sad and still be delighted.

It is very difficult to pin down the numbers of foods available at the various prices because the prices are always fluctuating. There are about 20 gourmet foods for less than 1000 neopoints--Ghost Marshmallows, Puntec Fruit, Flotato, Dark Chocolate Covered Toffee to name a few. Roughly 600 of the existing gourmet foods are less than 99,999 neopoints, or what is called buyable (meaning they are available in user shops). This knowledge means it is possible to get an honorary badge for the Gourmet Club without having to purchase any of the approximately 436 unbuyable foods (UBs). If you’re interested in the totals, that means there are approximately 1036 gourmet foods currently in Neopia.

How do you best feed gourmet foods and not go broke doing it? To begin with focus on feeding what you can afford. Learn more about the different food categories. Over time, perhaps, you can try restocking regularly at a couple of different shops that sell Gourmet Foods. The available shop list includes virtually every shop that sells food in Neopia so there is a lot to choose from as far as variety. The shops that sell the most gourmet items are: Fresh Foods—183 (including Draik Eggs), Bakery—128, and Chocolate Factory—108. Some of these are quite rare, though, so quantity may be less important than finding a shop you feel comfortable in and that restocks items your pet still needs to eat. A few other good choices would be: Tropical Foods—76, Faerie Foods—49, Health Food—53, and Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop—50.

The Attic and the Igloo are also excellent places to find fantastic bargains on gourmet foods. It can be very helpful to review the images of the gourmet foods periodically because it will help you to recognize them quicker when they are restocking.

A few additional tips: Watch for changes in food prices over time. You would be astonished by how much some prices change over time. Just a few events that can cause food prices to change rather drastically are when food items are given out as site-wide event prizes, as Tarla freebies and newly released food items-- which nearly always start out highly priced and slowly deflate over time. Check every food item in your safety deposit box. You may have gourmet food tucked away without even knowing it! Feeding pizza or boxed lunches is always enjoyable because you get a gourmet point and there is a portion left over to sell.

It’s very important to keep an accurate list of the foods you have fed your pet. Remember you only get a gourmet point the first time you feed the item; mistakes can be very costly. There are also a couple of idiosyncrasies you should keep in mind. These involve the images of the gourmet food items. The first is that the image for Water Pizza (r96) and Deluxe Water Pizza (r97) are exactly the same, even though they are separate items and count as individual gourmet feeds. The second is that there are four pinannas that have the exact same image. They are all rarity 99 and unbuyable so this is not something you have to be concerned about right away. The names of the pinannas are: Evil Pinanna, Pinanna Plus, Strange Pinanna and Ugly Pinanna.

Gourmet Club is a gallery of sorts. The foods your pet eats are forever listed on their gourmet page. It is a very rewarding experience to see your collection grow. Your pet will also love the experience of being part of such an artistic and refined group of food connoisseurs.

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