10 Must-Eats at the Meridellian Celebration
Also by mojoschweni
Hey there, old friend! Welcome to Meridell. This is your first time at our festival, isn't it? You picked an excellent year to celebrate with us. Ten years and counting!
Anyway, how are you? Did you manage to rest while you've been traveling? I've been well. Just recently I got a job at King Skarl's castle, serving the kitchens and such. Today's a big day! I've learned all about the different Meridellian dishes through the castle chefs here. Surprisingly, there's tons to be had! It's not just slop and gruel, you know. So, are you ready to go? If we hurry, we might be able to grab some late breakfast.
1. Thick Creamy Porridge
"A favourite amongst the farmers in Meridell. This hearty breakfast will keep you going well into the afternoon."
Curses... It seems that most of the street vendors have sold the last of their porridge. It's barely midmorning, but I guess all these tourists want a snack on the way to today's birthday celebrations. This simple but classic dish has been around since before the discovery of Meridell, some say! For some outsiders it may seem plain, but for many long time residents it's the first thing that comes to mind when they think of a hearty meal. To spice things up, many add honey or even some fresh fruit. It's a blank canvas just waiting for you to add some color.
2. Draik Salad
"Satisfy your craving to obtain a Draik with a lovely salad!"
And there's the clamor by Merifoods, as usual. So many Neopians from all over to visit this dinky little shack. Everything there tastes like it was seasoned with Slorg slime and the place smells like the Dung Faerie - well, except for Draik Eggs. Those are pretty good. Especially on toast.
*bursts out laughing* Did you really believe me!? (But no, seriously. Eating Draik Eggs is messed up.) I'd much prefer eating Draik Salad! It's hard to come by, but sometimes Merifoods scrounges up enough fresh vegetables to whip up into a nice, light salad. And to console some heartbroken restockers, they even shape the lettuce into Draik wings.
3. Meat Skewered Meat
"What is better than skewered meat? Why, meat skewered meat, of course!"
Mmm, another food stand. Would you like anything? I'd recommend that massive commoner's homage to King Skarl. It's been said that the Neopian who created this masterpiece was knighted and became the King's head chef. And with good reason, too. I mean, turkey leg stuffed with meatballs and sausage on a stick? That's more than enough protein to keep a farmer healthy! They sure do need it, working out on the fields all day. And on this convenient wooden skewer, they can just grab one and go!
4. Braku Berry Juice
"When you squash Braku Berries they produce this super sweet refreshing liquid."
What a charming family of Ixi gathered by Kiss the Mortog! Oh my, the littlest one looks rather queasy... But not to fear - fresh Braku Berry Juice will do the trick. A tangy, sweet, but never cloying drink, it's the perfect beverage to wipe that Mortog stink off your palette. It's very similar to a rustic Altadorian nectar I tried on a visit there. But since we're here in Meridell, this juice will definitely keep you and your pets cool on this hot summer day!
5. Royal Cheese Bread
"Thrice-baked for extra cheesy flavour."
Finally, we're here. Skarl's feast! As soon as I don my server uniform, I have to go set several baskets of Royal Cheesy Bread to satisfy the guests' hunger while they wait for the next course. The smell from those freshly baked rolls is simply to die for. The cheese oozes from every nook and cranny of the flaky dough. Can't you see why this is one of Meridell's most popular party foods? Simple to prepare and delicious to eat, this bread is one of the more elegant and mouthwatering dishes I've seen around the area... But you don't want to listen to me rave about dinner rolls all night. I'll be back in a jiff!
6. Mutton Stew
"Mmm... the meat in this stew is cooked till it is very tender."
Phew, I'm back. Careful, though, this stew is as hot as Moltara! The meat is fall-off-the-bone tender, and even Chef Bonju (who's visiting with the Cyodrake's Gaze crew) can't say a thing against this dish. Paired with diced potatoes and other assorted veggies, this isn't just for the rich and famous. If you have some leftover cheesy bread, it's the perfect thing to soak up all these delicious juices. Throw it all into a pot for the day and you'll have a delightful pot roast by dinner time!
7. Ham and Turkey Feast
"What is considered a mid-afternoon snack to Skarl is a huge feast for any Meridellian."
This is King Skarl's favorite dish. It's rather plain and simple, but the King is an uncomplicated guy, you know. All those decorations and fancy sauces mean nothing to him - as long as it smells good (which it does) and tastes delicious (which it does), that's good enough for him. What use are decorative faff when you're going to eat it anyway? Of course, some of the visiting Faeries were worried about getting grease on their garb and couldn't fully enjoy the the experience of digging into this beaut. But there's nothing better than tearing into a fantastically seasoned leg of turkey and cutting through a flank of ham as easily as butter.
8. Meridellian Style Mashed Potatoes
"What a cute little flag!"
Sorry for running around so much, I have lots to serve! Here, to give you a little break from that hearty main course, we've made some creamy mashed potatoes topped with some savory gravy. There are some leaves of lettuce, but you'll have to avoid eating that guff or else some Meridellians may shoot you some strange looks, since they're mostly for decoration. Mixing leftovers from the feast earlier also tastes pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. I tried this combo during one of my first jobs here at the castle after King Skarl saw me about to toss some leftovers in the trash. He screamed, "DON'T WASTE FOOD!" and angrily took the plates of meat away from me... He really does like his starch.
9. Assorted Brightvale Fruit Basket
"A unique selection of some of the freshest Brightvale fruits."
These fruits I'm not too familiar with – they can't be from Meridell. I think Hagan brought them to share in his brother's festivities, because I recognized the Furanga Fruits, Squiggle Berries, and Sroom Fruits as I set the baskets on the table. And those are only three of the gems featured in this colorful showcase of what looks to be Brightvale's finest pickings. There's no doubt that Meridell and Brightvale share similar roots, so it's fitting that such an assortment would appear on Skarl's table today.
10. 10th Birthday Illusen Cake
"Make a wish before you blow out the candles!"
Eyeing the cake, are we? Me too... Queen Fyora delivered it herself, you know. She wanted to make sure this beaut got here without any dents. Apparently, the Queen ordered Illusen be sculpted because the two Faeries haven't met in ages and Fyora thought it would be a nice gesture. But you know what I think? *looks around and whispers* That the bakery Faeries didn't have enough frosting to make Skarl... Ahehem. Speaking of which, he had quite the tantrum when he saw the cake. "WHY IS SHE ON IT AND NOT ME?! THIS IS MY KINGDOM!" and so on. It took quite a few guards to subdue him and even more diplomats to apologize to Fyora.
Out of all the aspects of Meridell that we celebrate today, the food is always number one on my list. I hope you've discovered what a gem this place really is! From the grandest to the simplest tastes, a cornucopia of flavor will always await tired travelers such as yourself.
I suppose this concludes our tour. You should get to sleep; I'm sure all this walking around has exhausted you. Next time, we just have to go to the Chocolate Ball together!