Making The Perfect Cup Of Hot Borovan
You may have seen it plenty of times around the site, many items having its name, though you still may not know what Borovan is. At best you may know it's a drink which involves hot chocolate and asparagus, but how does one make it? Is it a real item or completely made up? Is there a recipe or do you just put pieces of asparagus into hot chocolate? Well, as it turns out there IS a long lost recipe for borovan given to all of us by none other than TNT! Here it is:
WARNING: If you're a child, get an adult's help.
RECIPE FOR HOT BOROVAN
6 stalks of raw asparagus
2 cups water
1 tablespoon of honey
1 cup milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Wash and cut 5 raw asparagus stalks into 2 inch pieces. Fill a small pan with water and add asparagus. Heat on medium temperature and bring to a boil. Add honey and let simmer for 5 minutes.
2. In a separate pan, heat up milk on low heat and add chocolate. Stir until melted and well blended. Add cinnamon. Turn off as steam starts to rise.
3. Remove asparagus from heat. Drain the asparagus and set aside for dinner later. Add the asparagus and honey water blend to milk and chocolate blend. Stir a few times and add mixture to cup. Add remaining asparagus stalk to cup. Serve and enjoy!
Intrigued, I decided that my Neopets should also be able to enjoy a delicious cup of hot borovan made from scratch. But as I was in the Neopia Central's Fresh Food Shop I then thought that, if I'm going to go out of the way and make a cup of hot borovan from scratch, I might as well go all the way! Sure I could get all the ingredients from the Fresh Food Shop and it'll make a good cup of borovan, but why settle for good when I could go for perfect? So I asked the Chia Shopkeeper about what I'm looking for and he told me legends and rumors about the perfect ingredients that I now desire. So with them in mind I set off on my quest to make the perfect cup of borovan!
Ingredient: 6 stalks of raw asparagus
If you were looking for the "perfect" asparagus, where would you think to look? Maybe Meridell and its acres of farmland which grows all kinds of vegetables? Nice guess, but no. According to what the Fresh Food Chia Shopkeeper told me, the "perfect" asparagus can be found in the world that sits on mountains which go above the clouds: Shenkuu. Legends state that one out of every million bamboo sprouts grows into an asparagus stalk instead! I asked the locals about the legend to see what they had to say and found one who went into more detail:
Bonju (Master Exotic Chef)
"Bamboo turning into asparagus? You actually believe that myth? As I remember it going, legend says that a past Emperor of Shenkuu liked bamboo better than asparagus, so he converted all the asparagus gardens into bamboo gardens. The furious asparagus farmers cursed the land so that every so often an asparagus will grow within the bamboo garden that would be worth a million times more than the entire bamboo garden. You see, it's just a silly folktale, but there is some truth to it. There is one bamboo garden that sometimes has asparagus grow in it, I've seen it. But despite what the tale tells you we still do grow asparagus, just not a lot of it. It's a kind of wild asparagus that's only found in Shenkuu, however it's neither rare or has any more flavor than foreign asparagus. It's possible that sometimes some of those asparagus seeds get into the bamboo garden. But if you feel you must have some instead of just eating one of my delicious dishes then I can point you to the bamboo garden which they've been spotted in. It shouldn't take you long to find your desired 6 stalks of asparagus."
Disappointed but not deterred, the Orange Blumaroo chef pointed me to the bamboo garden, I then buying some Mint Rolls and Purplum Buns for the trip to show my thanks. It didn't take me long to be amidst tall bamboo stalks, though I had my eyes to the ground most of the time. However I did learn you should pay attention to the bamboo stalks you push out of your way, they like to bounce back and hit you on the back of your head. I kept looking and Bonju was right that it didn't take me long to find 6 stalks of asparagus, if by "shouldn't take me long" he meant about SIX HOURS! That's an hour per asparagus stalk! As soon as I found my sixth stalk of asparagus I quickly grabbed it and ran back home to get ready to find my next "perfect" ingredient.
Ingredient: 2 cups water
World: Terror Mountain
You might be wondering what would "perfect" water be? Well imagine water that's crystal clear and has nothing but H2O in it, no additional minerals. Where would you find such "perfect" water? Kiko Lake? Maraqua? Those places are good for getting water, but not water completely clean and pure. What place has water like that? A place without water, at least in liquid form! In the deepest parts of Terror Mountain there is said to be ice so thick that the inner layers have no impurities. I went to the Ice Caves of Terror Mountain to see what the locals had to say and I found an elderly Bori who had also heard of this thick ice.
Keeper of Time (King of the Bori)
"I've heard of all the legends that have to do with Terror Mountain, this one being no exception. But out of all of them I would say this one is the most believable, I even have an idea where you could find such thick ice. There's a network of tunnels which were dug out by the Snowager that leads to what many believe to be base of Terror Mountain, the stone and ice from which Terror Mountain rose from. If there was any ice that matched the legend's description it would be that ice. But be cautious, temperatures down there can go below absolute zero and the ice is as strong as steel. You'd need to dress in at least a dozen layers and have tools fit for cutting diamonds if you wish to get the ice that can be melted down into your 'perfect' water."
I thanked the old but wise Bori king and made my way to Happy Valley to get clothing and equipment. The next day, dressed in so many layers of clothes that I felt like a Mallow Grundo, I made my way down the tunnels. I finally got to an ice wall which the Keeper of Time believes to be one of the walls of ice he told me about and I began digging. My pick sounded like it was clanging against steel at first but it was made to dig out gems so eventually I broke through the outer layer. The ice of the inner layer was almost completely transparent. I switched to a chisel and carefully scrapping off thin slices of ice into the 2 cup thermos I brought. After taking an hour to fill up the thermos with "perfect" ice I packed up and got out of there, thankfully the next "perfect" ingredient was taking me to a much warmer place.
Ingredient: 1 tablespoon of honey
When you want high quality honey you'll probably go to Altador or Faerieland whose food commonly uses it as a sweetener. But the sweetness of their honey fails in comparison to the "perfect" honey I'm after, and that honey is rumored to exist in Tyrannia which is meticulously collected by wild Tyrannian Buzzers. My Tyrannian isn't the best but I managed to find someone who had heard about these Buzzers, an expert on Tyrannian Petpets.
Pacha (Tyrannian Petpet Shopkeeper)
*Translated from Tyrannian*
"These Buzzers do exist, but they're very reclusive. I can also say I had tasted the honey they make and it has a sharp bitter sweetness, but nothing to risk your life for. Though they cannot sting they still build their hive high up a cliff and have learned that the best way to defend their hive is by swarming around you, buzzing as loud as they can, making you very likely to slip and fall. If you REALLY want some of that honey I suggest buying rock climbing equipment, something you can attach to the cliff and hold on tightly to as the Buzzers swarm around you."
I hadn't let a little danger stop me yet so I bought some rock climbing equipment and set off to where Pacha had said the Tyrannian Buzzers created their hive. After going through a maze of cliffs, I heard a buzzing sound above me and looked up to the Tyrannian Buzzer hive. I took out my climbing tools and began to climb the cliff, though as soon as I did the Buzzers knew what I was doing and started to swarm around me. As Pacha said, they couldn't sting but they tried to push me off however I wouldn't let go (and even if I had I was only 5 feet off the ground). Realizing I wasn't letting go, a few of the Buzzers flew back up to the hive and came back down moments later holding a stone bucket. They flew over me and, with a sinister buzzing laugh and grin, flipped the bucket over and dropped it on my head. As the bucket went over my head I felt a gooey texture which surprised me, causing me to let go and fall to the ground. The Tyrannian Buzzers went back to their hive triumphant but when I took the bucket off my head I realized I too came out triumphant. The goo I felt was actually the "perfect" honey; the bucket was coated with a thick layer of it! I scooped up a small amount and went back home to plan my next trip and to also take a shower.
Ingredient: 1 cup milk
World: Roo Island
It would be generally agreed that if you want milk the place you go to is Kau Kau Farms as they are the best mass milk producers. But I don't want milk from the best mass milk producers; I want the "perfect" milk. Now Kaus are the only species who know the secret of creating milk and no one is sure how or what they do (I've heard some CRAZY theories about it though). However it seems like the happier the Kau the better they are at, umm, whatever they do to make the milk; or at least that's what the rumors say. Roo Island, the world of games, was said to have a local Kau who's able to make the "perfect" milk. I asked around Roo Island for who this Kau may be and found someone at a Cheat! Tournament that may know.
Kalora (Professional Cheat! Player)
"Well, of course I've heard the rumor about a Kau that lives on Roo Island who makes the best milk in all of Neopia; all us Kaus have heard about that. As for how true it is, I don't know. Happy Kaus do make better milk than sad Kaus; that's a proven fact. Tell you what, I know plenty of Kau friends on Roo Island, if anyone was to know the Kau you're looking for they would. But first you need to do something for me. Though I've gotten through the semi-finals of the Cheat! Tournament I don't have a lot of NP to bet on myself so it's not looking like I'm going to make much NP for winning. If you put a large bet on me and split your winnings with me it'll be extra bit of incentive for me to win this. It would make me a very happy Kau and that's what you're looking for, right? *wink*"
With no other leads to go on I agreed to Kalora's deal and placed a large bet on her. That night I watched the Cheat! finals and, whether it was from skill, luck, or the incentive of a large payout, Kalora won! I cashed in my ticket and gave Kalora her share, she giving me a large smile and saying that by tomorrow morning she should have what I'm looking for. Next morning I opened the door to my hotel room and saw a bottle of milk with a letter from Kalora saying it was the "perfect" milk. Curious, I took a sip of it and it was the sweetest milk that I ever tasted. I shoved the cork back on nice and tight and went back home to prepare for my next trip.
Ingredient: 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, grated
World: Mystery Island
While one would just go to the Chocolate Factory for high quality chocolate, to get the "perfect" chocolate I would need to go to WHERE the Chocolate Factory and other chocolate producers get their chocolate from: Mystery Island. Mystery Island is where a rumored bean that chocolate is made from grows and thus where all the chocolate makers get their chocolate. I went to Mystery Island and asked the locals about the bean, but only the native Coconut People knew anything about it.
Tiki Tour Guide (Native Coconut Person)
"The bean that chocolate is made from? Of course I know about it, all my people do, it's our main crop. Sure we grow plenty of Tropical Fruit and get new ones every year, but we ship out chocolate beans by the boat loads all over Neopia monthly. We signed an exclusive deal with the chocolate makers so that all chocolate beans grown are shipped to them, however we do keep some for ourselves for our ceremonies and rituals. We just recently had a ceremony so if you'd like you could come to our village to see if we have any leftover chocolate."
I took the Guide up on his offer and that afternoon, after closing the Tiki Tours for the day, he led me to his village which did have a hint of a chocolate scent in the air. As the Guide headed back to his hut and family he pointed me to the village's food storage hut and told me talk to the Coconut Person in charge of rations. Doing so, I was told that they didn't have any chocolate left, BUT they do have chocolate beans left and offered to teach me to make the "perfect" chocolate I wanted as long as I paid for every chocolate bean I used. I figured it was a fair deal, I only needed half a cup so I started chocolate making lessons the Coconut People way and found out quickly it's rather easy to mess up making chocolate. With every mistake I would need to buy more chocolate beans so I somehow feel I was tricked. However the Coconut Person I was learning from was fair and well-knowledge so that within a day I managed to make the "perfect" chocolate which I wanted. I thanked him for his help and left Mystery Island with a little bit of "perfect" chocolate and a lot less NP. I now only needed one more "perfect" ingredient, and I know where to go to get it.
Ingredient: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
World: Haunted Woods
Did you know cinnamon comes from the inner bark of cinnamon trees? Well if you didn't you do now. Most of Neopia's cinnamon trees grow on a farm somewhere in a forest between Neopia Central and Kiko Lake, though other places have grown cinnamon tree themselves. So of course, the "perfect" cinnamon does not come from those trees. Instead, rumor has it that the "perfect" cinnamon comes from a tree in the Haunted Woods! Though unlike all the previous times when I asked any local I came across about what I was looking for, this time I knew who I needed to ask; and he/she/it is even a tree himself/herself/itself!
The Brain Tree (Smartest, Quest Giving Tree)
"I know EVERYTHING about the Haunted Woods, so of course I know about the cinnamon trees within it! They were planted by early settlers of the Haunted Woods hoping to set up a new farm here, though they quickly learned that was a bad decision. As you may guess, they were never seen or heard from again, how else did you think that story was going to end? As for the trees themselves, the magic of the Haunted Woods have turned the once ordinary cinnamon trees into something far more, including the cinnamon that they contain. If you wish to find the cinnamon trees just follow the path that usually leads to Neovia but make a right at the second faded trail that leads into the woods. However, I suggest you not, I won't say why because I know you're just going to go anyway and I need some entertainment. Hee hee hee."
Now a bit concerned, I followed the Brain Tree's instructions and found the cinnamon trees inside an abandoned farm. I only need half a teaspoon of cinnamon so I thought I would just break a branch off and be on my way. I walked right up to a cinnamon tree when it suddenly came to life, picked me up, and threw me out of the farm's boundaries! I don't know how loudly I screamed, though I swore I heard the laughter of the Brain Tree in the distance. And so my battle with the cinnamon trees began and I would be lying if I said I did well against them, but defeating them wasn't my goal. After dodging there swings (and getting tossed one or two or seventeen more times) I managed to have one hit the ground hard enough that it broke off a piece of their branch. I quickly grabbed the branch and ran off, though once I was outside the farm's boundaries the branch came to life and started wrapping around me! It started tightening its grip but then loosened it and soon fell to the ground lifeless. Being apart from the tree it made the wicked magic in it leak out, turning it back to a normal branch. So with the final "perfect" ingredient under control I went home to prepare to make the "perfect" cups of hot borovan.
After preparing the "perfect" ingredients I followed the recipe and in mere minutes I had made 4 "perfect" cups of hot borovan, one for me and my 3 Neopets. I served my Neopets their cups though would you believe they were a bit hesitant to even take a sip? I had to drink my entire cup to prove it was perfectly fine. It was one of the most unique tastes I ever had, very sweet and bitter with the chocolate and asparagus flavor combing in an indescribable way (it was like they were both trying to remain separate but also combine together). Even after showing my Neopets it was safe and describing them the unique flavor they wanted to wait to see how my stomach reacted to the drink. I was about to tell them how rude they were being after all I went through to get the ingredients... until my stomach reacted to the drink. Let's end this by saying my scolding was replaced with the sound of the bathroom door being slammed shut.
So what's the lesson here? Borovan is a unique flavored drink and I would recommend at least a try (remember, if you're a child get an adult's help). BUT I suggest using normal ingredients you can get from your local store. As it turns out, "perfect" doesn't always mean the best way to enjoy something.