Come dance with the Wanderers... Circulation: 197,504,353 Issue: 966 | 12th day of Hiding, Y24
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The Bird's Bids: Neopia Central's Cuisine


by jjensen688

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(Editor’s note - My Lenny, Urbanum, has insisted on beginning a series of his own articles. He considers himself something of an upper-crest Neopian. He’s a bit… blunt, to say the least, so I’ll be chiming in with my opinions when I see fit.

     All values stated in this article are accurate at the time of writing. Do not use this article as a pricing guide.)

     I have found myself abruptly aware of the ghastly state of Neopia’s culture.

     My name is Urbanum. I am a stately and cultured Blue Lenny living in central Neopia. Upon several recent additions to the family, I have found that the current state of the general population’s taste is abysmal. The things these pets will consume! Ridiculous, I tell you- dung and omelettes and jellies galore.

     (We recently adopted “krillguy”- though we prefer to call him Krill- from the pound. I assume this is the recent addition he’s referring to. We are working on teaching Urbanum that the pound cannot supply pets with hyper-expensive things.)

     Back in my day, pets had culture. Taste! A respect for high-end things.

     (Krill was born in Y6. Urbanum was born in Y19. I have no idea what he’s blathering on about.)

     So, in a desperate attempt to improve the quality of Neopia’s taste, I have begun an article-writing adventure. I would be remiss if I did not share my knowledge of the most expensive and quality things that this great land has to offer!

     I am a bird. These are my bids to you- my suggestions and advice- to help improve your tastes.

     This is The Bird’s Bids.

     (Fyora help us all.)

     —--------------

     One of the things that I find most unsettling these days is the things that Neopians will put in their mouths. The sort of scrap that pets will eat, I tell you- just the other day, on an outing to Meridell, I saw a Skeith eating a mouldy potato. A mouldy potato! Truly, the gastronomic state of our culture is in a crisis.

     (When I pointed out that plenty of people enjoy mouldy cheeses, Urbanum simply huffed and said that “It’s different when it’s dairy”. I haven’t the faintest clue what he means.)

     Today, then, I will be exploring the finest foods of Neopia Central. It is my home, after all, and despite its relatively simple nature, there are incredible opportunities for culinary exploration… if you simply look beyond whatever linty peanuts and rotten beetroots are at the bottom of the Money Tree.

     —--------------

     Among the most popular restaurants in Neopia Central (much to my chagrin…) is Hubert’s Hot Dogs. You would think that tubes of meat wouldn’t be as popular as they are, but the general populace seems enraptured by these… consumables. Still, even a cultured Neopian like myself can find something to eat within the walls of this Mynci’s shop.

     

      The first of my suggestions is the Diamond Hot Dog. With an approximate market value of 1.75 million Neopoints, the value of the food should speak for itself. I mean, look at it- pure diamond! 100-per-cent genuine crystalline carbon. Can things get any better than that?

     (I tried to explain to Urbanum that his beak cannot break apart solid diamond. He did not listen.)

     Next is the Mecha Hot Dog. This hot dog is something of a steal. Worth roughly 1.6 million Neopoints, it’s considerably cheaper than the MechaBerries it’s made of. MechaBerries themselves are a remarkable fruit; they’re artificial, made from an edible metal alloy, and can almost completely fill the nutritional needs of a pet. Taking such a fruit and putting it into a “fun” form… It's a clever way to get the average Neopian to consume something nutritious. Brilliant idea, Hubert!

     (When I suggested that he remove the quotations around “fun”, Urbanum insisted that someone truly cultured would understand that tube-food is not pleasant. The general consensus of the population is, apparently, not sufficient evidence.)

     For my last suggestion at Hubert’s Hot Dogs, I bring to you the Well-Aged Hot Dog. Where do I begin with this magnificent food? For one, it’s aged- like a fine cheese or juice, some foods simply get better with time. This hot dog is no exception! One needn’t look further than the magnificent beard on this food to see its true quality. It is well known that the greatest minds of Neopia have had beards- King Coltzan III, King Altador, Alshemar, the Spellseeker- and this hot dog is no exception. With a value of roughly 1.4 million Neopoints, rest assured that you are getting not only a fine meal but that you’re taking a step towards becoming a remarkable scholar.

     (Hot dogs do not have brains. This hot dog is not a great scholar.)

     —--------------

     Next on our culinary tour of Neopia Central is… as garish and cheesy (no pun intended) as the name is… Pizzaroo. Similar to the hot dog, the pizza is a unique way to serve food. Triangles are among the most optimal shapes- aerodynamic and easily explained by mathematics. This is perhaps one of pizza’s only redeemable qualities. Still, I am nothing if not persistent. A close look reveals a few treasures within this “pizzeria”.

     (I had no idea Urbanum felt so strongly about geometry. I eagerly explained that nachos are almost completely triangular, and he gagged. I guess that perfect shapes can’t save every food.)

     

      First on our list is the “PIZZA OF DEATH”. I haven’t the faintest clue why the shop owner screamed at me when I asked for the name, but I also don’t trust a pizza chef to be logical. The alfredo sauce and cheese are relatively unremarkable, but the skull on top is compelling. Avant-garde! Bold! Brave! Truly an interesting choice in presentation. I suspect that the marrow within provides a unique flavour profile- making the 2 million Neopoints price tag more than worth it.

     (I do not condone eating skulls. Or anything labelled “OF DEATH”. That’s just not going to end well.)

     When I asked for the chef’s next recommendation, the strangest thing happened- he wished me a happy birthday and brought out this “Happy Birthday Pizza”. How novel! It seems to use the same base as the previous pizza but is now topped with candles. I tried to explain that it was not my birthday, and the chef blabbed about how that’s “just the name of the pizza” and how he was “simply providing a suggestion”. I have no clue what he meant, but if nothing else, this pizza is another example of a unique presentation. The market value of this particular food sits at roughly 1.1 million Neopoints.

     (For a pet with 224 intelligence, Urbanum is… remarkably dense at times. High intelligence, low wisdom.)

     Last on our list is the Pirate Pizza. I admit, dear reader, I am hesitant to put this pizza on the list. It is by far the most affordable option on this list thus far, worth roughly 450 thousand Neopoints. Such a meagre value made me cautious, but I must admit that this pizza was surprisingly delicious. The pepperoni skulls were an interesting choice. My owner, bless her heart, is strangely obsessed with pirates and pirate culture- as the month of Relaxing approaches, our home has started to become decorated with Krawk Island merchandise- so I would be remiss if I excluded this nautical selection. My brother Krill seemed to particularly enjoy it.

     (Krawk Island for the win!)

     —--------------

     Our final stop in Neopia Central is a far cry from hot dogs and pizzas- we’re visiting the Health Foods Shop. Run by a rather eccentric Quiggle, we’re able to finally take a peek at some more natural options. Organic foods are all the rage among the upper echelons of society these days- it is only fitting, then, that we take a look.

     

      We will begin with a somewhat unique food- Broccoli with Sprinkles. This is a deceptively simple concoction. It is more than just broccoli- it is art. It is fashion. It is everything. The sprinkles (hand-selected by the chef, I hear) really accentuate the natural curves and colours of the broccoli itself. You can find this food for roughly 2.75 million Neopoints. It is worth noting that plain Broccoli sells for under 2 thousand Neopoints, with a bag of sugar being less than 1 thousand. Truly, the value in this dish comes from the presentation and preparation, not the ingredients themselves.

     (When told that he could make this himself for significantly cheaper, Urbanum called me a fool. Because I am the foolish one here, of course…)

     Next is the Artichoke Cupcake. With a market value of roughly 2-2.5 million Neopoints, this is a confection well worth your attention. The Quiggle running the shop explained to me that the frosting is composed of cream cheese, artichoke, and a “secret ingredient” that ties the entire dish together. Topped with a whole raw artichoke, this cupcake is an excellent example of a healthy baked good- a rare thing these days!

     (The “secret ingredient” is sugar. It’s absolutely sugar.)

     My final suggestion for this week, readers, is the Cauliflower Lolly. This is a bit of a unique case- the dish sells for 2 million Neopoints, but contains four lollies, meaning that each is only 500 thousand Neopoints respectively. Each head of cauliflower is delicately shaped into a perfect orb, placed atop a stick and bundled together with a blue satin ribbon. I found this food to be a great palate cleanser- a small, refreshing treat.

     (Your pet will eat all four at once. You are not paying 2 million Neopoints for a four-part dish. For the love of Fyora, if you want to feed more pets at once, buy an omelette.)

     —--------------

      With this, I am happy to conclude my first issue of The Bird’s Bids. Let me be perfectly clear: The gastronomic tastes of Neopia’s average citizens is in dire straits. I implore you, dear reader, to expand your culinary horizons- to taste and experience the finest foods this great land has to offer. Abandon the omelettes and the jellies- trade such simple foods for the finer things.

     (I implore you, dear reader, to ignore Urbanum. He has no concept of value or money. Do yourself a favour and buy some Neoflakes Cakes or one of Tarlas Mystery Meals.)

     Until next time, my friends!

     - Urbanum

     

     

 
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