Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 197,205,082 Issue: 972 | 4th day of Storing, Y24
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Geographical Guide to the Best Recipes in Every Land

by doglover3662


Chapter 4: Deserts and Furnaces

     Lillian: Welcome back to my chronicles of finding and making the best foods in all Neopia! The tales I’m sharing today come from places parched of water and overwhelmed by the heat. Our first stop is the Lost Desert and its varied kingdoms, and we’ll finish up in the hottest place in all Neopia: Moltara.

     After wandering around the desert for a while, Werther finds a Cybunny bouncing through the sand dunes.

     Werther: Hello! Who are you? We thought we landed close to the city, but didn't realize it would be so difficult walking through these sand dunes!

     Cerys: Hi, I’m Cerys the Desert Cybunny, just trying to avoid any trap pits here … my friends had to rescue me once … it wasn’t exactly a glamorous situation. I know these dunes better now, but one still must be very careful. Why, You must be hungry! I can show you how to fix some food before carrying on with my quests. Follow me!

     Lost Desert: Grilled Ummagine Chips

      Lilian: That is fantastic! I came here on a quest to record the best food in the land for a series I’m writing for the Neopian Times.

     Cerys: Well then! Before I take you into the main city, I want to show you how to make one of our famous treats, Grilled Ummagine Chips. For this recipe you will need:

     Ummagines and Lost Desert Sandy Olive Oil

     I think you’ll find this recipe nice and simple. All you need to do is chop up your ummagines into very thin, vertical or short direction slices, minding your other paw holding the fruit. It’s best to use a serrated knife or a grater for this, if you can. Then, coat them in our speciality sandy olive oil, and place them outside, it’s really hot enough out to fry them, flipping them occasionally until they start to turn golden and slightly crispy. Careful when checking them, they’re hot. I would say to use the Flask of Olive Oil imported from Altador, but goodness knows it would just get sandy out here anyway. I hope you like them!

     Werther: Other than the mouthful of sand, they are quite nice. I think it’s time we head toward our next destination. It’s starting to get quite hot out here.

     Lillian and Werther follow Cerys across the sandy dunes of Lost Desert, taking great care to keep the sand out of their eyes and mouth, until they reach the kingdom of Sakhmet City.

     Sakhmet City: Baggus Dip

      Lillian: It’s been said that King Coltzan has a sweet tooth, and there’s a dip that can either be incredibly sweet, or, a poisonous, disastrous mess, depending on how well you cook it. I wonder who can help us figure out this dip.

     Princess Vyssa: Who goes there? I heard you talking about my favourite dip.

     Werther: Princess?

     Princess Vyssa: Shhh. Yes. I like to travel the streets in disguise. Why, you’re Werther. I remember when you used to travel here with Professor Hugo more frequently. Let me guess, this is his daughter, and now you’re travelling the world together?

     Lilian: You are correct, and at my request, too. I’m here on a quest: I’m writing an article for the Neopian Times about the best food in all of Neopia. I’m making sure to visit every land and town, to share all the unique flavours that abound around our globe! That’s why I’m hoping you can help me figure out this Baggus Dip.

     Princess Vyssa: Ah, yes. The baggus will taste like chocolate when it has been degassed and left in the sun to dry out for a while. In this form, it can be combined with a few special ingredients to make a dip worthy for a King – and I’ll even divulge the best chips for this dip as well. For this recipe, you’ll need some good luck acquiring:

     16 oz Baggus, 4 Boiled Odorra Pods (one tablespoon), ¼ cup Hissi Oil, 2 tablespoons of Desert Lupe Honey, Gwontek Melon

     This will be the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Go ahead and grab your bagguses - they’re free from the Fruit Machine if you’re lucky! Depending on their size, take 2-3, and very carefully, making sure the wind is not pointing towards you or anyone else, open them up outside. Be sure to leave them to out for three days to air dry. Once that has been done, your food prep can start. Shake the sand off of them and bring them inside, and be prepared for a lot of stirring. Combine the baggus with the seeds from four Odorra Pods, which are used to start every royal dinner. They’ll be quite difficult to open, but it won’t take too many to collect a tablespoon’s worth. Grind these up together until it starts to look like a mushy paste. This, in and of itself, will not be fabulous, but it’s how the dish is served to commoners. Here, though, you’ll be adding in the Desert Lupe Honey, and then the best part, the Hissi Oil. It makes any food dish taste delicious, and it also heals all ailments, so good luck finding this rare treat. Stir this all together, and you’ll be set. Wondering what the best chips are for the dip? I’ll give you a hint – it’s dried Gwontek Melon. These melons only grow on the highest branches of the tree, and have a sweet, almost orange taste. Slice one up and leave it out to dry at the same time as the baggus. I didn’t introduce these to you earlier since there weren’t any around, but the preparation will be quite similar. Fit for Sakhmet royalty and you brave travellers, too!

     After resting for a bit to replenish their energy reserves, Lillian and Werther continue on their journey.

     Sakhmet’s Royal Palace: Desert Kiko Dried Fruit Bowl

      Lilian: Princess, is there any way to get into the Royal Palace?

     Princess Vyssa: Now normally, you wouldn’t be allowed in here, but as it would happen, I saw Aurrick sneak in and grab this recipe earlier. He was aiming for some Neocash left as a tip, but the chef turned around in time and this is what he ended up grabbing instead, quite on accident. You still can’t go in, and I had to have Advisor Wessle ensure that Aurrick was chased outside the city walls. You seem like decent citizens, so I’ll share the recipe with you. If you thought the last dish was tremendous, wait for this speciality. To make this at home, find these ingredients:

     Blusops, Dried Ummagine, Sprinkle of Salt, Honey Bearog

     I searched and searched through the stores, but it seems as though only Dried Blusops can be found by the common folk. I can only conclude the fresh flowers are grown by my sister, Amira, in her private gardens. While I could grab you some fresh ones, that won’t work for anyone else trying to replicate this recipe. The Dried Blusops are especially good with salt, so I’ve kept it in. Lastly, with all the honey here, I had to go for the one inspired by the honeybee keepers: the bearogs themselves. And yes, in case you were wondering, making this is much simpler than procuring these ingredients. Find yourself a bowl and toss (well, stir) the first three ingredients together. Then, add a dollop of honey, and mix again. Enjoy this desert delicacy! Be careful not to eat too much though, lest you become thirsty. Water is hard to come by over here. With that, I must be going. Tell no one that you saw me.

     Werther: It was an honour. Thank you for sharing your time, and I hope no one else recognizes you.

     Lilian: I can’t believe I met an actual princess!

     Werther: Count it your lucky day. It’s always an extraordinary honour for me, too. Say, am I the only one extremely thirsty right now? Let’s take our hot air balloon and see if we can land in Qasala. Perhaps the wind of our travel will help cool us off a bit as we travel there.

     Qasala: Qasalan Fountain Soda

      As Werther and Lilian descend, they accidentally fly through a swarm of bugs.

     Lilian: Ew, that was gross! I’m really ready for something sweet and hydrating now. At least we didn’t swallow any.

     Werther: I’m with you there. Qasala is super hot, so they have to cool down somehow. Want to guess their drink of choice? Their fountain soda! Come, let's see if we can find someone who can explain how to make it. It’s sweetened by their favourite fruit and reenergizes you as well. It’s as amazing as you think it is.

     Tomos: I just came to see who finally got rid of that bug swarm – how can I thank you?

     Lilian: I’m working on an article for the Neopian Times, and want to include the best recipes from each town.

     Werther: Enough chatting Lilian. Tomos, we’re parched. If you can spare some water and teach us how to make this Qasalan Fountain Soda, we’ll be very grateful.

     Tomos: You’ll need the following to make this much-needed drink:

     Qando Fruit, Cheopple, Cheops Juice, Cup of Water, Bag of Sugar

     Right together now. If you can find a corner of your kitchen where sand isn’t blowing in, go ahead and pull out a cutting board, and chop a handful of the Qando Fruit up into small pieces, but not as small as the sand grains around you – you’ll never be able to pluck them out if a gust of wind blows through the door. Careful handling it – those spikes aren’t messing around with any neopet or faerie. Should you be cooking in Qasala right now, your cup of water is already near boiling. Otherwise, put the water in the kettle and let it heat up first. Once it’s ready, you can add the fruit, Cheops Juice, and sugar to taste, I’d recommend about a cup for this pot-full of soda. I know this will sound strange, but just place the whole Cheopple in there. It’s so hard there’s no way to cut it open unless you slice it with a flaming hot lava blade, which I don’t recommend attempting. Let the mixture sit for about five to ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Now, as this mixture cooks, you’ll notice something very strange: it’s beginning to bubble! There’s no natural source of carbonation around these parts, and it turns out that hot sugar water helps release it out of the Cheopple. Who would’ve thought! Anyway, once it looks like the bubbling has slowed down, remove the remaining Cheopple and strain the soda a couple of times through a sieve to remove any Qando Fruit seeds and pulp, and there you have it, a homemade soda - a sweet desert treat for anyone.

     Lilian and Werther: Thank you so much for the water and the recipe! It is time for us to explore some new places, but we appreciate your help.

     Tomos: Anytime, as long as you can get rid of the nasty insect pests!

     Lilian: If you thought the Lost Desert was hot, my next destination is even hotter! It's no joke here: the floor is lava! Welcome to Moltara.

     Moltara City: Molten Frosting Cake Slice

      After a few days of travel, Lilian and Werther finally arrive. Their stay here takes only 15 minutes, as any longer, and their fur might burn. Only native Moltarans, Magma pets, and some strange glowing worms in rainbow colors can call this place home.

     Werther: Okay, quickly now. Let’s see if we can find someone to help you with this quest.

     Lilian: Here we go. Oh, I think I’ve spotted someone.

     An off-duty Magma Pool guard greets them.

     Guard: What are you doing here? I’m surprised your hot air balloon hasn’t melted yet.

     Werther: Thank you, I built it myself with help from Dr. Landelbrot. We’re here reporting for the Neopian Times on the best recipes. I’ve gathered that your Molten Frosting Cake Slice is quite the wonder.

     Guard: It seems you’ve done your research well. I love that one! The fiery success of this cake slice is sure to leave your mouth hot, but it’s the best of the best in this place, and moist, too, not metal! There are some standard baking ingredients here, as well as a few special ones made right here in Moltara. They are:

     1 cup Sugar, 1.5 cups of Wheat Flour, ½ cup Lava Butter, 2 Eggs, half cup Sparkling Carrot Juice

     To make this, cream the butter and the sugar together first, then beat in the eggs, minus the shells. Oh, I forgot to warn you that the eggs would probably fry themselves by the time you got adding them in. No matter, add them in anyway. Next, add in the flour and baking powder, and mix well. Make sure that your butter and flour do not try to explode on you! This carrot juice, coming up next, serves as the secret ingredient here, helping it rise and providing all the moisture. Stir it in until smooth, and then pour it all into a baking pan. Normally this would bake for 25-30 minutes, but 5 minutes will be just fine here in Moltara. Congratulations, you’ve made a fine cake! – What was that? Oh, some lava fell on top of it? Now we’re really ready to celebrate here in Moltara.

     Lilian and Werther thank the guard and grimace as they heads towards the center of Moltara and inside the crater of the volcano.

     Moltara Caves: Hot Magma

      Igneot: Who goes there?

     Lilian: I’m here with a scientist and researcher family friend – we were just talking with an off duty guard about the best food here. Do you have any specialties specific to the caves?

     Werther: It’s an honor to meet you in person, Igneot! Now that Professor Hugo is retired, I had the time to make some upgrades to my hot air balloon so I can travel here now.

     Igneot: I’m just passing through at the moment. Well, that does explain how you got in this far. Deep within our caves, the magma nearly froths out to meet the air. I won’t have you risking your fur any more, and since you’re not a magma pet, I will simply be sharing this recipe with you. Do not attempt to consume it. Grab from the city:

     Blazing Stone Mug of Borovan

     By the time you come back, the borovan will be dust. Hand it to me, and I shall venture in this cave here and grab you a cup. Cheers to your adventures around the globe!

     Lilian: I guess almost everything turns to ash or stone in Moltara.

     Werther: It would seem so. Now, let’s get out of here while we still can! I think it’s time we visit some truly magical places after those deserts.

     Lilian: I’m still parched!

     Lilian and Werther close the lid on their hot air balloon and navigate over the sea towards their next destination. I think the places in next week’s edition will be your favorites yet!

To be continued…

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Other Episodes

» Geographical Guide to the Best Recipes in Every Land - Part 1
» Geographical Guide to the Best Recipes in Every Land - Part 2
» Geographical Guide to the Best Recipes in Every Land

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