1. “Game of Thrones” has an official cookbook: “A Feast of Ice & Fire.”
The blog that started the cookbook, The Inn at the Crossroads, is run by culinary maester Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. Chelsea helped guide BuzzFeed through a typical day in Westerosi food.
2. Breakfast - “Breakfast at Winterfell”
“There was much more than she’d asked for: hot bread, butter and honey and blackberry preserves, a rasher of bacon and a soft-boiled egg, a wedge of cheese, a pot of mint tea. And with came Maester Luwin.” -A Game of Thrones
Winterfell’s a cold, damp place even during the height of summer. So breakfast there has got to stick to your bones and fill you up. This meal of bacon and a soft-boiled egg, cheese, and thick bread with fruit preserves and honey does just that. The recipe from Inn at the Crossroads makes a big breakfast for two, or an AWESOME breakfast for one. It’s hearty, but the cup of mint tea evens it out nicely, leaving you ready to run with your direwolf or ride your giant manservant.
3. Lunch - “Beef & Barley Stew”
“’Maybe they don’t have sheep and cattle,’ Bran thought. He commanded the serving men to bring them mutton chops and a slice off the aurochs and fill their trenchers with beef-and-barley stew. They seemed to like that well…” -A Clash of Kings
After you burn off that breakfast stomping around in the godswood, come back in for a steamy bowl of beef & barley stew, also in Winterfell. The turnips, garlic, and pearl onions give it a fresh kick, the beef will stay with you all day, and the red wine’ll help warm you up. Pair it with some bread and salt (below) to round the meal out.
4. Bread and salt
“…[Once] a maiden girl could walk the kingsroad in her name-day gown and still go unmolested, and travelers could find fire, bread, and salt at many an inn and holdfast.”
Bread and salt is nearly a given throughout all of Westeros, and more or less expected under guest rights. In Westerosi culture, the guest right is a holy tradition established in all of realm’s major religions. It begins once a guest eats or drinks under a host’s roof, and is respected until the guest leaves the host’s hospitality. For either the guest or the host to attack the other is to break the guest right, and is said to invoke the wrath of both the old gods and the new. Bread and salt is such a common staple of Westerosi food that to offer it to a traveler is a sign of trust and friendship.
5. Snack - Dothraki Blood Pie
“Food was brought to her, steaming joints of meat and thick black sausages and Dothraki blood pies, and later fruits and sweetgrass stews and delicate pastries from the kitchens of Pentos…” -A Game of Thrones
Leave it to the Dothraki to have violent-sounding snacks. Dothraki blood pie is a pastry made with black pudding, which is a pudding made with congealed blood. Inn at the Crossroads has two recipes for blood pie — one traditional and one modern. The updated version is tastier, but then again, the Dothraki are more about overpowering their pastries than enjoying them.
6. Dinner - Honeyed Chicken
“‘Hungry again?’ he asked. There was still half a honeyed chicken in the center of the table. Jon reached out to tear off a leg, then had a better idea. He knifed the bird whole and let the carcass slide to the floor between his legs. Ghost ripped into it in savage silence.” -A Game of Thrones
May the Father bless you, George R.R. Martin. May the Father, the Mother, the Maiden, the Stranger, the Crone, the Warrior, the Smith, the Lord of Light, the Drowned God, the Great Stallion, the Many-Faced God, and every other crazy deity in Westeros and Essos bless you for giving us honeyed chicken. This is one of the most popular recipes from the books, and for good reason. It’s a whole roasted chicken, basted in a honey sauce, with mint leaves and raisins and a ton of butter. It is unholily good, and it is not exactly diet food. But hey! Robert Baratheon was enormous, and he ended up king. Inn at the Crossroads adapted an old Roman recipe to make it, and the result is worth learning Latin for.
7. Salad - Greens Dressed with Apples and Pine Nuts
“Cersei set a tasty table, that could not be denied. They started with a creamy chestnut soup, crusty hot bread, and greens dressed with apples and pine nuts.” -A Clash of Kings
That honeyed chicken needs something fresh to go with it, and these apple slices with sharp, crumbly cheese and pine nuts on mixed greens fit the bill. Straight from Cersei’s table at King’s Landing, its mixed textures and flavors nearly beg to make this the centerpiece of a course by itself. Considering everything else that has come from Cersei Lannister, we wouldn’t be surprised if she had a ghostwriter working this recipe for her.
8. Dessert - Strawberries and Sweetgrass
“Tables and benches had been raised outside the pavilions, piled high with sweetgrass and strawberries and fresh-baked bread.” -A Game of Thrones
A deceptively simple dessert, strawberries and sweetgrass is the perfect, light footnote to a hardy honeyed chicken and apples on mixed greens. This one’s all about presentation. Cook the mead/cider, honey, lemongrass, and ginger into a sauce, and coat the cut, de-leafed strawberries in it. Help yourself to a glass of the mead or cider you used in the sauce along with it, and it’s perfect for a warm summer night.
Booze is important in any culture, even one that’s fictional. That holds true for Westeros, and Inn at the Crossroads has spun off a sister blog, Game of Brews, that’s entirely dedicated to brewing in the Westerosi fashion.
10. Wildling Cider
“Before Mance, Varamyr Sixskins had been a lord of sorts. He lived alone in a hall of moss and mud and hewn logs that had once been Haggon’s, attended by his beasts. A dozen villages did him homage in bread and salt and cider, offering him fruit from their orchards and vegetables from their gardens.” -A Dance with Dragons
Hard cider is pretty difficult to screw up: 1. Get cider. 2. Leave it alone. But Game of Brews recommends unpasteurized cider, as it’s closer to what the Wildlings north of the Wall would be using. So grab your favorite redheaded wildling, brew up a batch of this, and get cozy under some furs.
11. Metheglin Mead, 1655
Though this is a recipe from our world in 1655 and not A Song of Ice and Fire, mead still figures prominently in the series, and you should open yourself up to this unbelievable sweet drink. Game Of Brews tells us why this should be in the next book:
“I could envision this mead being one of many made by the Beesburys, of Honeyholt. I could also see it as a mead from either a meadowy place in the reach, or perhaps even somewhere in the Vale. Or, since metheglin was originally a medicinal mead, it would be well suited to a sept, because of the joint healing/brewing skills of monks and septons.”
Violatium is an old Roman drink made by soaking violet petals in a wine for weeks. Game of Brews found the resulting taste quirky and a slight bit bitter, and recommends brewing it with honey from the start and clipping off the green parts of the flowers beforehand. They also make an inarguably strong case for including this in the next book in the series:
“Doesn’t it just sound like something from a GRRM book? I mean, come on.”
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