Do Chimaerok Chops sound good to you? Maybe Gooey Spider Cakes?
If you're a fan of World of Warcraft, those items will ring a bell, and at least one of those recipes can be found in the official World of Warcraft: Official Cookbook (via Geek & Sundry). Give the chef credit, though, she did try and make those Spider Cakes work, they just didn't hold up in practical application. You can blame the unappealing ingredient of Spider meat for that.
Chef Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, who also penned and created the Game Of Thrones Official Cookbook, wasn't familiar with the game before she took on the project, but that quickly changed. "Once I started researching for the cookbook, it was absolutely vital that I play the game," says Monroe-Cassel, "not just to explore the foods and ingredients, but to really get a sense of the world and the aesthetics involved."
She started at the best place, the longtime fans. "I started by querying fans online so I would know which player favorites would be expected in the finished book," she says. "Then I went through the master list of foods and drinks, and highlighted those that sounded interesting, delicious, or like they really showcased the setting."
While there's a lot of material already established, she did have to make a few assumptions, like: "Do night elves have access to tomatoes? Well, that's never really addressed in the game," says Monroe-Cassel, "but I reasoned that since tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family, they should fit right in with that lovely but dark setting.
Some of the ingredients got practical replacements, like the Chimaerok Chops. "Sometimes I could use mythology to sort of parse the recipe. With the Chimaerok Chops, for example, I first thought pork chops. But when I thought about how a classical chimera was part goat, I decided to go for lamb chops instead. With a dish like Crunchy Spider Surprise, I looked to nature for inspiration, and swapped in spider's crab cousin instead."
The good news for fans is that Monroe-Cassel takes authenticity seriously, adding: "The most important thing for me in the process of making fictional food into real recipes is authenticity," she says. "The recipes have to be as authentic as possible to the world, culture, and aesthetic of the source material. With Warcraft, the world is so expansive that there's a lot to work with."
The World of Warcraft: Official Cookbook releases this October.